Aquafornia news The Desert Sun

IID sold land to solar firm for $6 million, watched it get flipped for $14 million

Six years ago, the Imperial irrigation District agreed to sell 1,400 acres of farmland to a solar developer working with ZGlobal, an engineering firm whose work for IID is now being investigated by Imperial County’s district attorney. A month after IID sold the land for $5.77 million, it was flipped to another company for $14.2 million, newly obtained records show — meaning the public utility may have left millions of dollars on the table.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

California Westlands water settlement is left in limbo

This year, the annual bill governing national defense policy almost settled a three-decades-old conflict in California over the drainage of toxic water from farm fields. Lawmakers finished resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the military bill, legislation that addresses troop numbers and overseas operations, on Nov. 8.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Don’t be scared if you see this beast rolling through orchard

It looks like something out of a “Mad Max” movie. But this shiny, rolling beast isn’t from the future – it’s the latest in agriculture automation. It’s called the Global Unmanned Spray System, or GUSS for short and it’s being made by Crinklaw Farm Services, a Kingsburg agriculture spray company.

Aquafornia news The Sacramento Bee

Editorial: Even sweet potatoes are diverse in California—and worth millions

Sweet potatoes don’t have the value of almonds, nor the swank of, say, pinot noir grapes or heirloom tomatoes. They might not even have the cachet of Brussels sprouts. But this time of year, no family feast would be complete without them. And so today we write an ode to the humble sweet potato, a distant cousin of non-sweet potatoes, and to the farmers who produce them.

Aquafornia news Ag Alert, California Farm Bureau Federation

Groundwater recharge brings opportunities, complications

Nearly everyone agrees groundwater recharge is a great idea, but how should it be done? Where should it be done? Who should do it? Those were the questions swirling around the Sacramento Convention Center as agricultural, environmental and regulatory professionals explored the subject at a public forum sponsored by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the State Board of Food and Agriculture.

Aquafornia news Woodland Daily Democrat

New study catches on to fish in fields

Amid a long-standing tug-o-war between environmental agencies and traditional agriculture, a perfect pairing might exist in spite of human involvement — as per Jurassic Park, “nature finds a way.” Such is the case in the Sacramento Valley, where the rice crops dominate much of the agricultural terrain, and a new study could reveal something fishy about the industry.

Aquafornia news San Francisco Chronicle

California releases long-awaited cannabis regulations

There will be no cannabis cappuccinos or drone deliveries in California under the new pot rules state officials released Thursday that regulate everything from who can legally sell and deliver marijuana to how it must be packaged and transported.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

Hanford farmer and water expert appointed to state agency by Trump administration

Aubrey Bettencourt of Hanford has been appointed by the Trump Administration to be the state executive director for the United States Department of Agriculture’s California Farm Service Agency. Bettencourt, who joined the state FSA team on Monday, is well known in agricultural circles, locally and statewide.

Aquafornia news Western Water on Tap

State taking steps to manage subsidence-related impacts to California Aqueduct

For as long as agriculture has existed in the Central Valley, farmers have pumped water from the ground to sustain their livelihood and grow food consumed by much of the nation. This has caused the ground in certain places to sink, sometimes dramatically, eliminating valuable aquifer storage space that can never be restored. The damage by subsidence extends to the California Aqueduct, the 700-mile artificial river that conveys water from Northern California to the valley and beyond as the principal feature of the State Water Project.

Aquafornia news Eureka Times-Standard

California to limit cannabis farms to one acre per person until 2023

The 1-acre grow limit was released this week as part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s environmental review of the state’s revised cannabis cultivation rules. These revised rules are expected to be released Thursday along with others regulating testing, licensing and other aspects of the industry.

Aquafornia news Water Deeply

Timeline: The long history of California’s Delta tunnels plan

It’s been more than half a century since Californians started talking seriously about building a new conveyance system – canals or tunnels – to divert water around the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta to south Delta pumps for export to farms and cities in the south.

Aquafornia news Los Angeles Times

Thursday’s Top of the Scroll: Trump’s environmental rollbacks hit California hard, despite Sacramento’s resistance

When 50,000 acre-feet of water went gushing out of the Sacramento River last month, it fast became a test of California’s ability to protect its environmental policies from an increasingly hostile Trump administration. The episode proved humbling.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Minority of farmers join anti-runoff effort as algae worsens

Pungent, sometimes toxic blobs are fouling waterways from the Great Lakes to Chesapeake Bay, from the Snake River in Idaho to New York’s Finger Lakes and reservoirs in California’s Central Valley. … California last year reported toxic blooms in more than 40 lakes and waterways, the most in state history.

Aquafornia news U.S. Geological Survey

News Release: New map of worldwide croplands supports food and water security

India has the highest net cropland area while South Asia and Europe are considered agricultural capitals of the world. A new map was released today [Nov. 14] detailing croplands worldwide in the highest resolution yet, helping to ensure global food and water security in a sustainable way. The map establishes that there are 1.87 billion hectares of croplands in the world, which is 15 to 20 percent—or 250 to 350 million hectares (Mha)—higher than former assessments.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Organic-food purists assail designation for hydroponics

The National Organic Standards Board, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture, voted this month against a proposal to exclude hydroponics and aquaponics — the raising of plants without soil and fish using the same water — from the USDA’s organic certification program.

Aquafornia news McClatchy

If U.S. went vegan, emissions would drop. But there’s a catch, a new study says.

If the entire United States went vegan, it could be great for the environment. But it’s a lot more complicated than advocates for an all-vegan country might hope, a new study found.

Aquafornia news The Fresno Bee

You like kiwi? Then you might love this monster-size variety of the fruit.

A Reedley farmer has a big surprise for kiwi lovers. Jerry Kliewer is the exclusive grower of the largest variety of the fruit you have ever seen. … The fruit is the result of a natural genetic mutation, not genetic engineering.

Aquafornia news The Modesto Bee

Wondering what you’ll pay for electricity next year? MID, TID budgets address that.

Electricity customers will not confront higher prices in 2018 in the Modesto or Turlock irrigation districts, budget documents suggest. … The MID board has raised farmers’ water prices several times in recent years for a combined increase of about 70 percent.

Aquafornia news Associated Press

Rural areas at risk as water levels drop in Ogallala aquifer

The draining of a massive aquifer that underlies portions of eight states in the central U.S. is drying up steams, causing fish to disappear and threatening the livelihood of farmers who rely on it for their crops. … An analysis of federal data found the Ogallala aquifer shrank twice as fast over the past six years compared with the previous 60, The Denver Post reports.

Aquafornia news High Country News

Westlands water settlement in limbo

This year, the annual bill governing national defense policy almost settled a three-decades-old conflict in California over toxic water draining from farm fields. Lawmakers finished resolving the differences between the House and Senate versions of the military bill, legislation that addresses troop numbers and overseas operations, on Wednesday.