Ag Today, August 29, 2016
Recycled water project launches on west side
BY JOHN HOLLAND- Modesto Bee
West side farmers broke ground Friday on a water project that is truly groundbreaking.
It will provide the Del Puerto Water District with highly treated water from the sewage plants in Modesto and Turlock. The district, with about 45,000 acres along Interstate 5 from Vernalis to Santa Nella, has been especially hard-hit by drought and fish protections.
“Today is a change in the course of our future, a meaningful change,” General Manager Anthea Hansen told The Modesto Bee on Friday morning. “The landowners will have a reliable base supply that they can...
Ag Today, August 26, 2016
Emotions flare over legislation to expand overtime pay for California farmworkers
Tensions flared at the state Capitol on Thursday after the state Assembly abruptly adjourned without taking up its most anticipated piece of legislation of the day: a bill that would expand overtime pay for thousands of California farmworkers.
Another showdown over AB 1066, a bill authored by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), had been expected in the lower house after a similar proposal died in June four votes short of the majority it needed to pass.
But lawmakers said they would wait until Monday to keep working with members to garner the support. The lack of action on Thursday suggested...
Ag Today, August 25, 2016
Fish disease prompts river flushing
By Damon Arthur of the Redding Record Searchlight
To prevent an outbreak of a deadly fish-killing disease, federal officials plan to begin tripling the amount of water flowing out of Lewiston Dam and into the Trinity River.
Starting Thursday, the amount of water coming out of Lewiston Dam will increase from 450 cubic-feet per second to about 1,300 cfs, according to the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, which operates the dam.
The Trinity River flows into the Klamath River and the higher flows in the Trinity are meant to aid salmon and trout in the Klamath.
Federal officials and others are...
Ag Today, August 24, 2016
Taylor Farms looks to new technologies to attract millennial workers
Amy Wu, The Californian6:26 a.m. PDT August 24, 2016
Israel Ramirez considers himself an anomaly, at least for now. At 21 he is one of the youngest farm workers in an industry that known for its aging workforce.
But as agriculture companies find ways to introduce new technologies, younger workers such as Ramirez are increasingly attracted to the work.
Field workers are critical to an industry that is a key economic driver in this region. In Salinas Valley the agriculture business is estimated at $9 billion, and includes produce giants Taylor Farms, Driscoll’s and...
Ag Today, August 23, 2016
Klamath River dam removal plan delayed
By Will Houston, Eureka Times-Standard
A plan to remove four Klamath River dams to improve water quality and habitat for fish and river communities will likely be submitted to the federal government in September, according to plan proponents.
The plan was originally set to be submitted to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) by the end of July, but has been delayed in order to address other steps needed to progress it forward.
“Everything is still very much on track in our point of view,” Bob Gravely, a spokesman for the dam-owning company PacifiCorp, said on Thursday. “Our...
Ag Today, August 22, 2016
Bill targeting water secrecy scrapped in California Senate
Ian James, The Desert Sun11:29 a.m. PDT August 19, 2016
Strong opposition in the Legislature has scuttled a bill that would have required agencies in California to release information about water use by businesses such as farms and golf courses.
With the bill’s demise in the Senate, water districts will be able to continue keeping confidential information about how much water businesses are using during the drought.
Assembly member Mark Stone, who backed the measure, said there weren’t enough supporters in the Senate to take up the bill for a vote.
“There are some organizations out there...
Ag Today, August 19, 2016
Napa and California declared free of vine-harming pest
BARRY EBERLING email@example.com
Napa County – and California – have delivered the knockout blow to the European grapevine moth after a seven-year battle.
The state Department of Food and Agriculture and United States Department of Agriculture on Thursday declared the vineyard-maiming pest eradicated. The quarantine covering the Napa Valley and other areas of the county is lifted.
“It’s a tremendous accomplishment,” Napa County Agricultural Commissioner Greg Clark said.
Echoing him, California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said in a press release it’s no easy feat to eradicate an invasive species.
No moth has been...
Ag Today August 18, 2016
Welcome to the ‘Meat Casino’! The Cattle Futures Market Descends Into Chaos
By KELSEY GEE
Aug. 17, 2016 7:10 p.m. ET
CHICAGO—Wild swings in the cattle futures market have prompted some traders to call it “the meat casino.”
In response, the world’s largest futures exchange has refused to list new contracts, leaving ranchers with fewer tools to hedge the $10.9 billion market. CME Group Inc. said that is because trading of physical cattle has become so scant that the futures market can’t get the signals it needs to set prices.
“It’s madness. The market makes major moves for no reason,” said Blake Albers, a cattle...
Ag Today August 17, 2016
Bee-harming pesticides are declining at plant nurseries, report shows
Retailers appear to be selling fewer ornamental plants laced with pesticides linked to bee population declines, according to a new report.
Less than a quarter of the trees and flowers from stores and nurseries tested by environmental activists contained pesticides at levels that could be harmful to bees, which are vital to pollinating many of the nation’s food crops. Two previous reports, in 2013 and 2014, revealed that more than half of the samples contained potentially dangerous levels of chemicals linked to bee deaths.
“Our data indicates that compared to two years ago, fewer nurseries...
Ag Today August 16, 2016
Your L.A. farmers market-driven drought update
The news came via Instagram, as much of the news does these days. “Dear Valued Customers,” the text read, “ Due to Stage III drought conditions I have been mandated to cut my water use by 42%.”
In black typeface against a white square background, Romeo Coleman who, along with his father Bill and mother Delia, runs Coleman Family Farms in Carpinteria and Oak View, spelled out an all-too-common scenario for Southern California farmers: As we adapt to the drought, consumers need to brace for higher prices and reduced harvests.
Four years in, the drought has become...