Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Bill would aid tracking of rural crime
Aiming to slow rural crime and collect more data about the problem, a bill in the state Legislature would create a new category in the Penal Code: agricultural grand theft. Fines collected from persons convicted of agricultural grand theft would support rural crime-prevention programs. A California Farm Bureau policy advocate says the new category would also allow better tracking of crimes affecting farms and ranches.

Factors combine to reduce onion supplies
Rainy winter and spring weather has slowed onion season along the California-Oregon border, and a national group predicts short supplies this spring. Farmers in the Klamath Basin say they would typically start planting onions this week, but fields have remained too muddy. The National Onion Association says it expects tight supplies for the next few months, due to factors including weather problems in the U.S., reduced imports and increased demand.

Census provides data on California farms, ranches
Use of solar panels and other renewable-energy systems on California farms and ranches more than doubled in five years, according to the new U.S. Census of Agriculture. California leads the nation in on-farm renewable energy. Among other data, the census shows about 37 percent of the state’s farmers and ranchers are female; about 10 percent are military veterans; and the great majority of farms and ranches are owned by individuals, families or partnerships.

Satellite imagery could be harnessed for fire warnings
It wasn’t feasible a few months ago, but a University of California professor now believes it’s possible to create an early-warning system for wildfires, using existing satellite imagery. The UC Berkeley professor says data from a weather satellite and other systems can now be synthesized into a single application that could alert public-safety agencies and residents to wildfire movement.


The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.