Kern County Farmers Say Water Infrastructure is Needed to Curb Drought

On Aug. 3, the State Water Resources Control Board completely eliminated 2021’s surface water supplies for farms in much of the state. It has impacted farmers like John Moore III, who grows pistachios at Moore Farms in Arvin.

“We’ve got about 100 acres of pistachios, 200 of almonds and everything else goes to open farmland, carrots, potatoes and we have a small block of citrus as well that goes to both domestic and export buyers,” said Moore

Opinion: Pushing Congress to Move on Aging Water Infrastructure

The American food consumer has access to fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains and meat throughout the year. That’s largely because of Western producers and the projects that provide water to these farmers and ranchers.

Western irrigators have been dealing with changes in climate and hydrology for more than a century. But the outlook for water supplies in the future is not positive.

Climate Crisis Action Plan Recognizes Value of Agriculture

The House Select Committee on the Climate Crisis recently released its Climate Crisis Action Plan as a comprehensive framework to address environmental issues moving forward. The plan, ‘Solving the Climate Crisis: The Congressional Action Plan for a Clean Energy Economy and a Healthy, Resilient, and Just America,’ outlines ambitious policies to combine economic growth with the development and implementation of environmental solutions.

Coronavirus Pandemic has Affected State’s Food, Agriculture and Environment

COVID-19 continues to affect parts of California agriculture in different ways. A new report from agricultural economists at the University of California examines the current and long-term impacts on California’s leading agricultural industries.

Profiles in the report illustrate the different ways the pandemic has impacted dairy, beef and produce — industries that have scrambled to repurpose products from foodservice to retail — and tree nuts, an industry that saw a temporary spike in sales as consumers hoarded storable goods. The report includes expert assessments of what the future holds for California’s cattle, dairy, produce, strawberry, tomato, tree nut and wine industries.

California Agriculture and COVID-19

In recent weeks, we’ve been sharing stories of how California agriculture is adapting under the current circumstances stemming from COVID-19. I have a few more for you here today.

The impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic reverberate through California agriculture, according to speakers at an online forum. During a virtual town hall hosted by chairs of the Legislature’s agriculture committees, economists said changes in diets and buying habits have disrupted every aspect of the farming business. One analyst said agriculture faces a “one-two punch” from the pandemic shutdown and a slow economic recovery.

Opinion: California and Federal Government Need to Resolve Differences on Water Supply Issues

Re “California water war re-ignited”; Dan Walters, April 20, 2020, CalMatters

Dan Walters’ column does a good job describing a potential water battle that all Californians should want to avoid.

The COVID-19 pandemic has rendered uncertain many things we used to take for granted. When can we next go to a restaurant, plan a vacation or go to a baseball game? We can’t afford to add to that list, “will there be food at the grocery store?” Our food supply has been one of the few things we’ve been able to count on in recent months and we need that to continue.

Treated Wastewater May be Safe for Aquaculture

Although aquaculture in treated wastewater is practiced worldwide, there is scant scientific research concerning whether organic micropollutants are present at safe levels for consumption.

A new study in Aquaculture by researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev has determined that organic micropollutants in the water—trace elements of heavy metals, pharmaceuticals and personal care products as well as pesticides, solvents, and detergents—result in minimal accumulation in fish. Additionally, the wastewater does not appear to affect other commercially important traits of fish.