Sunday, April 14, 2024
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Suspended UK tariffs reflect $4 million in relief to U.S. almond importers.  By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice  On April 9, Clarice Turner commemorated her first 100 days as President and CEO of the Almond Board of California through a virtual press conference, highlighting the state of the industry and innovative strategies to support almond consumption.   Notably in March, the UK...

Balancing Fish and Flows

By Scott Hamilton, President, Hamilton Resource Economics  It was the 29th of February 2024. The big storm that would drop 10 feet of snow off the Sierra Nevada in early March was yet to arrive. Still, floodwaters made their way through the Yolo Bypass, circumnavigating Sacramento and saving the city from flooding. Despite the floodwater, the State Water Project allocation...
winegrape harvest
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  The agricultural industry in California is one of the largest economic drivers in the state with over 400 commodities which account for over a third of the country’s vegetables and three-fourths of the country’s fruits and nuts.   Tulare, Fresno, and Kern counties ranked in the top 5 for U.S. agricultural sales according to the recently released...
By Jenny Holtermann, President, Kern County Farm Bureau  Growing up on a family farm, I remember my father dealing with multiple challenges facing the agriculture industry. A dependable workforce, irrigation deficiencies, low market prices, and business dynamics were just a few I remember. Thirty years later, as my husband and I farm today with his family, I see many parallels...
cover crop
By Rachel Nettleton, Executive Director, Kern County Farm Bureau  I am thrilled to announce that I have been chosen to participate in this year’s Leadership Farm Bureau class. Among eight other individuals chosen from across the state of California, I am honored to represent Kern County and contribute to the agricultural community in this unique 10-month leadership development program.  Led by...
By Christine Johnson, Chair, Young Farmers and Ranchers  Another election season is upon us, and while I hope your preferred candidates made it through the primaries, did you know that there is another important way you can vote? It’s a vote that has the power to impact your everyday life now and in the future. In fact, this vote takes...
cattle
By Austin Snedden, Ranching Contributor, Valley Ag Voice  The word “sustainability” has been co-opted to mean something different than its literal definition, and neo-sustainability has short changed the role of economics. Modern sustainability is often illustrated as a three-legged stool with every leg being equally important to keeping the stool upright. The three legs of the sustainability stool are said...
By Bob Johnson, Reporter, Monterey County  Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation  California pistachio growers are searching the globe for potential emerging markets to handle anticipated record-shattering crops in the coming years.  A market outlook for the surging pistachio sector was offered at the American Pistachio Growers annual conference last week in Monterey.  Pistachio shipments to Europe, Asia, Canada and...
By Christine Souza, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert  Reprinted with permission from the California Farm Bureau Federation  California is the first state in the U.S. to pass laws that eventually require large corporations to publicly disclose greenhouse gas emissions and their climate risks.  The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission followed suit last week. But it approved a weakened federal regulation that drops a...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources launched a new website for small acreage landowners in the state filled with helpful tips on livestock and poultry care, pest management, emergency preparedness, and more.   The Small Acreage Landowners' website caters to backyard livestock producers, youth raising livestock, and other small acreage landowners — resources include tips...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  California’s farming and ranching communities have a pivotal window of opportunity to apply for various agricultural grants as deadlines approach in April. Funding opportunities include value-added producer grants, farm-to-school programs, and student scholarships.   CDFA FARM-TO-SCHOOL  The Farm to School Incubator Grant Program is open until April 4. Grants are competitive and targeted at increasing local food procurement...
cattle in stockyard
Press release provided by R-Calf USA  On March 5, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued its final rule providing clarification as to what constitutes violations under the Packers and Stockyards Act of 1921 (P&S Act) regarding practices considered retaliatory, deceptive, and unjustly discriminatory.  The P&S Act promotes fairness and competition for the benefit of livestock producers, growers, and consumers, and protects independent producers...
By Caleb Hampton, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert  Reprinted with permission by the California Farm Bureau Federation  California farmers are scaling down their processing tomato acreage this year as processors enter the planting season with boosted inventory.  The state’s tomato processors planned to contract for 11.6 million tons this year, down about 10% from the 12.9 million tons they contracted for in 2023,...
water irrigation pipe
Agricultural water use is deemed ‘very efficient.’  By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice  In a bid to further monitor and control groundwater resources, California’s Department of Water Resources completed the first phase of its groundwater mapping program, providing live statistics, interactive dashboards, and the latest groundwater information.   The project — Statewide Airborne Electromagnetic Survey Project —utilized helicopter-based technology to survey the...
Press release provided by the American Farm Bureau Federation  Farm and ranch families from across the nation donated 31 million pounds of food and raised $425,879 to help fight hunger and assist in other community service outreach in 2023 through Farm Bureau’s “Harvest for All” program. Combined, the monetary and food donations totaled the equivalent of 26 million meals.  Criteria for tracking...
By Ching Lee, Assistant Editor, Ag Alert  Reprinted with permission by the California Farm Bureau Federation  Use of micro-irrigation may be commonplace in California orchard systems today, but the practice of applying precise water to individual plants rather than broadcasting with sprinklers may not have taken off if not for the research trials conducted decades ago at the Nickels Soil Laboratory...
By Joshua Stevens, Faith Contributor, Valley Ag Voice  Imagine the excitement of the disciples fresh off returning from a journey in which they saw God move powerfully through them as they preached the gospel and healed many, then returning to Christ to tell Him of all they had accomplished in His name. Put yourself in their shoes, having the opportunity...
By Valley Ag Voice Staff  As the first full month of the spring season, April promises new life and growth after the winter months — not to mention a few fun activities casting a fresh look on the agriculture industry.  NETWORKING & TRADE SHOWS  Starting strongly, the California Antique Farm Equipment show on April 19-21 is sure to be a great experience...
cows
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice  Amidst the dissonant voices debating the future of California’s dairy industry, one narrative remains steadfast in its determination to rewrite the script. Against a backdrop of skepticism and opposition from environmentalist groups, the story of dairy digesters emerges as a cost-effective solution to meet California’s climate goals — reducing greenhouse gas emissions by...
farmland irrigation
SGMA Breakdown of the 2024 Trends in Agricultural Land and Lease Values. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Agricultural land value continues to be negatively impacted by the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, according to the Outlook 2024 Agribusiness Conference hosted in Bakersfield on March 19-21. Rural appraisers and agribusiness professionals gathered to discuss the “SGMA Effect” at the California Chapter of...
By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice The Kern County Farm Bureau’s 40th Annual Farm Day in the City event kicked off on March 20th and expects to welcome almost 5,000 school kids to the Kern County Fairgrounds over the next two days. According to Rachel Nettleton, executive director of KCFB, the event has transitioned from its humble beginnings in 1984...
almond blossom
By Valley Ag Voice Staff On March 19, National Agriculture Day provides an opportunity to celebrate the successes in Central Valley farming as well as to recognize the volatile nature of a farmer’s job — thankless at times, and subject to the burden of regulations and weather-related setbacks.  Still, the agricultural industry in California is one of the largest economic drivers...
Citrus Showcase 2024 highlights the industry's economic landscape and battle against invasive pests. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice As the top citrus-producing state, California accounted for approximately 92% of fresh market production in the United States in 2022-2023. The California Citrus Mutual Citrus Showcase discussed the current economy of the industry and addressed key issues such as SGMA compliance...
Tule Subbasin becomes second groundwater basin recommended for state takeover. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Groundwater resources continue to dwindle and compliance with SGMA continues to draw a line in the sand for Central Valley subbasins — specifically six of which may lose control to the state. Ahead of their probationary hearings, draft staff reports to the State Water Resources...
Summit panelists examine the complex relationship between water rights, SGMA compliance, and economic sectors in Kern County. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice Anticipation and concern converged at the 2024 Kern County Water Summit, where stakeholders gathered to address infrastructure, legislation and regulation, and compliance with the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The conference on March 7 was hosted by the Water...
person voting
The 20th Congressional District race heats up as Fong dominates early results. By Natalie Willis, Reporter, Valley Ag Voice As the dust settles on Super Tuesday in California, the Central Valley emerges as a critical battleground for primary candidates, with agricultural issues such as water management and entitlement serving as key points of contention. Current 32nd District Assemblyman Vince Fong leads the...