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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...

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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...

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Ag Today, August 15, 2016

California drought: San Luis Reservoir at lowest level in 27 years By Paul Rogers, progers@bayareanewsgroup.com Officials from the Santa Clara Valley Water District meet near the exposed upper intake structure at San Luis Reservoir near Hollister, Calif., on Tuesday, Aug. 9, 2016. The reservoir is believed to be at the lowest level it has ever been since 1989. (Gary Reyes/Bay Area News Group) San Luis Reservoir at lowest level in 27 years ‹› Click photo to enlarge The water level is low at Anderson Reservoir in Morgan Hill, Calif., Oct. 1,... ( Patrick Tehan ) LOS BANOS -- Robert Haskins walked across a vast expanse of cracked...

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Ag Today August 12, 2016

State court declines to revive Napa watershed measure for November election BARRY EBERLING The proposed Water, Forest and Oak Woodland Protection Initiative of 2016 won't be on the county's November ballot after the California Supreme Court rejected a legal appeal by sponsors on Wednesday.  Backers of a watershed and oak woodland protection initiative have lost their last chance to place the measure on the Nov. 8 ballot. They turned to the courts after Napa County disqualified the measure on a technicality. On Wednesday, the Supreme Court of California denied their latest legal effort to overturn the county’s decision in time for election deadlines. Initiative...

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Ag Today August 11, 2016

Legislators agree to audit of $15 billion Delta tunnels project By Alex Breitler Record Staff Writer Calling for more scrutiny of one of the largest proposed infrastructure projects in California history, legislators from up and down the state on Wednesday approved a financial audit of Gov. Jerry Brown’s $15 billion Delta tunnels. A request by Assemblywoman Susan Eggman, D-Stockton, and Sen. Lois Wolk of Davis, cleared an audit committee with the support of several legislators from the Los Angeles area, which would benefit from water diverted through the 40-foot-wide tunnels. Eggman and Wolk said their goal wasn't to block or delay the tunnels, which are...

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Ag Today August 10, 2016

CALVANS NOW PROVIDE SAFER OPTION FOR FARMWORKERS TO GET TO WORK By Reuben Contreras Tuesday, August 09, 2016 04:49PM FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) reported by ABC 30  -- Farmworkers now have a safer option when it comes to transportation to and from work thanks to a new partnership. On Tuesday morning in Downtown Fresno, the US Department of Labor and the California Vanpool Authority reached a memorandum of understanding that provides a safer transportation option for farmworkers. Calvans are now easily available statewide to farmworkers and their employers. "Very often they transport them in unsafe vehicles, you know, vehicles that have bald tires, are not insured, sometimes drivers...

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Ag Today August 9, 2016

By Jake Abbott/ jabbott@tcnpress.com Some 110 irrigation customers in the North Yuba Water District had their water shut off July 24, prompting farmers to look for alternatives during irrigation season. "When we reached the moment where supply was exhausted, the board suggested to contact customers and provide them with what the cost would be moving forward," said Jeff Maupin, NYWD district manager.  Irrigation customers said the quote for proportional shares of water from the district was too high and was unaffordable. Maupin said one of the factors that played into the decision to restrict irrigation outtake from the canal was the fact the district...

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Ag Today August 8, 2016

Looking for silver bullets to end citrus disease David Castellon7:08 a.m. PDT August 6, 2016 RIVERSIDE — In the battle to save California citrus from a tiny insect and the devastating disease it can carry, Mikael L. Roose speculated that it’s unlikely scientists will come up with just one “silver bullet” to end the problem. More likely, he said, it will be a combination of solutions. Those could include breeding trees immune or resistant to the huanglonbing bacteria – commonly known as “HLB” – as well as finding ways to reduce populations of Asian citrus psyllids, the gnat-sized insects that spread the disease...

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Ag Today August 5, 2016

Olives have become a tough business  dcastell@visaliatimesdelta.com August 4, 2016 (Photo: David Castellon) 12CONNECTTWEETLINKEDINCOMMENTEMAILMORE The good news for California olive growers is prices paid by the state’s two primary canners of table olives will average slightly more than they paid last year. But this good news comes a bit late for Dave Hails, who for 15 years has operated his 40-acre olive grove southwest of Woodlake. “We won’t have this conversation this year because I’ll be out of here,” said Hails. He plans to sell his orchard and get out of the olive business after he harvests his latest crop, because the business of farming combined with...

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Ag Today August 4, 2016

Feds to take new look at Delta, endangered fish species By Dale Kasler The Sacramento Bee Scientists from two federal agencies are about to overhaul the rules governing the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, potentially increasing protections for endangered fish populations and limiting the amount of water pumped to Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley. The National Marine Fisheries Service and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will re-examine the nearly decade-old environmental regulations covering the Delta water pumps – rules that some experts say have been rendered nearly obsolete by drought and the devastation to endangered species. The old rules will remain in effect...

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