Food and Farm News—Central Valley farmers face water uncertainty

Wednesday, March 8, 2017
Central Valley farmers face water uncertainty
While they wait for word on how much water they could have this year, farmers within the Central Valley Project service area say they’re uncertain how much of their land to plant or leave idle. The CVP said last week it couldn’t yet issue its usual first water-supply report for many customers, despite a wet winter. Farmers say they should already have crops in the ground but can’t commit because they don’t know if they’ll have the water needed to bring the crops to maturity. 
Volunteers patrol levee system
With rivers running high, and likely to do so for weeks, California’s levee system comes under more scrutiny–including from volunteers who patrol levees looking for any signs of weakness. A number of reclamation and levee districts use volunteer patrols, often made up of farmers, to monitor the system. Farmers and farm employees patrol on eight- and 12-hour shifts during times of high water, reporting any concerns to district and state authorities.  
Leaders Conference features policy briefings, legislative visits
Farmers and ranchers from throughout California gathered in Sacramento Tuesday for the annual California Farm Bureau Federation Leaders Conference. Elected officials and policy specialists briefed the attendees on issues ranging from water to transportation to forest management. The Farm Bureau members also held policy discussions and visited the state Capitol to meet with legislators. 
Communities plan Valentine’s Day “do-over”
They’ll be celebrating Valentine’s Day a month later than usual in Yuba City, Oroville and other communities that had to evacuate during the Oroville Dam incident last month. People had to leave their homes and businesses on February 12, which disrupted Valentine’s Day activities two days later. A Sacramento-based flower wholesaler said the Valentine’s Day “do-over” on March 14 could help businesses that were affected by the evacuation.