California Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers asked the U.S. government Friday for $7.4 billion to help rebuild after a cluster of fires tore through the heart of wine country, killing more than 40 people and leaving thousands without housing.
Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue heard two main messages from farmers in Sunday’s visit to Modesto — keep export barriers down and lighten up on regulation. President Donald Trump’s top farm official heard concerns also about labor and water supplies in a question-and-answer session at the Modesto Junior College West Campus.
The U.S. Secretary of Agriculture stopped at a Madera farm Sunday evening as part of his two-day stop in California, where Sonny Perdue talked about helping young people in the farming industry and about the challenges farmers in California face. … Perdue was joined congressmen Jim Costa and Jimmy Panetta.
Droughts. Soaking winters. Heat waves. Wildfires. The last several years have whipsawed West Coast winemakers such as David Graves, who produces that oh-so-delicate of varietals, pinot noir. It is also prompting vintners to ponder whether climate change — once seen as distant concern — is already visiting their vineyards.
About 4,000 schoolchildren from across southern San Joaquin County got a taste of farm life Thursday at the latest AgVenture celebration at the Manteca Unified School District Farm. Some of these kids have never been on a farm before.
Throughout Wine Country, as the harrowing 2017 harvest nears its end, small-scale growers like Bucklin are facing a harsh reality: Wineries may not be willing to buy their product because they don’t want to sell smoke-tainted wines to consumers. When that happens, it’s largely not the wineries that take the hit, but the growers.
Every river draining the western Sierra Nevada mountains has a major dam, with the exception of the Cosumnes. As the last free-flowing river in the region, the Cosumnes’ 809,600-acre watershed harbors native habitat types and species found in few other places in California, including the largest oak riparian forest in the state.
A weed killer called dicamba has damaged more than 3.6 million acres of soybean crops, or about 4 percent of all soybeans planted in the United States this year, the Environmental Protection Agency said Wednesday in calling for an urgent federal response. … The damage estimates were presented during a meeting Wednesday called by the E.P.A. and attended by pesticide manufacturers, state agriculture officials, farmer groups and environmentalists.
It’s been almost 70 years since Michael J. Machado was born in San Joaquin County, but he still calls Linden home. … He also sees the fields from another perspective: As someone who graduated from Stanford with an economics degree at age 22 and spent more than a decade as a California lawmaker, Machado has a better perspective than most on the complicated relationship between northern water and southern cities.
One of the most widely used insecticides in America is the subject of a regulatory battle. Earlier this year the Trump administration chose not to move ahead with efforts to ban chlorpyrifos, first put in place by the Obama administration. Now, California is in the process of tightening its own regulations of the insecticide, and that has some farmers searching for answers.
The full extent of the damage from the northern California wildfires that killed 43 people and destroyed 8,400 homes is still being tallied. The devastation left an obvious scar, but not all the damage is visible. Among the assessments still to be made is what impact millions of gallons of fire retardant—essentially a potent fertilizer—may have on carefully tended plants and soils.
A Southern California company that planted a hemp farm in the Delta for “agricultural and academic research” has filed a federal lawsuit against San Joaquin County, after supervisors banned such farms and authorities seized the plants.
In the spring of 2016, the Delaneys discovered there was a drug cartel growing marijuana nearby: About 2,500 plants were scattered through the [national] forest, connected by long vines of irrigation line used to transport water from springs, creeks and manmade water catches to water the plants, as well as a makeshift kitchen and sleeping quarters.
A Bella Vista man owes over $143,000 after state water officials say he illegally developed his property to grow marijuana and ignored their orders to stop, releasing sediment into a creek in the process.
Supervisors will consider allowing existing dwellings on Williamson Act properties to be used as temporary housing for fire victims, as long as doing so doesn’t displace farmworkers, undermine “current or foreseeable future agricultural operations” or necessitate the “extension of urban services or infrastructure,” according to a [Sonoma] county staff report.
Destructive and deadly wildfires that erupted nearly simultaneously across the region Oct. 8 couldn’t have come at a worse time for the North Coast’s cannabis industry, which was in the midst of the outdoor harvest and also scrambling to secure the right to operate under new state and local laws governing cannabis.
Over the past 12 years, the country’s biggest urban water agency has paid farmers about $190 million not to grow crops on thousands of acres near the Colorado River in the Palo Verde Valley. The water has gone to Los Angeles and other cities across Southern California, and in return, the farmers who’ve left some of their lands unplanted have been able to count on additional income.