Tom Frantz has the sierra mountains to thank for his livelihood, since the snowmelt that runs off the peaks eventually sinks into the ground and, over time, descends into the natural underground reservoirs of the Central Valley. In drier years, Frantz gets most of his water from wells that tap into this aquifer. But the water, Frantz says, is being poisoned.
The wildfires that raged across Northern California last month will cost insurers more than $1.1 billion, according to catastrophe modeler Impact Forecasting.
California just passed a bill to sharply limit the use of antibiotics in farm animals, making it the first state to ban the routine use of the drugs in animal agriculture.
California’s $184-billion pension fund for school teachers chided Volkswagen AG for rigging some diesel engines to cheat on U.S. emission tests and said it is evaluating its exposure to losses from the scandal.
Every week, 330 American farmers leave their land for good. And as an aging population of baby-boomer farmers retire, their jobs aren’t being filled quickly enough. Only six percent of all farmers are under the age of 35. But as the national food movement strengthens, will we see a return to farming? What about the children of these aging farmers — will they love their farm land or leave it?
“The Valley fire demonstrates what can happen when public and private landowners (much of the Valley fire is on private land) fail to manage their property.”
Kevin Herman sees his fig trees as his future. They require very little water and, even amid long-term forecasts of limited rain and increasing temperatures, the trees are likely to produce a comfortable living for the Madera County farmer.
El Nino may likely not end the state’s 4-year drought. Imagine instead a darker scenario, where the weather-changing phenomenon adds another year of dryness in the north while ravaging the south with floods. “What do you say when the governor asks you what to do? ‘You prepare for flood and drought because there is a possibility you can get both,”’ said Mike Anderson, state climatologist.
Agricultural groups and the federal government are actively encouraging growers to improve their irrigation systems to save water, usually by graduating from flooding, and farmers who haven’t upgraded have received stinging criticism. But drip irrigation is not necessarily a panacea for water shortages.
Students representing the university’s 10 campuses have protested and collected petitions urging the school to divest from fossil fuels that include coal and oil sands, a mix of sand, clay, water and a heavy oil called bitumen. Fossil Free UC, a coalition of students, faculty, staff and alumni has asked the university to adopt a five-year plan to freeze new fossil fuel investments.
California Governor Jerry Brown abandoned a plan to cut gasoline use in half as part of an ambitious bill to combat climate change, after oil companies and business groups waged a multi-million dollar campaign against the effort.
After years of drought and increasing government demands to cut water use and allow lawns to fade, the Golden State moniker is taking on new meaning. It has fallen to Felicia Marcus, Gov. Brown’s appointee to the head of the State Water Resources Board, to set the water-use rules for farmers, water districts, homeowners and everyone else. We sat down with the state’s top water cop to better understand the challenges she’s up against and the messages her office is communicating.
California is in the fourth year of an unprecedented drought, with rivers and reservoirs running dry. The energy needed to help grow crops, including about 2 billion pounds of almonds annually, may reach a record this year, and utilities are responding by building new transmission lines and substations to handle the additional electricity.
The sickening, wooden crack of a falling tree can strike fear into the hearts of property owners. Maybe that’s true for anyone within a certain radius of the falling tree, but property owners have a more specific concern: They could be liable for thousands of dollars in damage to cars, or even lives.
At Chase, we take pride in understanding the unique needs of our clients and have a rich history of supporting agribusiness companies. For more than 200 years, we have been dedicated to cultivating positive client experiences, and as a result, we report an average 20-year client relationship.
Short on water for your grass? Just add paint, says Bill Schaffer, owner of Brown Lawn Green in Dixon. The idea for his business started as a joke. With California in the midst of a historic drought, Schaffer commented to his girlfriend that people would have to start painting their lawns if they wanted them to be green again. When the state introduced strict new rules concerning water use, he realized he might be onto something.
Senate pro Tem Kevin de León is California’s first Latino Senate leader in more than 130 years. He has championed an aggressive agenda centered on transitioning the state away from fossil fuels and toward a low-carbon, high renewable energy economy. We sat down with him recently to discuss that transition.
Every spring and summer, Chinook salmon gather in vast schools along the central coast of California, fattening up on krill and small fish before their autumn spawning migration into the Central Valley. Fishermen in commercial boats, private skiffs and kayaks take to the water, and most summers, the fleet catches several hundred thousand Chinook weighing somewhere between five and 30 pounds. California’s bounty of salmon, however, does not reflect a thriving fish population.
In 2009, fewer fall-run Chinook salmon returned to spawn in the Central Valley than have ever been recorded before. Just 50,000 adult fish spawned that autumn in the entire Sacramento-San Joaquin river system — a tenth of how many Chinook migrate inland in a good year. The event was an ecological and economic disaster that prompted officials to shut down California’s ocean fishing season for two years.
Here’s the beat on six unique events that will get you out of traditional city spaces for a combination of farm and urban culinary experiences, beginning in Farm-to-Fork Month and extending into the fall harvest season.