Design by Lily Therens; elements from Shutterstock

Groves & Fishes

There is water war brewing between farmers and fisherman

Facing epic drought conditions, Gov. Jerry Brown called this month for mandatory cutbacks on urban water use statewide. But the ag industry, which uses 80 percent of the state’s water, is exempted. This decision has struck a cord with environmentalists and fishermen who fear the drought will compromise aquatic species — and their livelihoods.

Apr 20, 2015 Alastair Bland

Old Roots, New Branches

Bariani Olive Oil — the elixir of the gods

Sebastian Bariani is in heaven, standing in his family’s olive grove in the Dunnigan Hills. The winter day is mild, a blue sky caps the rolling green terrain. He reaches down and gently bends the branch of a Manzanillo olive tree to demonstrate how the trees will soon be pruned, explaining that the blossoms for the next crop can come only from new growth.

Mar 16, 2015 Kevin McKenna
(Design by Zuza Hicks; Elements from Shutterstock)

The New World of Ag

Investment in agtech is growing, but will the Central Valley cash in?

Through certain entrepreneurial eyes, agricultural technology looks a lot more relevant than the latest iPhone app or social networking tool. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, by 2050 the world will need 70 percent more food to feed an additional 2.3 billion people.. And the Central Valley is poised to cash in — if we play our cards right.

Feb 10, 2015 Allison Joy

Home on the Range

Amid housing boom, Placer County eyes a plan to preserve farmland

County officials appear close to approving a sweeping plan to preserve Placer’s agricultural character. If approved by the Board of Supervisors, a conservation plan would protect a large area of farms and open space in the western portion of Placer County, and keep them free of development for at least 50 years —possibly longer. 

Feb 6, 2015 Morris Newman

Status Check: Stevia First

It’s full speed ahead for this sweet startup

In 2013 we reported on Capital Region startup Stevia First and its CEO Robert Brooke’s goal of making his company the first domestic distributor of stevia. Stevia First made significant progress last year, most notably by entering into a partnership with China-based stevia distributor Qualipride International Ltd.

Feb 5, 2015 Allison Joy

How Much for the Right to Pollute?

Traveling this holiday? Consider your fuel...

California’s Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB32) requires the state’s major industry sectors to return California’s emissions to 1990 levels by 2020. To pay for AB32’s associated Cap-and-Trade Program, the cost of gasoline and diesel fuels will increase approximately 12 cents per gallon beginning Jan. 1, 2015.

Nov 26, 2014 Zuza Hicks