Wednesday, August 2, 2017
Farm bill session to be held in Modesto
As part of its work to shape new federal farm legislation, the House Agriculture Committee will hold a listening session in Modesto this week. The Saturday session will gather comments from farmers, ranchers and other interested people. Congress plans to write a new farm bill next year, authorizing programs on conservation, research, nutrition and other aspects of agricultural and food policy.
Proponents write new water bond measures
Drought remains on Californians’ minds despite this season’s wet winter, and as many as four new bond proposals address continuing efforts to improve the state’s water system. Two of the proposals have been created in the state Legislature. The other two would need to qualify via signature drives. Each aims for the 2018 statewide ballot, and could build on the Proposition 1 water bond voters passed in 2014.
Tomato harvest picks up speed
They’ve faced challenges this season, and farmers who grow processing tomatoes say their harvest has gotten off to a slow but good start. Spring rains delayed tomato planting, then heat waves during the growing season further affected the crop. Farmers say their harvests have been starting later than they did last year. California leads the nation in production of processing tomatoes, which go into salsa, ketchup and other products. (
Rice agreement opens new markets
The promise of new markets in China encourages California rice farmers. A trade agreement allows American rice to enter China, and California farmers say they may be uniquely suited to fit the market. For one thing, California is much closer to China than other rice-growing regions of the U.S. In addition, California farms specialize in growing high-quality, medium-grain rice that could fill a market niche in China.