On a warm, sunny afternoon in late April, University of California Cooperative Extension Viticulture-Soils Farm Advisor Mark Battany guided the GMC pick-up truck across hilly, drought-parched pasture near Paso Robles on the Central Coast.
The truck moved slowly – dodging a gopher hole – to reach a new state-of-the-art weather station which extended 35-feet skyward on land owned by the J. Lohr Winery....More
The need for partnerships to meet water needs as California moves into the fourth year of a drought, the June 10 deadline for voting to sustain support for the fight against Pierce’s disease, and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar and its impact on wine exports and imports were among topics discussed at a workshop in Parlier, Calif.
The program was presented by the San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association and the California Association of Winegrape Growers....More
I live on the Delta and am a retired mechanical engineer and hold a Master’s degree in business administration. I have an idea on California’s water situation that I believe merits serious review. I call it The California Delta Fresh Water Assurance Barrier plan.
This idea is not new as similar proposals go back more than 100 years. However, California was a dramatically different place then. I believe the idea’s time has now come....More
Don’t get out the umbrellas just yet. University of Arizona agricultural meteorologist Paul Brown is suspicious of wet weather forecasts as are many of you.
“For many years, I have not trusted climate models, yet over the last 3-4 years they’ve done a pretty good job correctly predicting wet weather biases in the Southwest, including wet summer monsoon patterns,” Brown says.
The National Weather Service reports an El Niño wet weather pattern is finally in place – about six months later than expected....More
Mark Killian, tapped in April as the new director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA), is quickly finding a new home with his rural constituents on the issues and challenges which lay ahead for the Grand Canyon State’s $17 billion farming industry.
The Killian family has deep Arizona farming roots with more than a century in production agriculture.
“Agriculture has been a part of my life – I love it,” said Killian, who grows cotton, wheat, and alfalfa and raises beef on about 1,700 acres in the state....More
When most western farmers look in a crystal ball, they see themselves using less water. The real questions are how much less and how will farmers get there?
Farmers are not being paranoid in thinking that cities are after their water. The cities do want some agricultural water, but they don’t need that much....More
The devastating drought in California has created at least one positive result for the state’s farmers. It’s proving that they have few friends, maybe none, in the radical environmentalist community.
For most farmers this is not news. For years they have listened to the harping of the ‘enviros’ about pesticides, about genetically modified organisms (GMOs), about food contamination on dozens of levels, and about endangerment of wildlife habitats.
The list goes on....More
The California almond industry continues to be challenged by mainstream media and others for its water use in a state trying to keep its – uh – head above water during the fourth consecutive year of drought.
It’s not just almonds under public scrutiny but California agriculture as a whole.
Those wearing the ‘almond hat’ can certainly share ‘lids’ with the western alfalfa industry which gets regular jabs for water used to grow feed for dairy cows to produce milk, ice cream, and other dairy products....More