Farm Press Blog The Farm Press Daily Blog en The irony of celebrating local food in Sacramento <div class="node-body blog-body">Food production doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The right combination of soil, climate and irrigation water that has long-blessed California with such ability however lately it is under siege by lawmakers and regulators who apparently do not believe that domestic production of agricultural goods leads to better food security. Instead, food security and sustainability are merely talking points to be mentioned when politically convenient. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Legislative Legislation Farm Press Blog Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:38:00 +0000 169951 at <p>Photo by USDA, published under Creative Commons license.</p> Organic movement is paying a big price <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>I confess. I bought organic. I really had no choice if I wanted to buy raisins at Costco. Organic Sun-Maid raisins are the only raisins the biggest big box store sells in Fresno, Calif. They were smaller and less plump than raisins grown &ldquo;non-organic&rdquo; but cheap.</p> <p>Farmers are entitled to produce certified organic, although it can be more expensive and the quality is generally lower.</p></div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Agenda Farm Press Blog Fri, 16 Sep 2016 20:49:00 +0000 169931 at <p><strong>Scott Olson, Getty Images</strong></p> Government actions can sway Calif. growers to move <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>For California farmers, recent decisions by the state&rsquo;s legislative and executive branches of government, including Governor Brown&rsquo;s recent &lsquo;John Hancock&rsquo; on the $15 per hour minimum wage and ag overtime legislation will make it H-A-R-D-E-R for them to economically remain in business in the nation&rsquo;s No. 1 farming state.</p></div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Tree Nuts Citrus Grapes Farm Press Blog Tue, 13 Sep 2016 20:28:00 +0000 169801 at When agriculture succeeds we all prosper <div class="node-body blog-body">Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wright likes to point out that his county’s drop to the No. 3 slot is completely due to water as growers on the west side of that county – Fresno is the only county in the San Joaquin Valley to cover the entire width of the Valley with farms – began having their water curtailed shortly after the turn of the 21st Century because of federal court decisions that stripped farmers of their irrigation water. Wright is right. The dust bowl that is now much of Fresno County’s west side began with the regulatory constraints on irrigation water that once freely flowed in the area. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Agenda Farm Press Blog Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:33:00 +0000 169771 at Agriculture reacts to California's new overtime law <div class="node-body blog-body">That said, Gov. Brown just signed into law AB 1066, a bill that forces farmers to pay their employees overtime after 8 hours per day. Current law exempts agricultural employees from the state’s overtime law. The law will be phased in over the next several years, meaning that farm workers who are not a part of a labor union won’t see the full effects of the law until 2020. Those who work under collective bargaining agreements will see none of this. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Legislative Legislation Farm Press Blog Mon, 12 Sep 2016 22:32:00 +0000 169751 at Will West see good winter without El Niño-La Niña? <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>Remember about this time last year when we were told to brace ourselves for an epic El Ni&ntilde;o, the likes of which we may have never seen?</p> <p>Implied in that forecast was the prediction that California would float out of its drought and life would be hunky dory.</p> <p>We know what happened. It rained enough to fill lakes Shasta, Oroville and Folsom, though that did not translate into significantly better irrigation conditions for farmers south of the Sacramento/San Joaquin River Delta.</p></div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Agenda La Nina Farm Press Blog Sun, 11 Sep 2016 17:55:00 +0000 169721 at Can California agriculture remain sustainable? <div class="node-body blog-body">Citing U.S. Department of Agriculture numbers, the CDFA suggests gross crop values could be down about $9.5 billion from the 2014 figure that came in above $50 billion for the first time in history.</div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Legislative Government Farm Press Blog Thu, 08 Sep 2016 17:20:00 +0000 169561 at Should California eradicate bass from the Delta? <div class="node-body blog-body">It’s rather ironic that one state agency and its agricultural and research partners can be hailed for eliminating an invasive species, while elsewhere in Sacramento other government officials are trying to protect invasive species to the detriment of native species and human beings. I’m referring to the recent announcement that California eradicated the European grapevine moth, a pest native to Europe that several years ago was found in a Napa County vineyard after it destroyed an 11-acre block of Chardonnay grapes. </div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Legislative Government Farm Press Blog Mon, 29 Aug 2016 21:30:00 +0000 169461 at <p>Biologist releasing a Chinook salmon in Butte Creek. California Department of Fish and Game <a href="">photo by Harry Morse</a>. Photo used under creative commons license.</p> Central Valley’s Highway 99 becoming parking lot <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>A recent commentary where I supported California&rsquo;s High Speed Rail (HSR) has led to the accusation that I have been &ldquo;Drinking the Kool-Aid.&rdquo;</p> <p>I would not go that far. HSR is an expensive boondoggle that no doubt needs changing, but I do wholeheartedly support development of alternative transportation like rail in a state that is choking to death on vehicle traffic.</p></div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Agenda Farm Press Blog Thu, 18 Aug 2016 00:03:00 +0000 169301 at VCRs, funeral, and a new strawberry transplanter <div class="node-body blog-body"><p>The VCR is dead &ndash; toast. It&rsquo;s time for the funeral. The videocassette recorder, for those old enough to remember this incredible technological innovation born almost 60 years ago, is dead. R.I.P.</p> <p>The last company to make the VCR &ndash; Funai &ndash; removed the VCR&rsquo;s life support last month, technology that likely led the way to modern tech including video cameras, smartphones, and MP3 files.</p></div> <p><a href="" target="_blank">read more</a></p> Agenda Cotton Fruits Farm Press Blog Tue, 16 Aug 2016 22:43:00 +0000 169211 at <p>Photo: Ian Waldie, Getty Images</p>