A non-partisan federal watchdog says climate change is already costing U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars each year, with those costs expected to rise as devastating storms, floods, wildfires and droughts become more frequent in the coming decades.
As wildfires have raged across Northern California, claiming lives and scorching more than 200,000 acres, they are also taking a toll on cannabis farmers who have lost both homes and valuable crops — and have little hope of getting help from insurance or banks in an industry that remains legally hazy.
The farm bill, which is up for congressional reauthorization in 2018, provides a ready-made opportunity for lawmakers to strengthen rural economies. Indeed, that goal was the impetus for the very first farm bill in 1933, which was passed to support struggling farmers who had lost their farms, crops, and earnings in the wake of the Dust Bowl—a period of severe dust storms brought on by drought, poor land management, and soil erosion that devastated the agriculture and ecology of the Great Plains.
Today [Oct. 17], the State Water Board adopted a new statewide policy establishing strict environmental standards for cannabis cultivation in order to protect water flows and water quality in California’s rivers and streams. … “We are establishing the environmental protection rules of the road needed to deal with the expected expansion of cannabis cultivation statewide,” said State Water Board Chair Felicia Marcus.
With the marijuana legalization date of Jan. 1, 2018 rapidly approaching in California, the state is getting serious about regulations. On Tuesday, the State Water Board adopted new environmental rules for cannabis cultivation to protect water flows and water quality in rivers and streams.
Work has begun on CalPlant 1 LLC, which will eventually be turning post-harvest rice straw into fiberboard for furniture construction. For weeks, truck after truck has been delivering baled rice straw to the plant site on Highway 162 west of Willows.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced Friday that it will let farmers keep spraying the weedkilling chemical dicamba on Monsanto’s new dicamba-tolerant soybeans and cotton. The decision is a victory for the biotech giant and the farmers who want to use the company’s newest weedkilling technology.
[Mario] Maldonado, a Guatemalan immigrant with U.S. residency, focused on the task at hand: harvesting some of the last Cabernet Sauvignon grapes of the wine harvest at Slinson Vineyard, owned by C. Mondavi and Family. This particular fruit would go to make prized reserve wine — which is picked by hand only, said Judd Wallenbrock, the winery’s president and chief executive.
You wouldn’t think I’d [Paul Wenger] need to say this in a state that has proudly led the nation in agricultural production for 70-plus years, but I guess I need to: California agriculture represents a crucial asset to this state, economically and environmentally.
Fatal fires that have consumed nearly 200,000 acres in Northern California, devastating the region’s vineyards particularly in Napa and Sonoma Counties, are also taking a toll on a fledgling industry just months before its debut: recreational marijuana.
A bloc of San Joaquin farmers tentatively endorsed the Delta tunnels project Thursday, becoming the first significant agricultural group to support the struggling plan. But the level of support from members of the Kern County Water Agency, which serves much of the $7 billion-a-year farm economy at the southern end of the valley, was less than wholehearted.
Rob Gimpel is usually thinking about getting tulip bulbs in the ground this time of year, but right now he’s ready to harvest pumpkins. It’s an unusual activity for Gimpel, the lead gardener of the areas around the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., but one that he’s been thoroughly enjoying as part of this year’s War Garden project.
In 2015, Albuquerque delivered as much water as it had in 1983, despite its population growing by 70 percent. In 2016, Tucson delivered as much water as it had in 1984, despite a 67 percent increase in customer hook-ups. The trend is the same for Phoenix, Las Vegas and Los Angeles, said longtime water policy researcher Gary Woodard, who rattled off these statistics in a recent phone interview.
Fire is tearing through a region that produces some of the world’s priciest wines. The Atlas, Tubbs and other devastating wildfires roaring through parts of Northern California have taken aim at the world-renowned vineyards and wineries of Napa and Sonoma counties, thrusting a multibillion-dollar industry into chaos.
Last winter’s heavy rains were a welcome relief for Central Valley farmers after years of drought. But the high water that came with them also made it clear that we must upgrade the flood control system designed to protect people, farms and cities from catastrophic flooding.