Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Government shutdown causes mixed impact
Essential federal services and programs affecting agriculture remain in operation during the partial government shutdown, while others have gone on hiatus. Because U.S. Agriculture Department offices have closed during the shutdown, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said Tuesday the agency will allow farmers extra time to apply for relief from retaliatory trade tariffs. Programs such as food inspection and grading continue to operate. (See full article)

Storms bolster Sierra snowpack
A few days made a big difference in the Sierra Nevada snowpack. When surveyors conducted the year’s first manual measurement last week, the snowpack stood at only about two-thirds of average for the date. But after strong weekend storms, the snowpack has improved to more than 80 percent of average levels. Water managers monitor the readings to help anticipate future water supplies. (See full article)

New technique aims to fight soil pests
Saying they’re encouraged by early results, University of California researchers plan further tests on a new way to attack soil-borne pests. Known as “bio-solarization,” the process taps the sun’s heat and microorganisms contained in crop byproducts such as tomato skins and nut hulls. Researchers say adding the byproducts to soil, then covering it with tarps to collect solar heat, attacks soil pests while activating beneficial microbes.

American Farm Bureau meeting to begin
The nation’s largest farm organization kicks off its centennial year later this week, as the American Farm Bureau Federation holds its 100th Annual Convention in New Orleans. Delegates from California will join more than 6,000 Farm Bureau members from around the nation for the event, which will feature a wide range of speakers and educational programs. On the convention’s final day, delegates from state Farm Bureaus will establish AFBF policy for the coming year.


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.