Ag Today October 11, 2018
Trump trade war delivers farm boom in Brazil, gloom in Iowa [Reuters]
The Bella Vita luxury condominium tower rises 20 stories over the boomtown of Luís Eduardo Magalhães in northeastern Brazil. Its private movie theater and helipad are symbols of how far this dusty farming community has come since it was founded just 18 years ago. Local soybean producers shell out upwards of a half-million U.S. dollars to live in the complex. Nearby farm equipment sellers, car dealerships and construction supply stores are bustling too. Meanwhile, nearly 5,000 miles to the north in Boone, Iowa, farmers are hunkering down. At a...
Ag Today October 10, 2018
US states agree on plan to manage overtaxed Colorado River [Associated Press]
Seven Southwestern U.S. states that depend on the overtaxed Colorado River have reached landmark agreements on how to manage the waterway amid an unprecedented drought, including a commitment by California to bear part of the burden before it is legally required to do so, officials said Tuesday….California agreed to soften the blow by voluntarily reducing its Colorado River use by about 6 percent if conditions are bad enough, said Jeffrey Kightlinger, general manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, a wholesaler serving 19 million people. Kightlinger said...
Ag Today October 9, 2018
Water leaders provide promising updates for smelt restoration project [Woodland Daily Democrat]
The second year of a program to improve conditions for the endangered Delta smelt shows promise in creating a bloom in the plankton that nourish the imperiled fish. State and federal water leaders were joined Monday by Sacramento Valley farmers and water providers along the banks of the Yolo Bypass to hail the importance of the Delta Smelt Resiliency Strategy — a multipronged effort around restoring wetland habitat across the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to bolster the smelt population....A key part of the strategy is this year’s “flow pulse”...
Ag Today October 8, 2018
California's carbon-credit market often pays for greenhouse gas reductions that would've happened anyway [San Diego Union-Tribune]
…Under the offset program, everyone from dairy farmers trapping methane to timber companies embracing progressive logging practices to nonprofits preserving natural landscapes can sell carbon credits and get paid for their efforts to fight climate change….However, reporting by the San Diego Union-Tribune has revealed numerous instances where companies and nonprofits selling offsets didn’t shrink their carbon footprint as a result of the program — raising questions about the ability of the program to fight climate change. In some situations, groups maintained green business practices that...
Ag Today October 5, 2018
Trump’s NAFTA deal solves a small issue for California dairy farmers, but this major problem remains [Sacramento Bee]
…But AcMoody said the good news is more than offset by the ongoing effects of devastating tariffs on American-made cheese that Mexico imposed in June — to retaliate for steel and aluminum tariffs added by the Trump administration. The cheese tariffs range from 20 to 25 percent….“We’ve seen California farmers, ranchers and agricultural marketers lose sales because of the retaliatory tariffs from Canada, Mexico and in particular from China,” said the Farm Bureau’s Johansson. “Until those tariffs come off, farmers won’t see the...
Ag Today October 4, 2018
Denham is desperate to stop a California water plan. Nothing has worked – yet [McClatchy News Service]
Rep. Jeff Denham, one of the nation’s most vulnerable Republicans, is trying desperately to shut down a state water plan that’s widely disliked in his district. But nothing has worked so far. One thing could: Yet another lawsuit between the Department of Justice and the state of California over the issue….Farm bureaus and other agriculture worker representatives have staunchly opposed the plan, known as the Bay Delta Plan, as it relates to the San Joaquin Valley, and water is one of the — if...
Ag Today October 3, 2018
U.S. lawmakers, at impasse on new Farm Bill, mull extension of old one [Reuters]
U.S. lawmakers are considering a short-term extension of the Farm Bill as talks over a new bill stalled, two Republican senators said on Tuesday, a move that would leave a critical heartland issue in limbo ahead of November congressional elections. The bill provides funding for an array of key programs, including crop subsidies and rural development. The latest one, passed in 2014, expired formally on Sept. 30 after talks over its replacement broke down. "Unfortunately, we are in a situation where it is stalled," Iowa Republican Senator...
Ag Today October 2, 2018
Trump's NAFTA revision pries open Canada's dairy market [Los Angeles Times]
Dairy farms in Trump country won back a multimillion-dollar trade niche with Canada under a revised agreement with the United States’ northern neighbor. Wisconsin and upstate New York will be able to resume exporting milk products used mostly in cheese and yogurt production under terms of the revised trade agreement announced Monday….The win for one niche of dairy exports, however, was not extended to all others — Canada will retain its ability to limit imports of dairy products under a supply-control system it has used to protect domestic producers.
Ag Today October 1, 2018
U.S. farmers welcome new North American trade pact [Wall Street Journal]
Farmers and agribusinesses welcomed the agreement on a new North American trade pact, easing fears that the Trump administration’s tough negotiating strategy could deepen economic struggles in the U.S. heartland. Agreement late Sunday between the U.S. and Canada, following an updated U.S.-Mexico trade deal agreed in August, is expected to preserve tens of billions of dollars in farm goods traded annually across the countries’ borders, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates….“In trade negotiations, and I’ve been around a lot of them, there’s always a lot of pressure that builds...
Ag Today September 28, 2018
California governor vetoes 2 bills to help undocumented immigrants [Santa Maria Times]
California Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed two bills Thursday seeking to expand the rights of immigrants living in the country illegally and protect them from deportation. One bill would have allowed anyone to serve on state boards and commissions regardless of their immigration status, while the other sought to block immigration authorities from making arrests inside courthouses. The move by Brown. a Democrat, avoids opening another front in California's war with President Donald Trump. The governor said he saw no reason to change a state law requiring citizenship to serve...