Ag Today Monday, March 28, 2016
Monday, March 28, 2016
California lawmakers to scrutinize new bullet-train plans
By Juliet Williams
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — State lawmakers will have their first opportunity to quiz the officials responsible for California's $64 billion high-speed rail plans at a committee hearing Monday to review a new business plan that calls for overhauling its proposed route and postponing the first service by three years.
Those overseeing the project are expected to face tough questions about the plan to shift construction to the San Francisco Bay Area rather than head first to Southern California, an acknowledgement of the financial and political challenges that have...
Ag Today Friday, March 25, 2016
Friday, March 25, 2016
San Francisco Chronicle
Feinstein, GOP press Obama administration on delta water
By Carolyn Lochhead
WASHINGTON — As lingering El Niño rains swell the state’s rivers, Democratic Sen. Dianne Feinstein joined California House Republicans on Thursday to demand that President Obama order more water to be pumped from the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to farms in the San Joaquin Valley.
Feinstein and the Republicans sent separate, similar letters to Obama timed to apply maximum political pressure on his administration. They arrived just a few hours before the federal Bureau of Reclamation was set to reduce pumping to help preserve what’s left...
Ag Today Thursday, March 24, 2016
Thursday, March 24, 2016
Largest California reservoirs releasing water for flood safety
By Dale Kasler
After years of drought, Northern California has so much water that the state’s two largest reservoirs are releasing water to maintain flood-control safety.
The water releases from Shasta Lake and Lake Oroville don’t mean the drought is over. But they represent the latest evidence that drought conditions are easing as El Niño has brought meaningful amounts of rain and snow to Northern California for the first time since 2012.
Yet the free-flowing water remains a significant source of controversy throughout Northern California. Suburban Sacramentans wondered last month why...
Ag Today Tuesday, March 22, 2016
Tuesday, March 22, 2016
The profound planetary consequences of eating less meat
By Chris Mooney
A striking new study — but one that is bound to prove controversial — has provided a calculation of both the health benefits and the reductions in planetary greenhouse gases that might be achieved if the world shifted away from meat-based diets.
The results, while theoretical in nature, certainly make a strong case for treating the food system, and animal agriculture in particular, as a key part of the climate change issue. Namely, the researchers find that shifting diets toward eating more plant-based foods on a global...
Ag Today Monday, March 21, 2016
Monday, March 21, 2016
Feds loosen up, offer 30 percent water allocation to Valley contractors
By Marc Benjamin
The drought is certainly not over, but the federal Bureau of Reclamation was optimistic enough to offer water suppliers in the Valley 30 percent of their contract allocations this year.
And several water agency officials believe more could be coming as well.
For the past two years, the allocation has been zero, which affects the amount of water for farming and urban interests on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley.
The city of Fresno, which would get 60,000 acre-feet with a 100 percent allocation,...
Ag Today Friday, March 11, 2016
Friday, March 11, 2016
Sacramento Business Journal
Lawmaker proposes an eight-hour workday for farmworkers
By Allen Young
Farmworkers would receive overtime after eight hours of work under legislation recently introduced by Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez.
Gonzalez, a pro-labor San Diego Democrat, knows she has a steep climb in front of her. Over the last six years, legislation to increase overtime for farmworkers has failed twice in California, most recently in 2012.
Gonzalez views her bill as a simple fairness measure that would give farm laborers the same employment benefits as workers for food distributors and grocers.
“This is basic human rights,” she said. “We haven’t let the...
Ag Today Thursday, March 10, 2016
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Bureau of Reclamation should increase Delta water exports
There’s no other way to say it. The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s decision Wednesday to export less water south from the Delta than is legally allowed defies common sense.
Rain and snow finally have returned to California following three years of intense drought. This most recent storm was big enough to inflict damage on coastal areas and bury the northern Sierra under deep blankets of snow.
Reservoirs need to be filled, and Valley farmers dependent on federal irrigation water deliveries need to know that they will get some much-needed relief...
Ag Today Wednesday, March 9, 2016
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
San Luis Obispo Tribune
Voters reject Paso Robles groundwater basin district
By David Sneed
The effort to form a management district for the Paso Robles groundwater basin appears to have failed resoundingly, according to preliminary election results Tuesday night.
The failure of the management district leaves the future of the troubled basin uncertain. Many aquifers have fallen by 100 feet or more in areas of the basin, causing some wells to go dry and forcing many well owners in the basin to lower the pumps in their wells or drill new, deeper wells to keep the water running. A new...
Ag Today Monday, March 7, 2016
Monday, March 7, 2016
Could new storms be California’s ‘March Miracle’?
By Dale Kasler
Was this the start of California’s “March Miracle”?
Rain and thunder hit the Sacramento area Friday afternoon, touching off a weekend that’s expected to be full of stormy weather. The precipitation ended a lengthy dry spell and rekindled hopes that El Niño could put a meaningful dent in the drought.
Forecasters said rain was expected to fall through the evening, intensify Saturday and continue through Sunday and Monday. The storm could bring as much as 3 feet of snow to portions of the Sierra Nevada. A second heavy storm...
Ag Today Friday, March 4, 2016
Friday, March 4, 2016
California orange growers worry about disease that kills trees
By Lewis Griswold
VISALIA - Citrus growers from Florida and Texas attending an annual conference of California growers told 700 fellow farmers and industry professionals about damage to their trees caused by citrus greening disease.
The disease drastically cuts yields and ruins fruit before eventually killing the tree.
Also known as huanglongbing or HLB, the disease is carried by the Asian citrus psyllid insect, a pest that has been found in Southern California and the San Joaquin Valley.
“The biggest threat facing the citrus industry worldwide is HLB,” said Kevin Severns,...