West

California bill would shift water use from farmers to state

A California state senator is proposing to use $1.5 billion in taxpayer funds to buy water rights from farmers. By doing so, according to Sen. Bob Wieckowski, D-Fremont, the state could avoid some of the... more »

Urban water use is latest target for drought cutbacks

With farmers across California already facing severe cuts in irrigation supplies, state officials are now imposing additional aggressive conservation measures for urban consumers and local water agencies across the state. Emergency regulations, adopted May 24... more »

Weather-related damage lowers California blueberry crop

California blueberry harvest is in full swing, and some growers are picking a smaller crop this year after losing fruit to spring frost and hail. The California Blueberry Commission estimates farms will produce 55 million... more »

Grapevine pest found in California wine county

Napa County, California, agricultural officials are asking growers to be alert after a single adult western grapeleaf skeletonizer, a “voracious” eater of grape leaves, was found in a major wine production area. The pest was... more »

President Biden appoints rural development state director for California

President Joe Biden appointed Maria Herrera as USDA state director of rural development for California on May 19. Maria Gallegos Herrera is a proud daughter of farmworker parents who grew up in the rural agricultural... more »

Farmers across California face new water cuts

With 60% of the state now in extreme drought conditions, state officials are warning water-right holders that they should expect more curtailments during peak irrigation season in June and July. In a statement last week,... more »

Washington wine industry launches sustainable certification program

The Washington wine industry launched the state’s first statewide certified sustainability program for wine grapes, signifying a commitment to quality fruit, environmental stewardship and healthy communities. Sustainable WA will begin certifying vineyards this summer. “From... more »

CA Farm Bureau Water Forum highlights local solutions

Facing a third year of drought, leadership from county Farm Bureaus, spanning all regions of California, gathered in Sacramento last week to engage with state water officials about all things water. A changing climate, shrinking... more »

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