Food and Farm News—Farm groups support action on “waters” rule

Wednesday, March 1, 2017
CVP supplies remain unknown for some farmers
A big snowpack and rapidly filling reservoirs allowed the federal Central Valley Project toannounce full water supplies for some farm customers Tuesday, but those south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta will wait another few weeks to learn their allocation. CVP representatives did say supplies for those customers would improve, perhaps to 50 percent. Farm groups say full supplies should be achievable in a plentiful rainfall year such as this. 
Farm groups support action on “waters” rule
An executive order from President Trump to review a disputed Clean Water Act rule has won support from agricultural leaders. The president ordered review of a “waters of the U.S.” rule that would have widened federal agencies’ jurisdiction over land. The California Farm Bureau said it hopes the action leads to a more cooperative approach to environmental regulation. The American Farm Bureau said the existing rule had created widespread confusion for farmers and ranchers. 
Farmers assess flooded orchards, vineyards
With a few days of rain-free weather expected, farmers with flooded land will work to patch and reinforce levees, and hope water can recede with minimal crop damage. But some farmers say they expect to suffer losses, including a San Joaquin County farmer whose young almond orchard has flooded three times in a month. Trees and grapevines that have been flooded can recover if the water drains quickly enough. If not, they could become vulnerable to root disease.
Congressional hearing focuses on exports
Describing exports as vital to preserving, protecting and promoting California agriculture, a farm leader told a House subcommittee Tuesday that federal farm programs play an important part in enhancing exports. California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger testified before a subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C. He said cost-sharing programs contained in federal farm legislation have helped California farmers find new foreign customers.