Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Tribe calling for spring Chinook to be listed as endangered species (with audio)

Scientists at U.C. Davis have found a genetic distinction between Chinook salmon that migrate in spring and fall. That has a Northern California tribe calling to make spring Chinook an endangered species. But some farmers are skeptical. 

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Governor’s water-tunnel project runs into money uncertainty

Just months after Gov. Jerry Brown’s plan to shore up California’s water system with two giant tunnels won key approval from regulators, the $17 billion project is running into potential financial problems.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

San Joaquin Valley farmers think Sacramento water agencies should help pay for Delta tunnels

Westlands Water District, whose board of directors is scheduled to vote Tuesday on whether to help pay for the tunnels, says it needs to spread the costs among a greater number of water districts, both north and south of the Delta, to make the project affordable to the Fresno and Kings county farmers who get water from Westlands.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

UC Davis settles strawberry breeding lawsuit

Fear not, strawberry lovers. A nasty lawsuit over the strawberry breeding program at UC Davis – the wellspring of about half of California’s strawberry crop – is history.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Will Southland wind up holding much of the $17-billion bill for Delta water tunnels?

Some of the state’s biggest water districts are about to make their opening moves in a financial chess game that ultimately could saddle the Southland with much of the bill for re-engineering the failing heart of California’s water system.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Why it’s legal to pump untreated canal water into Californians’ homes

It takes Humberto Lugo several minutes to explain how the home he is standing in front of actually gets its water. … An irrigation canal runs by the front of the property, and brings water not just to the surrounding farms but also to homes.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

Coast Seafoods can keep farming shellfish in Humboldt Bay

Following months of negotiations, the California Coastal Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a permit to allow Coast Seafoods Company to continue its shellfish farming operations in Humboldt Bay through 2025. 

Aquafornia news East Bay Times

Santa Clara County bans commercial marijuana grows

[Santa Clara] County supervisors have approved a 45-day moratorium on marijuana growing operations that can be extended for two years while they consider next steps in what officials called a changing landscape, as the state drafts its own regulations on recreational pot cultivation. …  “The environmental damage we’ve seen is very disturbing,” [Deputy County Executive Sylvia] Gallegos said.

Aquafornia news Santa Rosa Press Democrat

North Coast grape growers scramble in rain aftermath to protect against rot

Mother Nature threw a new curve ball at local grape growers Wednesday as thunderstorms rolled through North Coast vineyards, the latest challenge for a volatile harvest season already marked by heat spikes, humidity and cool rain sprinkles.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Commentary: There was a time when Sacramento didn’t want to be an ag town

It has been nearly 20 years since the idea for Soil Born Farms was planted. Agriculture, as it has since the 1840’s, was booming in the Sacramento Valley. There were some early voices singing the virtues of our agricultural heritage to the growing population of city slickers back then.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Thunderstorm, heavy rain damages raisin crop in Fresno County

Raisin farmer Kuldip Chatha said it seemed like more than a thunderstorm that dumped buckets of rain on his crop Monday night. … And while rain is generally a good thing for farmers, it isn’t for raisins.

Aquafornia news NPR

Florida’s farmers look at Irma’s damage

When the worst of Irma’s fury had passed, Gene McAvoy hit the road to inspect citrus groves and vegetable fields.

Aquafornia news Marin Independent Journal

Marin supervisors approve $1.6 million to preserve 998-acre ranch

The 998-acre Evans-Giacomini ranch just outside Point Reyes Station is closer to agricultural preservation now that the Board of Supervisors pitched in for the purchase this week. The supervisors Tuesday voted unanimously to authorize the use of about $1.6 million in Measure A sales tax funds to help pay for a $3.28 million Marin Agricultural Land Trust easement on the property.

Aquafornia news Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California

Blog: Water challenges for California’s small farm community

Small farmers were hit hard by California’s drought. Perhaps none as hard as the Hmong and other Southeast Asian farmers that lease small plots of land, often with declining groundwater levels, shallow wells, and outdated irrigation systems.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

California citrus outpaces Florida but risk from bacterial disease remains (with audio)

The Asian citrus psyllid spreads the deadly bacterial disease known as huonglongbing to citrus trees. 

Aquafornia news Appeal-Democrat

Prune crop failure brings down Yuba County crop totals

Yuba County’s 2016 crop report shows total production was 9 percent lower than anticipated – the decrease almost entirely due to a prune crop failure. County farms netted a gross value of $214.9 million last year, the recently released report shows. The 2015 value estimate called for $231.8 million.

Aquafornia news The Globe and Mail

In the face of drought, Canadian farmers adjust to a changing climate

Kevin Auch is in his aging 9750 John Deere combine, harvesting canola in southern Alberta. This year’s drought, now unleashing consequences in the form of fires and low crop yields, hit his area hard.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

Torrid temperatures shrivel California wine grapes to raisins

Humans weren’t the only ones caught off guard and uncomfortable by the Bay Area’s Labor Day weekend heat spike.

Aquafornia news Capital Public Radio

Researchers test new methods to protect cows from heat (with audio)

During California heat waves, dairy farms use a lot water and energy to keep their cows cool. UC Davis researchers are trying out new techniques that use less resources. 

Aquafornia news Eugene Register-Guard

Oregon judge rejects claims of Klamath Basin irrigators

An Oregon judge has rejected claims by several Klamath Basin irrigators that state regulators wrongly shut down their groundwater wells based on faulty scientific analysis.