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Ag Today Thursday, December 3, 2015

Ag Today Thursday, December 3, 2015   Editorial San Jose Mercury News Drought relief held hostage to trashing the Delta The Dec. 12 deadline is approaching for Congress to act on legislation to provide relief for California's drought. But given what's on the table now, it's entirely possible that the best course is to do nothing -- and stopping bad legislation may require a presidential veto. Central Valley Republicans want to strip out essential environmental protections for the Delta to quench Big Ag's thirst for more water for questionable orchard crops such as almonds and pistachios. The Bay Area delegation has to fight this -- but there are signs...

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Ag Today Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Ag Today Wednesday, December 2, 2015   Bakersfield Californian State sets initial 10 percent water project allocation for 2016 By John Cox Depending on how much rain falls in California this winter, customers of the State Water Project can expect to receive 10 percent of their normal allocation, or half what they got this year, the state Department of Water Resources said Tuesday. The announcement reflects historically low reservoir levels amid a drought that has so far lasted four years. The department said in a news release that even if El Niño weather conditions bring an extremely wet winter, as many hope, conditions including groundwater levels would not...

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Ag Today Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Ag Today Tuesday, December 1, 2015   San Francisco Chronicle California Christmas tree farmer: '90 percent of what I planted died' By Amy Graf Christmas trees are the latest casualties of California's devastating drought. Northern California tree farmers are reporting that this year's crop is suffering due to the water shortage. "Ninety percent of the seedlings we planted last year died," says Jim Beck, who owns Patchen California Christmas Tree Farms in the Santa Cruz Mountains. "We simply couldn't get water to them in time." Beck closely monitors the mature Douglas Firs on his Los Gatos farm where people come to cut down their own trees. He inspects and...

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Ag Today Monday, November 30, 2015

Ag Today Monday, November 30, 2015   Sacramento Bee More California farmland could vanish as water shortages loom beyond drought By Dale Kasler FIREBAUGH - His almond trees have turned a ghostly gray, and his grapevines are shriveling. After two years without water, Garrett Rajkovich’s farm in western Fresno County is dying. It might never be farmed again. Approximately 1,200 acres face the prospect of permanent retirement. “This was a beautiful, thriving orchard five years ago,” Rajkovich said during a recent stroll through his almond grove. Rajkovich’s troubles represent an extreme case, even by the standards of California’s epic drought. Unlike many farmers, he didn’t have groundwater as a...

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Ag Today Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Ag Today Wednesday, November 25, 2015   Palm Springs Desert Sun Farmworker safety: Cal/OSHA responds By Mauricio Pena Following questions about heat-related deaths and illnesses among farmworkers, the chief of California Division of Occupational Safety and Health said Tuesday that her agency never wants to become complacent when it comes to improving worker safety. "We are always concerned about workplace injuries, illnesses and deaths," Juliann Sum told The Desert Sun in a short telephone interview. "We work as hard as possible with employers, workers, labor organizations to make sure workers are protected." "We're always looking for ways to improve," she said. The Desert Sun published a series of stories...

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Ag Today Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Ag Today Tuesday, November 24, 2015   Bloomberg News California Needs Snow to Start Falling Now for Drought Relief By Brian K Sullivan The drought relief for California widely expected from El Nino in early 2016 will be far more effective if a chill descends soon -- ideally with a bit of snow. “If we can get some snow on the ground and some cold nights, it will set up the snowpack and get cool air pooling,” said California State Climatologist Mike Anderson. Cool air, especially at high altitudes, will help ensure snow falls and stays on the ground in the mountains through the winter, as needed to...

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Ag Today Monday, November 23, 2015

Ag Today Monday, November 23, 2015   Sacramento Bee Tensions, threats as California’s new groundwater law takes shape By Ryan Sabalow HANFORD - Drive the farm roads of sparsely populated Kings County, and it’s hard to miss them: clusters of pipes, cylinders and electrical boxes jutting from the soil every few hundred yards or so, in almost every direction. These are the groundwater pumps that ensure water soaks the vast fields of tomatoes, corn, alfalfa, cherries, almonds and walnuts even when the ditches run dry. They’ve helped make agriculture the single largest industry in Kings County, where crop values actually have grown by $753 million during California’s...

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Ag Today Friday, November 20, 2015

Ag Today Friday, November 20, 2015 Palm Springs Desert Sun Death in The Fields CALIFORNIA FARMWORKERS SUFFER MORE HEAT DEATHS AND ILLNESSES THAN ANY OTHER WORKERS IN OUTDOOR INDUSTRIES By Mauricio Peña Jaime Nuño-Sanchez joked with the crew as they waited to pick lemons at a citrus grove in Southern California's sunshine-draped Coachella Valley. It was his first day back from a summer break — his first after 30 years of picking fruits and vegetables in the valley. In fields stretching for 200 miles to the Mexican border, thousands of farmworkers gather to pick or plant half a billion dollars worth of crops — lemons, table grapes,...

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Ag Today Thursday, November 19, 2015

Ag Today Thursday, November 19, 2015   Fresno Bee Water leaders debate post-drought future during Clovis symposium By Andrea Castillo Some of the state’s top water officials, along with local farmers and activists, convened in Clovis on Thursday to talk about agriculture and the impact of the drought. Los Angeles Times reporters hosted the conversation, called “Water in the West,” as part of a series of talks around the state. Around 100 people showed up at the Clovis Veterans Memorial District building to listen to experts including Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Mark Cowin, director of the California Department of Water...

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Ag Today Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ag Today Wednesday, November 18, 2015   Opinion Sacramento Bee Pesticides are used safely on California farms By Paul Wenger As a farmer who works directly with pesticides, it’s maddening to hear folks who have no first-hand knowledge make unsubstantiated claims about their use and safety. The latest is the comment from the Center for Biological Diversity, claiming that glyphosate is “probably” a human carcinogen, citing a World Health Organization report (“California needs to rid the Valley of cancer-causing pesticide,” Viewpoints, Nov. 9). There seems to be a misconception that pesticides are always bad. Shampoo, soap, every disinfectant you apply in your house and rub on your hands are...

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