Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Fresno County grower gets into hop farming for beer

Fowler Packing, one of the region’s largest farming companies, is getting into the craft beer business. Well, sort of. The Parnagian family is jumping into hop farming.

Aquafornia news KQED Public Media for Northern California

Could vegan farming be the newest trend? These Salinas farmers hope so

It’s a crowded CSA market in the Bay Area, with mainstays like Full Belly Farm and Eatwell Farm feeding hundreds of members weekly with their boxes of local, seasonal and organic produce. But there’s a new contender looking for members, offering something unique, something more than just its cheeky name: Lazy Millennial Farms.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

One million acres of almonds

The final forecast for California’s record-breaking almond crop this year wasn’t as big as expected. It was bigger.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Wednesday’s Top of the Scroll: California farmer tries new strategy in fight with federal government over $2.8 million plowing fine

Northern California farmer John Duarte, facing millions of dollars in fines for plowing a Sacramento Valley wheat field, previously sought help from President Donald Trump’s attorney general and EPA chief to get the government off his back. Now Duarte is making an 11th-hour bid for a dismissal of the federal government’s high-profile case against him.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Forecast predicts biggest harvest ever for California almond growers (with audio)

California almond growers are looking at the biggest crop ever according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast. Even bigger harvests are in the future. 

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Reinforcements arrive to help with destructive Montana fires

Crews and equipment from 34 states arrived Monday to help fight four massive wildfires that have destroyed a dozen homes in eastern Montana and forced ranchers to let their livestock loose as the blazes spread unhindered across roads, rivers and man-made fire lines.

Aquafornia news UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences

Blog: Water wasted to the sea?

If we farmed the Central Valley or managed water supplies for San Francisco, San Jose or Los Angeles, we might think that fresh water flowing from the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers through the Delta to San Francisco Bay is “wasted” because it ends up in the Pacific Ocean as an unused resource. However, different perspectives emerge as we follow the downstream movement of river water through the Delta and into San Francisco Bay.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Delta survives latest ‘test’

The engineers who scrambled to prevent Delta farms from flooding this year have long insisted that the levees surrounding those low-lying islands are not as fragile as they’re sometimes portrayed to be.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Commentary: A bold water grab remarkable in its selfishness

Nothing is more tangible proof of government’s disregard for Stockton than the dirty, half-dead San Joaquin River. Still, it’s better than what Republicans have in mind.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

As California’s labor shortage grows, farmers race to replace workers with robots

AgroBot is still more John Deere than C-3PO — a boxy contraption moving in fits and starts, with its computer-driven sensors, graspers and cutters missing 1 in 3 berries. Such has been the progress of ag-tech in California, where despite the adoption of drones, iPhone apps and satellite-driven sensors, the hand and knife still harvest the bulk of more than 200 crops.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

China to import rice from U.S. for first time

Sonny Perdue, the U.S. Department of Agriculture secretary, made the announcement Thursday, saying that not only is China the largest consumer of rice, but it’s also the largest importer.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

The drought is over. Why are Republicans in Congress fighting for more water for farmers?

The drought may be over and Central Valley farmers are getting more water than they have in years, but that hasn’t stopped congressional Republicans from resurrecting a bill that would strip environmental protections for fish so more water can be funneled to agriculture. … Some version of [Rep. David] Valadao’s bill has been introduced off and on since 2011 without success. 

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

California declared four nuts the official state nut. Technically they’re all seeds

The almond, pecan, walnut and pistachio were each officially declared California’s state nut when Gov. Jerry Brown recently signed the declaration into law.

Aquafornia news McClatchy Washington, D.C., Bureau

Should foreign farm workers be allowed to become citizens?

According to data from the State Department, more than 134,000 temporary visas were issued to agricultural workers in the 2016 fiscal year, a number that has more than doubled since 2011, illustrating of the growing demand from farmers for foreign workers. A House subcommittee Wednesday heard both sides of this debate.

Aquafornia news Chico Enterprise-Record

Positive reaction to proposed rice straw fiberboard plant

Whether a rice grower decides to bale or turn under their straw, there seems to be general optimism among the region’s rice industry that another alternative to getting rid of rice straw may be available.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Tomales Bay aquaculture operations focus of state hearing

Keeping Tomales Bay clean as it hosts shellfish aquaculture operations was the focus of a state-sponsored hearing Monday at the Marconi Conference Center. In the past few years there has been increased attention on aquaculture practices and stewardship on state-licensed operations around California, particularly related to marine debris, according to Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.

Aquafornia news California Institute for Water Resources, University of California

Blog: Working with wild horses and water controversies in rural California

Watering holes can be hard to come by in the high desert of northeastern California. Pronghorn, deer, cattle, and wild horses are all visitors to the springs and ponds scattered across the often dry grasslands. The number of wild horses has jumped quickly in recent years, bringing a host of water-related challenges, and no small amount of controversy.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

These farmers say they may not pay for Delta tunnels pushed by governor

The governor’s proposed Delta tunnels ran into a roomful of skeptics Monday – an influential group of San Joaquin Valley farmers who remain unconvinced the controversial project will deliver the water they need at a price they’re prepared to swallow.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Battle looms as California moves to dedicate more water to fish

The State Water Resources Control Board announced in September that it plans to return the San Joaquin River to 40 percent of its “unimpaired flow.” … The goal, according to the water board, is to rebalance water demand on the state’s second-largest river. … The board plans a similar process for the Sacramento River, the state’s largest river.

Aquafornia news Stockton Record

Federal water legislation: ‘It’s going to be a fight’

Whatever the prognosticators say, the latest effort by south San Joaquin Valley Republicans to wring more water out of the Delta is undeniably ambitious. A bill that cleared the House of Representatives last week requires the Delta to be governed by 20-year-old water quality standards that scientists say are inadequate for the estuary’s freshwater ecosystem.