Drought and California's need for sustainable water are nothing more than a political ping pong ball to be hit back and forth by politicians and environmental groups. Decades after the State Water Project was started the state's population has quadrupled without adding any appreciable storage for a growing state....More
The federal program to supply temporary foreign farm workers is bogged down, and because the jobs the workers were expected to perform are not being done then farmers’ reactions are turning from pinch to pain.
Complaints are coming from the workers as well because they are not receiving the wages they expected as they are staying at home instead of occupying farm fields in California, Washington, Oregon, or several Midwest and Southern states....More
Farmers and other agricultural enterprises in California will likely be as negatively impacted as any industry in the state if new minimum wage regulations strike next year.
With 500,000 or more farm workers employed in the state’s gigantic agricultural complex, you’d expect the increase by imposed state wage control to be a boon and a boost. However, many farmers and farm employers view it as an impending disaster....More
On May 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Yuma County, Ariz. as a primary natural disaster area, due to damages and losses caused by drought.
“Our hearts go out to those Arizona farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Farmers and ranchers in Arizona’s Maricopa and Pima counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance since the counties are contiguous with Yuma....More
The California rice industry is pleased as punch with the rainfall this past fall, winter, and the ‘Miracle March’ in the Sacramento Valley where the majority of the state’s crop is grown.
The rice industry is glowing over the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s decision this spring to provide a 100 percent surface water allocation for agriculture to the area....More
A hearty applause for California urban dwellers who almost met Gov. Edmund Brown Jr.’s 25 percent water conservation mandate for the nine months since mandatory urban conservation began.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reports that statewide cumulative water savings from June 2015 to February 2016 were 23.9 percent, compared to the same months in 2013....More
The opposition to the Dam Train Initiative once again exposed California agriculture’s political underbelly, disunity. Many agricultural interests opposed it, even though its backers claimed to have agricultural backing....More
El Niño-related rain and snow falls last fall, winter, and early this spring have been on the sporadic side. Yet we should be (and are) thankful for the fallen moisture from the heavens. The Pacific Ocean-based warmer water phenomenon tossed more than a couple of buckets of rain and snow at California and Arizona – both facing severe drought....More
California’s agricultural diversity is the envy of the world. It’s also its Achilles Heel. Getting all of the state’s agricultural groups to agree on anything is like herding cats. This has been the state’s No. 1 industry’s major weakness in accomplishing much politically.
Agreements have been few and far between. The greatest occurred 40 years ago when agriculture united to defeat Proposition 14, which would have given the United Farm Workers open access to every farm in the state....More