Wednesday, October 25, 2017
Wildfire damage estimates will take time
It may be some time before local authorities can estimate agricultural damage from this month’s Northern California wildfires. The Napa County agricultural commissioner says his staff has been focused on helping farmers and ranchers with recovery efforts, and that full damage estimates will come later. One Napa-area grape grower says he expects it will be two years before he knows if his fire-damaged vines will recover.
Burned pastures may need years to recover
Thousands of farm animals had to be evacuated from the wildfires. As owners return their animals to the fire zone, they’ll find burned pastures that will need time to recover. A University of California Cooperative Extension specialist says it can take two to three years for burned pastures to return to normal. Authorities say efforts will be needed to heal the soil and prevent erosion during winter rains.
Programs offer aid in wildfire recovery
With the Northern California wildfires nearly contained, the focus has turned to recovery and relief efforts–with a number of local, state and federal programs underway. One local effort aims to help Sonoma County farm employees with housing. The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will make $4 million in catastrophic aid available to help rehabilitate farmland and aid in repairs and replanting.
Wolf kills cow on Lassen County ranch
In the first confirmed incident since the species returned to the state, a gray wolf has killed livestock on a California ranch. State officials confirmed that a cow killed in Lassen County this month had been attacked by a wolf. A California Farm Bureau spokeswoman says ranchers have limited options to protect their animals, because wolves have special status under state and federal law. Ranchers have sought more flexibility in deterring wolf attacks.
Service of the California Farm Bureau Federation