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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

April 22, 2022


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Register Now for Farm Bureau Candidate Forums

Election season has arrived! SLO County Farm Bureau will host four candidate forums in May for County Supervisor and State Assembly races.

Confused about which district you are in? The SLO Chamber of Commerce has a video showing where the new County Supervisor district boundaries are located. You can also search your address by going the County's redistricting page here and see a nice visualization of the new versus old district maps here.

Tuesday, May 3rd - In-Person at SLO County Farm Bureau office – 4875 Morabito Place, SLO (also a Zoom option)

  • 5:30pm-6:15pm - 3rd District Supervisor Election (Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Stacy Korsgaden) 
  • 6:30pm-7:30pm - 2nd District Supervisor Election (Bruce Gibson, Bruce Jones and Geoff Auslen)
  • Can’t make it in person? To watch by Zoom, register in advance here
  • No registration required for in-person option. Just show up to the Farm Bureau office. 

Thursday, May 12 at 4pm – by Zoom

  • 4:00pm - 30th State Assembly District– May 12 at 4pm by Zoom (Dawn Addis, Zoe Carter, Vicki Nohrden, Jon Wizard)
  • Register in advance here

Friday, May 13 at 4pm – by Zoom

  • 4:00pm - 4th District Supervisor Friday, May 13 at 4pm by Zoom (Lynn Compton vs Jimmy Paulding)
  • Register in advance here

For questions, please email info@slofarmbureau.org or call our office at 805-543-3654.

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • SLO County Farm Bureau Hires New Deputy Executive Director;
  • Community: The Groves on 41 Wins Two Awards at World Competition - Best Olive Oils;
  • County Government: New Times SLO - SLO County clerk-recorder candidates talk election mistrust, plans for office;
  • State Government: California ballot measure is in center of argument over plastic pollution;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Bank of Sierra Corporation;
  • Wildfire: Newsom hailed this 'critical' wildfire-prevention program. Two years on, it hasn't completed a single project;
  • Featured Member Benefit: Lens Crafters;
  • Produce: Taylor Farms regroups after fire razes facility;
  • Education: AFB Foundation launches 'one-stop shop' for STEM educators;
  • Labor: Labor Unions Trying Again for “Card Check” for California Farmworkers;
  • Environmental: Braga Fresh to Harvest and Market Regeneratively Grown Trial Crop;
  • Livestock: Industry Groups Encourage USDA Takeover of Gene Editing Regulations;
  • Vineyard & Wine: May 4 is California Wine Export Program Dinner;
  • Supply Chain: NY Times - How America's Farmers Got Cut Out of the Supply Chain; and
  • Water: SLO Tribune - Can the Paso Robles wine industry continue to thrive as groundwater levels fall?

April 15 Most-Read

1. California’s shrinking population has big impacts

2. Paso Robles groundwater pumped far beyond sustainable levels, new report shows

3. Although Impact Is Diminished, “Dirty Dozen” List Must Still Be Abandoned

4. SLO County Revised Well Permitting Restrictions Document

5. Field workers from Acquistapace Farms go on strike, seek better wages

6. April 25 Adelaida Area Hydrogeologic Study Community Meeting

7. SLO County APCD - Carl Moyer - Engine Tractor Replacement Grants

8. County of San Luis Obispo Weed Management Area Quarterly Newsletter

9. Opinion: Protectionist policies are costing America’s farmers

10. A Farmer’s Quest to Beat California’s Waves of Drought and Deluge

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Held a SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Committee meeting;
  • Monitored the April 19 SLO County Board of Supervisors meeting;
  • Met with California Farm Bureau staff to discuss the April 19 State Water Board action on Ag Order 4.0 and other Central Coast regional water issues;
  • Participated in legislative meeting with California Women for Ag and guest speaker Supervisor Debbie Arnold;
  • Participated in a meeting with National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration regarding the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary;
  • Gave an update on agriculture issues on 99.3FM KPRL’s Sound Off with Jaime Umphenour;
  • Monitored the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board April 21-22 meeting; and
  • Gave our Farm Bureau weekly update on 98.1 KJUG The Tom & Becky Show (every Thursday around 9:05am).

Upcoming Events:

  • April 26 at 5pm – SLO County Farm Bureau monthly board meeting (all members welcome, please RSVP to info@slofarmbureau.org)
  • May 3 at 5:30pm - Farm Bureau Candidate Forum in person at Farm Bureau office (Dawn Ortiz-Legg and Stacy Korsgaden; Bruce Gibson, Bruce Jones, and Geoff Auslen)
  • May 12 at 4pm - Farm Candidate Forum by Zoom (Assembly- Dawn Addis, Zoe Carter, Vicki Nohrden, and Jon Wizard)
  • May 13 at 4pm - Farm Candidate Forum by Zoom (Compton vs. Paulding)

SLO County Farm Bureau Hires New Deputy Executive Director

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San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau is pleased to announce the hiring of Deputy Executive Director Catie Field. In this role, she will work directly with the Executive Director and Board of Directors to support San Luis Obispo County farmers, ranchers and agribusinesses.

"We are excited to have someone with Catie's experience join our team," Executive Director Brent Burchett said. "Her technical knowledge and passion for serving farmers and ranchers will be invaluable to our organization and the SLO County agriculture community."

Catie Field grew up in the Sacramento area and moved to San Luis Obispo to attend Cal Poly, where she received a bachelor's and master's degree in Animal Science. She previously worked with the Natural Resources Conservation Service in Templeton, assisting farmers and ranchers in conservation planning. Apart from work, Catie is an avid reader and loves to spend time with her animals. She enjoys exploring the beautiful places San Luis Obispo County has to offer. 

Please take time to introduce yourself to Catie and welcome her to the Farm Bureau family. She can be reached at cfield@slofarmbureau.org or stop by our office in San Luis Obispo.

Community: The Groves on 41 Wins Two Awards at World Competition - Best Olive Oils

The Groves on 41 Wins Two Awards at World Competition - Best Olive Oils

The Groves on 41 from the United States has won a Gold Award and a Silver Award at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition, the world's most prestigious olive oil quality contest. The company produces extra virgin olive oil in California from Koroneiki and Arbequina olives using modern harvesting methods.

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Holloway President Vard Terry retires after 50 years of service

Holloway President Vard Terry recently announced his retirement after 50 years with the company. Terry, who started at Holloway on Dec. 18, 1971, celebrated his 50th anniversary with the Central California-based company this past December. He officially retired on April 1.

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Mighty Oaks Warrior Program Seeking Veterans & First Responders to Serve

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Cuesta College seeking Full-time tenure track Ag Mech/ Auto Tech Instructor


County Government: New Times SLO - SLO County clerk-recorder candidates talk election mistrust, plans for office

SLO County to create new Homeless Division, homelessness strategy

Nobody who spoke at the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors meeting on April 19 tried to argue that the problem hasn't gotten worse. As county and city leaders discussed the state of homelessness-and new ...

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SLO County clerk-recorder candidates talk election mistrust, plans for office

San Luis Obispo County's three candidates for clerk-recorder on the June 7 primary election ballot each come from different backgrounds, hold different views about the problem (or non-problem) of election fraud, and have different ideas for the county department.

Read More

State Government: California ballot measure is in center of argument over plastic pollution 

California Farm Bureau's Friday Review for April 22, 2022 - Governmental & Legislative Affairs Update

See what Farm Bureau does for you in Sacramento, read the Friday Review! There are 20+ bills and issues impacting farmers and ranchers this week alone.

California ballot measure is in center of argument over plastic pollution and single-use plastic forks and spoons

California voters in November will decide if they want to ban single-use plastics and polystyrene food containers.

And it's heating into a battle that may line industry lobbyists behind a bill they once found repugnant but hope will cancel the ballot measure.

Read More

Help sought for farms impacted by illegal dumping

Illegal dumping on private lands in rural communities is an issue that has plagued farmers and ranchers for many years. Old mattresses, sofas, appliances, tires and household garbage are routinely discarded along roadways, causing an unsightly mess and bringing added costs to farmers...

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Federal Government: A food and agriculture theme emerging for next Supreme Court session

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California Farm Bureau Federal Policy News - April 14

  • White House Council on Environmental Quality Releases Final Phase 1 NEPA Rule
  •  House Legislators Pen Letter to USDA on Delayed WHIP+ Payments
  • Secure Rural Schools Program to Receive Additional Funding
  •  Forest Service Announces $31 million for 15 Landscape Restoration Projects
  • Attention Grows as Title 42 Expiration Approaches
  •  Cattle Price Discovery and Transparency Act of 2022
  •  Avian Influenza Cases Outpacing 2014/2015 Outbreak

A food and agriculture theme emerging for next Supreme Court session

Beginning next October, the Supreme Court session will have a food and agriculture theme going for it. The high court has already agreed to hear two blockbuster cases involving the Clean Water Act and California's Proposition 12.

Read More

Biden administration increases focus on rural America

In an effort to fulfill promises made on the campaign trail, the Biden administration rolled out a new Rural Partners Network to help ensure the many resources allocated under the American Rescue Plan and Bipartisan Infrastructure Law find their way to those who need it in rural America.

Read More

Business Member Spotlight:

Bank of Sierra Corporation

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A Bank with a Purpose

Since its founding in 1977, Bank of the Sierra has grown to become the largest independent bank headquartered in California’s southern San Joaquin Valley, with over $3 billion in assets. Bank of the Sierra is a community-centric regional bank, which offers a full range of retail and commercial banking services with full-service branches located within the counties of Tulare, Kern, Kings, Fresno, Ventura, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara.

The Bank also maintains a loan production office and an online branch and provides specialized lending services through an agricultural credit center and an SBA center. Bank of the Sierra is recognized as one of the strongest and top-performing community banks in the country with a 5-star rating from Bauer Financial.

Facebook  Twitter  Instagram


PHONE: 1-888-454-BANK

Wildfire: Newsom hailed this 'critical' wildfire-prevention program. Two years on, it hasn't completed a single project

Newsom hailed this 'critical' wildfire-prevention program. Two years on, it hasn't completed a single project

In the foothills of Mendocino County, where stretches of flat grazing land give way to thick brush and towering conifers, sits the community of Brooktrails. Idyllic, picturesque - and primed for burning. Most of its 3,800 residents fled their homes in 2020 when the Oak Fire ignited north of town.

Read More

Little Fires: Landowners Learn to Burn

Smoke billows over the forest like a slow-moving fog. Dried oak leaves singe, crackle and curl into ash. Neighbors, scientists and agency staffers rake the embers, directing the flames with calm, careful control. Ted Odell's grandson runs along his namesake trail, Henry's Hill, to adjust a hose.

Read More
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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

New Members

Santa Margarita Feed and MoonSprings Vineyard

Renewing Members

Warren Lilly, Ryan Harris, Arciero Farms Inc., and Rob McKee

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Lens Crafters

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Simply provide the California Farm Bureau discount code at the time of purchase at any LensCrafters locations nationwide and receive your discount savings of 20 percent on exams, contact lens, frames, lenses, tints and coatings, lens options and most non -prescription sunglasses. Discounts on eye exams and contact lenses do not apply outside California. Go to lenscrafters.com.

Produce: Taylor Farms regroups after fire razes facility

USDA releases Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook

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This issue provides analysis of U.S. fruit and tree nuts markets, including projections of market conditions for 2021/22 citrus crops and features an article on the U.S. avocado market.

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Taylor Farms regroups after fire razes facility

Fire destroyed part of the Taylor Farms processing facility in Salinas, Calif., on April 13, just as the company was transferring production from its desert growing region across Southern California and Southwest Arizona. Cause of the fire has not been released. Sam Klemek, incident commander and deputy fire chief for the Salinas Fire Department, said at a press conference ...

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Avocado - What is that Stuff on My Stems?

So in a 2-week period in February I was getting calls and emails from growers asking about the black stuff forming on the green stems of avocado trees. I thought that it was just sooty mold that was the result of insect feeding and resultant...

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Organic Produce Summit July 13-14, 2022

The sixth annual OPS will be held July 13-14th at the Monterey Conference Center in Monterey, CA. Following the overwhelming success of the past five Organic Produce Summits, OPS 2022 will retain a similar format, including an informative series of educational sessions, engaging keynote presentations, and a sold-out trade show floor, featuring over 150 organic growers, shippers, and processors from across North America. Additionally, retailers and buyers will have a hands-on opportunity to tour three of the nation’s largest and most respected organic fresh produce companies.

Register here.

Education: AFB Foundation launches 'one-stop shop' for STEM educators

AFB Foundation launches 'one-stop shop' for STEM educators

PUBLISHED ON WASHINGTON - The American Farm Bureau Foundation for Agriculture has launched a first-of-its-kind online platform for K-12 and STEM educators who seek to bring science to life through the lens of agriculture.

Read More

A Free Zoom Webinar for Educators with Hands-on Activities for use in the Classroom

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May 14th from 12pm-5pm

Join us for a fun and engaging webinar that will provide participants with hands-on activities for teaching youth about plant nutrients, careers in agriculture, and fruits and vegetables for health. The webinar, geared toward K-12 educators, will include dynamic speakers and a live virtual field trip. Participants will receive a registration bag full of classroom resources and supplies for each of the hands-on activities showcased. Participate virtually and take what you learn back to the classroom to share with your students.

Workshop will include:

Virtual field trip

Materials for 5 Hands-on activities

Registration bag full of classroom resources

Register here.

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Labor: Labor Unions Trying Again for “Card Check” for California Farmworkers


Labor Unions Trying Again for “Card Check” for California Farmworkers

by Rebecca Hause-Schultz, Courtesy of California Farm Labor Contractors Association


California agricultural employers are in for a turbulent season as labor advocates and the farmworkers union are once again pushing to institute the infamous “card check” organizing system – which would make it far easier for workers to organize into unions – across the state. 

While the California legislature passed a bill last year which would have allowed union organizers to make an end-run around secret ballot elections, Governor Newsom ultimately returned AB 616 without signature. He noted “various inconsistencies and procedural issues related to the collection and review of ballot cards” and directed the Labor Workforce and Development Agency to work with the Agricultural Labor Relations Board and “all relevant stakeholders” to develop new policies to address the issue. This year, the United Farm Workers (UFW) is back at it again with AB 2183. What do you need to know about this second stab at a card check law, and what might it mean for your business? Full article here.

CFLCA and numerous other ag organizations recently submitted a letter in opposition to AB 2183. View the correspondence here. 

Commentary: Farm labor survey can gather stories, impact policy

From the Industrial Revolution to the Great Recession, labor markets and the nature of employment itself have been greatly altered during periods of both historical growth and stagnation. In early 2020, the world experienced a similar era-defining event with the onset of the pandemic.

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Pesticide Applicator License - Continuing Education Credits Available May 5

May 5 - 9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Register here

Topic: "Ask a PCA": Making Smart Choices about Label Selection and Timing of Applications (English)

Speaker: Michael Fantozzi, Crop Consultant , Stanislaus Farm Supply (1 hr Other )

Each topic in this Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) approved Farm Bureau series is worth 1 hour of continuing education credit toward your pesticide applicator license. Free for Members, $400 Non-Members

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Mitigating Heat Stress and Increasing Productivity- April 28th

Courtesy of California Farm Labor Contractors Association

In anticipation of climbing temperatures later this spring and into the summer, the National Council of Agricultural Employers (NCAE) is presenting a free webinar, “Mitigating Heat Stress and Increasing Productivity."

According to Michael Marsh, President and CEO of NCAE, “This webinar extends NCAE’s commitment to our collaborative efforts with the National Center for Farmworker Health (NCFH) in protecting worker safety and well-being. The event will put front and center how agricultural employers can protect their employees in the face of changing environmental conditions.” The presenter is Bethany Boggess Alcauter, PhD, Director of Evaluation & National Agricultural Worker Health Program at NCFHApril 28- 10:00 a.m. Register here.

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Farmworker Housing Now Available in Paso Robles

Completed in 2006, Canyon Creek offers many amenities, including central heating and air conditioning, on-site laundry facilities, large community building with education and other community programs, playground garden areas, walking distance to schools, and close to Wal-Mart and Albertsons. Built and owned by the nonprofit People’s Self-Help Housing, the 68 permanently affordable ‘California Contemporary’-style apartments in Paso Robles are made up of two- and three-bedroom units. The complex is home to a Community Building and Learning Center, with a health screening and counseling room, recreational space and several playgrounds. Apartments are rented to households whose incomes do not exceed 50% of the Area Median Income (AMI), adjusted for the family size. To learn more, click here.

Environmental: Braga Fresh to Harvest and Market Regeneratively Grown Trial Crop

County exploring ways to use San Diego's land to fight climate change

With high biodiversity and rich farmland, San Diego County is exploring ways to put the region's land to use to cut carbon emissions. In an online public workshop Thursday, county officials explained ways to expand the use of wetlands, marshes, forests and agricultural lands to capture and store carbon through the county's Regional Decarbonization Framework.

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Braga Fresh to Harvest and Market Regeneratively Grown Trial Crop

Scheduled on Earth Day, April 22, for the first time Braga Fresh, home of Josie's Organics, will harvest and market a trial crop of regeneratively grown fresh vegetables. Regenerative agriculture is a variety of sustainable farming principles and techniques that seek to reverse climate ...

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U.S. farmers and ranchers lead on sustainability

PUBLISHED ON WASHINGTON - U.S. farmers' and ranchers' world-leading sustainability efforts, including the U.S. beef community's commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2040, the U.S. pork community's goal to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 40% by 2030, and the U.S.

For the full report, click here.

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Livestock: Industry Groups Encourage USDA Takeover of Gene Editing Regulations

Senators Dianne Feinstein, Alex Padilla, Cory Booker and Debbie Stabenow Call on Secretary Vilsack to Support California Voter-Approved Prop 12

April 16, 2022 - Washington - Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) on Friday called on Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack to support California's Proposition 12 before the Supreme Court. Read the full text of the letter here.

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Industry Groups Encourage USDA Takeover of Gene Editing Regulations

Nearly a dozen agricultural organizations are continuing to encourage the revising of gene editing regulations. Oversight of genetically engineered food animals is currently handled by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ( FDA). Ag groups are pushing for the U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA) to assume responsibility of animal biotechnology.

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Birds Lost to Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Tops 27 Million

The current outbreak of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) has impacted more than 27 million birds, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has confirmed the presence of the H5N1 strain of the virus in commercial and backyard birds in numerous states.

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Free Rancher to Rancher Grazing Workshop at Carrizo Ranch May 10

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Payments to Livestock Producers Impacted by Drought or Wildfire - California Ag Network

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently announced that ranchers who have approved applications through the 2021 Livestock Forage Disaster Program (LFP) for forage losses due to severe drought or wildfire in 2021 will soon begin receiving emergency relief payments for increases in supplemental feed costs in 2021 through the Farm Service Agency's (FSA) new Emergency ...

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Vineyard & Wine: May 4 is California Wine Export Program Dinner

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Vineyard Team Event: Steel in the Field Tailgate

April 29, 2022- 9:00-11:00 AM

From the Clemens weed knife to the Pellenc Sunflower, there are a variety of tools available for under vine cultivation. Come see a variety of old and new mechanical floor management implements. Growers will share their experiences with each piece of equipment so you can learn about the best options for your vineyard.

  • Speakers: Bob Thomas and Kyle Cosgrove, Mesa Vineyard Management

Register Here
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California Wine Export Program Dinner

Calling all Wine Institute and California Wine Export members of the Central Coast!

The dinner will be held at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo on Wednesday, May 4. The reception starts at 5:00pm and dinner is scheduled at 6:00pm located at the E & J Gallo Family Winery Building, Justin & J. Lohr Center for Wine & Viticulture at Cal Poly.

This will be an opportune time to meet the representatives and get to know the faces behind the California Wine Export Program.

Register Here

Supply Chain: NY Times - How America's Farmers Got Cut Out of the Supply Chain

NY Times - How America's Farmers Got Cut Out of the Supply Chain

As shipping companies concentrate on the most lucrative routes from China to California, almond growers are struggling to transport their wares.

Scott Phippen at his almond facility, stuffed with leftovers he can't ship: "Those almonds aren't worth squat in the warehouse. They are worth a lot of money in Dubai."

Read More

USDA Announces More Resources to Increase and Expand Meat, Poultry Processing Capacity

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced the launch of the Meat and Poultry Processing Capacity Technical Assistance Program (MPPTA) to provide technical assistance to meat and poultry grant applicants and grant-funded projects. ...

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Water: SLO Tribune - Can the Paso Robles wine industry continue to thrive as groundwater levels fall?

Newsom's drought order brings ag well activity to a standstill in some areas

Valley groundwater agencies are mired in confusion and concern over Gov. Gavin Newsom's recent executive drought order, which added new steps for permitting agricultural wells, according to agencies' staff. As groundwater agency managers scramble to hash out exactly how to comply with the order, ...

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Sonoma County proposes first-ever fees for well water pumping

In a dramatic shift from California's history of allowing landowners to freely pump and consume water from their own wells, Sonoma County's rural residents and many others will soon begin paying for the water drawn from beneath their feet.

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NASA is watching California's groundwater crisis from space

In California's San Joaquin Valley, the land around the Tulare Basin has unique dips and rises. The culprit of these strange divots isn't the earthquakes that plague the West Coast. They are from the human-made wells used to unearth the area's groundwater-the water held in the area's soil.

Read More

Can the Paso Robles wine industry continue to thrive as groundwater levels fall?

Editor's note: This is the second in a two-part series on how unsustainable pumping is depleting Paso Robles' groundwater basin. Read the first part here. Around the city of Paso Robles, the hills are alive with the growing of wine grapes.

Read More (Subscription Needed)

'I'm afraid to use water': Rural Paso Robles residents drill new wells as older ones dry up

Editor's note: This is the first in a two-part series on how unsustainable pumping is depleting Paso Robles' groundwater basin. When Lloyd "Ed" Rickard moved to Paso Robles in 1986, he thought he lived on an oasis in the Mediterranean-like area of the Central Coast.

Read More (Subscription Needed)

Ag groups fear delays in review of Ag Order 4.0

Agri-Pulse Daybreak West for April 20, 2022

A regulation that would cap fertilizer applications has been under review at the state water board for nearly a year. The Central Coast regional board approved Ag Order 4.0 last April, with ag and conservation groups immediately filing petitions for the state board to step in.


On Tuesday the ag coalition urged the state to speed up the review process. The coalition is contesting new requirements for growers in the order that are set to take effect at the end of 2023.


“We just don’t flip a switch,” said Tess Dunham, a partner at Kahn, Soares & Conway LLP, representing the coalition. “There’s a lot of planning and time and effort that goes into new requirements.”


Dunham hoped the board would grant a stay of those provisions if a revised draft of the order is not available by the end of this year. That would buy staff more time for reviewing the complex order.

Farm Bureau Membership Matters

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We cannot support your freedom to farm and ranch without your membership.

Join SLO County Farm Bureau now or renew your membership online. Go to slofarmbureau.org to join, or download the membership form PDF.

Have your renewal notice available to speed up the process; you will need to enter your membership number, name and ZIP code. Renewal dues may be paid online or over the phone by credit card.

We're here to help! Call us if you need us to lookup your member number or we can process your membership for you, at 805-543-3654.

All California county Farm Bureau memberships are processed through the California Farm Bureau Federation, but please reach out to our SLO County office if you need your membership number or have questions.

Join or Renew Your San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Membership

Thank You Platinum Members

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