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  • California farm labor board chairman quits in anger

    By PN News on January 13, 2017
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    William B. Gould IV, California Gov. Jerry Brown’s appointee to lead the board charged with protecting the rights of the state’s farmworkers, announced his resignation Friday, accusing the state bureaucracy of stalling one of his key proposals. Gould, appointed by Brown to chair the Agricultural Labor Relations Board in March 2014, said a board proposal to send educators to farms […]
  • As Rains Soak California, Farmers Test How To Store Water Underground

    By PN News on January 13, 2017
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    Six years ago, Don Cameron, the general manager of Terranova Ranch, southwest of Fresno, Calif., did something that seemed kind of crazy. He went out to a nearby river, which was running high because of recent rains, and he opened an irrigation gate. Water rushed down a canal and flooded hundreds of acres of vineyards — even though it was […]
  • Cottonseed supply up 13 percent compared to last year

    By PN News on January 12, 2017
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    Total U.S. cottonseed production in 2016 is forecast to reach 5.1 million tons, up from 4.5 million tons in 2015, a 13.3 percent increase, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service. Of the 5.1 million tons of cottonseed, approximately 3.2 million tons is available for cattle feed, compared to 2.5 million tons from the previous year’s […]
  • Brown’s budget includes boosts for CDFA, ag education

    By PN News on January 11, 2017
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    Gov. Jerry Brown’s $122.5 billion initial state spending plan for 2017-18 calls for a slight boost for its main agriculture agency to fund efforts to regulate marijuana, fight plant pests and manage antibiotics in livestock. Brown would provide $284.4 million to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, up from its $253.9 million in the current budget, and add nearly […]
  • California storms add 350 billion gallons to parched reservoirs

    By PN News on January 11, 2017
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    The powerful storms that soaked Northern California over the past week did more than trigger power outages, mudslides and flash floods. They sent roughly 350 billion gallons of water pouring into California’s biggest reservoirs — boosting their storage to levels not seen in years, forcing dam operators to release water to reduce flood risks and all but ending the five-year […]
  • Farm groups pitch Trump on picking former California Lt. Gov. Abel Maldonado as Agriculture secretary

    By PN News on January 9, 2017
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    On the heels of Abel Maldonado’s visit with President-elect Donald Trump last week, major farm groups in California are urging the incoming president to pick the former lieutenant governor to lead the federal Agriculture Department. Eight trade groups representing some of the state’s most prominent agriculture interests, including strawberry growers, dairies and pistachio farmers, sent a letter Thursday to the […]
  • East? West? Which Has the Better Butter Stick?

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    Did you ever notice that butter is sold in long, thin sticks in the eastern part of the United States, while in the West it’s sold in short, stout blocks? Honestly, me neither. But a consumer who did recently asked Marketplace.org for an explanation. Turns out the East-West butter divide dates back to the 1960s. Before then the West Coast […]
  • DHM Numbers: California December Class 1 prices announced

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    California’s December Class 1 milk prices are $23.72/cwt. for the North and $23.99/cwt. for the South. Both are down 61¢ from November and the lowest since February. However, both are $1.99 more than December 2013. With December’s prices, the 2014 average prices were $24.76/cwt. for the North and $25.03/cwt. for the South. Both are up $4.47/cwt. compared to 2013. The […]
  • With Farm Robotics, the Cows Decide When It’s Milking Time

    By PN News on November 18, 2014
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    Something strange is happening at farms in upstate New York. The cows are milking themselves. Desperate for reliable labor and buoyed by soaring prices, dairy operations across the state are charging into a brave new world of udder care: robotic milkers, which feed and milk cow after cow without the help of a single farmhand. Scores of the machines have […]
  • Prison Dairy Gives Inmates Job Skills — And A Sense Of Purpose

    By PN News on November 4, 2014
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    Making license plates is the stereotypical job for a prisoner, but in California’s Central Valley, a group of inmates are doing very different work, supplying milk to almost every prisoner in the state system. They earn just 35 to 95 cents an hour, but inmates at Corcoran state prison say the job gives them plenty of other benefits. “I like coming out […]