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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

April 29, 2022


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Local Farmers Harvest Cilantro Crop Ahead of Cinco de Mayo

Arroyo Grande farmer and Farm Bureau board member Tom Ikeda oversaw cilantro harvest this week at a field in Oceano. Ikeda said this season’s cilantro crop performed well, but that doesn’t necessarily translate to strong profits. 

“I know when I’ve got a good crop, other farmers in the area do too,” Ikeda explained. “Abundant supply depresses market prices.” Escalating costs for labor, cardboard boxes, pallets, transportation and crop inputs this year continue to lower margins for local farmers. 

According to the 2020 Crop Report, San Luis Obispo County farmers harvested 1,382 acres of cilantro in 2020, with an average yield of 7.6 tons per acre. At $476 a ton, the county’s cilantro crop had a gross value of $10.5 million.

Demand for cilantro is strong this time of year. Cilantro, along with avocados and chili peppers, are popular in many Cinco de Mayo celebration dishes. 

According to the Produce Blue Book, cilantro is a “member of the Apiaceae family, including celery, cumin, carrots, and parsley.... The dried seeds of the same plant, coriander, are used as a spice and possess a distinctively different flavor.”

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Pacific Coast Business Times - Newsom says state may try to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open past 2025
  • County Government: Confused About SLO County's New Irrigation Well Drilling Restrictions? County Will Give Presentation Monday to Ag Liaison Advisory Board
  • State Government: AgAlert - Insurance issues persist as farmers still losing coverage
  • Federal Government: Key Highlights & Takeaways from 2023 Farm Bill Process
  • Business Member Spotlight: Wayne Cooper Ag Services
  • USDA: FSA to Extend Emergency Credit to Producers in San Luis Obispo County
  • Featured Farm Bureau Member Benefit: Choice Hotels and Budget Truck Rentals
  • Avocado: Agronometrics in Charts: Guacamole abounds, Cinco de Mayo boosts avocado sales
  • Labor: California Will Keep Workplace Pandemic Rules Through 2022
  • Environmental: Carbon Plan's Omission of Agriculture a Mistake
  • Livestock: Anti-CAFO Legislation Fails to Advance; Protests Expected
  • Vineyard & Wine: Regenerative Organic Certified - Wine Growers Workshop May 12 at Tablas Creek Vineyards
  • Ag Economics & Trade: National and State Ag Groups Call For Meeting On Export Trade Imbalance
  • Water: New research explores how farmers can help California rebuild its groundwater supply

April 22 Most-Read

1. Map of New SLO County Supervisorial Districts

2. California’s shrinking population has big impacts

3. Governor Newsom's Executive Order N-7-22 for Wells

4. Avocado: What is that Stuff on My Stems?

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

6. Taylor Farms regroups after fire razes facility

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

8. The Groves on 41 Wins Two Awards at World Competition

9. Mighty Oaks Warrior Program Seeking Veterans & First Responders to Serve

10. What California’s ballot fight over single-use plastics could mean to the environment and the rest of us

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Held a SLO County Farm Bureau Board of Directors meeting;
  • Monitored the April 27 Paso Basin Cooperative Committee meeting;
  • Monitored the Shandon San Juan Water District meeting on April 27;
  • Assisted a grower with a question on brush removal regulations;
  • Sent a press release to local media about Farm Bureau’s upcoming candidate forums;
  • Gave our Farm Bureau weekly update on 98.1 KJUG The Tom & Becky Show (every Thursday around 9:05am);
  • Did an interview with KSBY on impact of drought conditions on local strawberry farmers; and
  • Participated in a roundtable hosted by Supervisor Dawn Ortiz-Legg with Consulate for Mexico, Euclides Del Moral to discuss farmworker issues.

Upcoming Events:

  • 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)
  • May 14 at 9am - SLO County Farm Bureau Young Farmers & Ranchers - Betteravia Farms Industry Tour (Register here)
  • May 24 at 5pm - SLO County Farm Bureau Board of Directors Meeting
  • May 27-29 Best of the West Antique Equipment Show at Santa Margarita Ranch

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.

Community: Pacific Coast Business Times - Newsom says state may try to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open past 2025

Newsom says state may try to keep Diablo Canyon nuclear plant open past 2025 | Pacific Coast Business Times

In a move that caught Central Coast politicians scrambling for details, Gov. Gavin Newsom signaled on April 29 that he might try to keeping the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant near San Luis Obispo open beyond its scheduled 2025 closure.

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Cal Poly - Announcements May 2022 | Center for Sustainability

Agriculture for Tomorrow A College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) Program Preparing leaders in sustainability through education, research, outreach, and operations. To forget how to dig the earth and to tend the soil is to forget ourselves.

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Friday, May 6th, 2022 from 6:00-8:00 p.m.

Join us for an evening with writer and photographer, Chuck Graham as he shares pictures and stories from his book, Carrizo Plain.

Buy Tickets Here

Nominations Open for 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year Contest

Farmers are invited to submit nominations for the 2023 Farm Bureau Farm Dog of the Year contest, supported by Purina. This is the fifth year of the contest, which celebrates farm dogs and the many ways they support farmers and ranchers in producing nutritious food for families and their pets across America.

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CWA Monthly Newsletter-April 2022

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Hipcamp Protects $274 Million in Ecosystem Services and Injects $3.2 Million in Visitor Spending Annually Into San Luis Obispo County, CA

Hipcamp, the world's largest provider of outdoor stays, today released the summary of a report highlighting the positive economic and environmental impacts outdoor stays provided California's San Luis Obispo County from March 2020 to March 2021. The report, commissioned by Hipcamp and authored by Earth Economics, highlights the benefits of low-intensity private land camping.

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Local farmers oppose the proposed expansion of the Santa Maria River Levee Trail | Commentary | Santa Maria Sun, CA

Santa Maria Valley is undoubtedly a beautiful place that deserves to be enjoyed and explored by the entire community and beyond. The Santa Maria River Levee Trail expansion would offer stunning views and provide a recreational connection between the cities of Santa Maria and Guadalupe; however, the unintended consequences of this expansion will come at a cost to our farmers, farmworkers, and local community. If we step back and take a more holistic approach to analyzing this trail development, then it becomes clear ...

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County Government: Confused About SLO County's New Irrigation Well Drilling Restrictions? County Will Give Presentation Monday to Ag Liaison Advisory Board

SLO County Board of Supervisors Meets May 3

To watch the meeting click here, and to review the agenda item details click here. Items of interest to agriculture are:

  • Item 3 - Request for the Chair of the Board to sign the letter from the Diablo Canyon Power Plant MOU stakeholder group regarding reuse opportunities at the Diablo Canyon Power Plant site. All Districts.

  • Item 6 - Request to approve an agreement with the San Luis Obispo Community Fire Safe Council Inc., allocating a total of $2,000 from Districts One, Two and Three Community Project Funds - Fund Center 106 to be used for expenses associated with the Wildfire Preparedness Event on May 7, 2022. District 1. District 2. District 3.

  • Item 11 - Request to authorize the Director of Public Works, or designee, to apply to the San Luis Obispo Council of Governments Community Betterments Grant Program for multiple transportation projects. All Districts. (Los Berros Road at Dale Avenue, Arroyo Grande, bicycle safety improvement (Construction); Main Street, Templeton, at US 101 Interchange, operational improvements(Planning, Environmental and Design); Vineyard Drive, Templeton, multi-modal corridor plan; Los Osos Valley Road, Los Osos, multi-modal corridor plan; Pier Avenue, Oceano, multi-modal corridor plan

  • Item 12 - Request to appoint Matt Cook and Dolores Howard to the Water Resources Advisory Committee of the San Luis Obispo County Flood Control and Water Conservation District. All Districts.

  • Item 18 - Hearing to consider an appeal (APPL2020-00022) by Christina Maldonado of the Planning Department Hearing Officer’s approval of a Minor Use Permit (DRC2018-00228) for SLO BF Inc. to establish a multi-phased project that includes 2.63 acres of outdoor cannabis cultivation canopy; ...The project would result in approximately 6.5 acres of disturbance including 4,000 cubic yards of cut and fill on an approximately 54-acre site located at 1255 Penman Springs Road, approximately 1.25 miles east of the City of Paso Robles. The project site is within the Agriculture land use category and within the North County Planning Area, El Pomar-Estrella Sub Area. A Mitigated Negative Declaration has been prepared for CEQA compliance. District 1 and 5.

SLO County Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board Meets May 2 at Farm Bureau


Confused about the County’s new irrigation well construction restrictions? Monday’s ALAB meeting includes a presentation on this issue from SLO County Environmental Health Services. While the County’s action stems from Governor Newsom’s Executive Order in March, the County is tasked with interpreting how this should be carried out. SLO County farmers and ranchers have been receiving conflicting feedback from hydrogeologists about the ability to actually get the analysis the County is now requiring. Read more background on this issue from Farm Bureau’s April 15 newsletter here.

State Government: AgAlert - Insurance issues persist as farmers still losing coverage


Insurance issues persist as farmers still losing coverage

Terry Rudkin farms avocados in the Ventura County town of Bardsdale, across the Santa Clara River from Fillmore, on a ranch his family has owned since 1912. In December 2017, he watched from his deck as the Thomas Fire burned in the mountains several miles to the north.

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Farm Bureau raises flags with organic equity program


Agri-Pulse Daybreak West for April 28, 2022

The Assembly Ag Committee passed a measure on Wednesday that would establish a program to support underserved farmers transitioning to organic certification. The three-year process for cutting out synthetic pesticides and fertilizers can be costly and prohibitive, according to the bill’s proponents.


California Farm Bureau’s Taylor Roschen agreed “it's tough to be organic” and everyone deserves a seat at the table.


But she argued “if the table is not big enough, you don't build a new table for somebody else. You make the table bigger, you scooch down, you make room.” She raised concerns over the bill creating a new program within CDFA’s equity office, rather than adding to the existing organic program or placing it within the environmental farming office.

Federal Government: Key Highlights & Takeaways from 2023 Farm Bill Process

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California Farm Bureau Federal Policy News - April 28

  • California Farm Bureau, Along with National and State Ag Groups, Call for Meeting on Export Trade Imbalance
  • President Biden Issues Executive Order Focused on Mature and Old Growth Forests on Federal Lands
  • CAFB Joins Coalition Letter on Securities and Exchange Commission Climate Proposal
  • Court-Issued Delay Puts Planned Title 42 Ending in Question
  • Open Ag Labor Survey with UC Davis and ASU Drawing to a close

Ransomware Attacks on Agricultural Cooperatives Potentially Timed to Critical Seasons - HS Today

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is informing Food and Agriculture (FA) sector partners that ransomware actors may be more likely to attack agricultural cooperatives during critical planting and harvest seasons, disrupting operations, causing financial loss...

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Key Highlights & Takeaways from 2023 Farm Bill Process

ASTA's Janae Brady highlights key takeaways and what to expect from the 2023 Farm Bill. When it comes to policy, there's one major piece of legislature looming over the horizon: the 2023 Farm Bill. The farm bill is a multi-year law that governs an array of agriculture and food programs, with titles across all aspects of [...]

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Business Member Spotlight:

Wayne Cooper Ag Services

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Centrally located in San Luis Obispo county, Wayne Cooper Ag Services,  serves the area between Ventura and the Bay Area. performing pump efficiency testing for agricultural use and real estate. Other services provided are third-party monitoring, long-term data longing, and water quality sampling.

Facebook  Instagram


PHONE: 1-805-235-5218

USDA: FSA to Extend Emergency Credit to Producers in San Luis Obispo County


FSA to Extend Emergency Credit to Producers in San Luis Obispo County

San Luis Obispo county is among 58 California counties designated as Primary Natural Disaster Areas by USDA. 

This Secretarial natural disaster designation allows the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters through emergency loans. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts. ...Application deadline is December 8, 2022. To learn more, click here.

NRCS Seeks Cooperative Agreement Proposals to Further Conservation Efforts

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service ( NRCS) is inviting organizations to submit cooperative agreement proposals. Funding for successful agreements will range between $25,000 and $75,000 per award.

As much as $1 million is potentially being made available through the program, however proposals are being sought prior to final appropriations being established.

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USDA Makes Earth Day Investment of Nearly $800 Million in Climate-Smart Infrastructure

In honor of Earth Day 2022, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture ( USDA) is investing nearly $800 million in climate-smart infrastructure (PDF, 587 KB) in 40 states, Puerto Rico and the Northern Mariana Islands. These investments will strengthen the ...

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

New Members

Garrison Quinn

Renewing Members

James Hartzell, Trish Hampton, Carl Holloway, California Mid State Fair, Tobin Shumrick, Halter Ranch, Timothy Twisselman, Chad Pankey, John Vineyard Applications Inc., Thomas Jenkins, Scott Smith, and Jo Ann Switzer

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Choice Hotels and Budget Truck Rentals

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Budget Truck: Two Deals are Better than One

If you need a moving truck for a multiday trip, don’t forget to double up on Farm Bureau member benefits: 20% off Budget Truck rentals AND up to 30% off Choice hotels! Find all the deals and details here.

Avocado: Agronometrics in Charts: Guacamole abounds, Cinco de Mayo boosts avocado sales

Growers Encouraged to Complete Brief Annual Crop Survey Critical to Predicting Fruit's Flow to Market by April 30, 2022


Industry indicators have predicted a 306 million pound California avocado crop for 2022. To help the California Avocado Commission fine tune that estimate and better predict the harvest flow to market, California avocado growers are encouraged to complete CAC’s annual crop estimate survey.

The survey also assists the Commission in assessing the status of the industry’s overall productivity and current farming practices such as bearing, non-bearing and high-density planting. Individual data from the survey is for the Commission’s use only and will remain confidential.

Complete the survey here.

Agronometrics in Charts: Guacamole abounds, Cinco de Mayo boosts avocado sales

In this installment of the 'Agronometrics In Charts' series, Sarah Ilyas evaluates the state of the US avocado market as Cinco de Mayo draws near. Each week the series looks at a different horticultural commodity, focusing on a specific origin or topic visualizing the market factors that are driving change.

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Labor: California Will Keep Workplace Pandemic Rules Through 2022

California Will Keep Workplace Pandemic Rules Through 2022

From California Farm Labor Contractors Association - The California Division of Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board approved the Covid-19 Emergency Temporary Standards through the end of 2022. The board voted on extending the standards during their April 21 meeting. The Office of Administrative Law is expected to approve the emergency regulations, at which point they will become effective on or around May 6, 2022 and expire on December 31, 2022.


This means that the Cal-OSHA Covid sick pay – i.e. the rule requiring employers to pay employees as if they are still there if they have a work-related “close contact” exposure to Covid – will be extended through the end of 2022.


Why is that important? Because Senate Bill 114, the Covid sick pay that Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law, was set to expire on September 30, 2022. Employers anticipated that when Covid sick pay legislation expired in September that they would no longer owe Covid sick pay.

Cal/OSHA Standards Board Approves COVID-19 ETS 3rd Readoption

On April 21, the Cal/OSHA Standards Board readopted for the third time the COVID-19 Emergency Temporary Standard (ETS). The ETS was originally adopted in November 2020, first readopted in June, and readopted in December for the second time as permitted by the Administrative Procedures Act. The third readoption is made possible by Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Feb. 28 executive order; the third-time readopted ETS will be in effect until Dec. 31. 

The new version which will be effective on May 6 makes numerous revisions to the COVID-19 ETS, including: 

  • Eliminates requirements for surface disinfection and cleaning.
  • Deletes references to “fully vaccinated” to distinguish among employees, meaning that for most purposes all employees are to be treated alike, regardless of vaccination status.

As a result, employers will be required to furnish N95 respirators to employees on demand and to make COVID-19 testing available at no cost, during paid time, to all employees who had a “close contact” in the workplace, regardless of vaccination status.

Cal/OSHA and the Standards Board have since late in 2021 been clear they intend to adopt a permanent infectious disease workplace standard and might adopt as a permanent standard the third iteration of the ETS in the fall before it expires on December 31, 2022.


You can find more information, including links to the Cal/OSHA Standards Board's ETS regulation page and CDPH's April 6 return-to-work guidance at COVID-19 News & Resources on FELS' webpage

Medi-Cal expansion starts May 1. Here's how it will help undocumented immigrants

Last summer, California became the first state in the country to grant health care services to undocumented immigrants ages 50 and older.The law - which will benefit about 235,000 Californians, goes into effect on May 1.Health equity and immigration experts say that these services are necessary for preventative care and

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ALRB Do's and Don'ts: An Overview of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act and the Agricultural Labor Relations Board

May 25, 2022 at 10am (webinar): 

Rights to protected concerted activity and other rights protected by the Agricultural Labor Relations Act (ALRA) apply to employees even in non-union workplaces. Agricultural Labor Relations Board (ALRB) chair Victoria Hassid will offer insight into the Board's enforcement of these rights.

Register here

Environmental: Carbon Plan's Omission of Agriculture a Mistake

Calif. cap-and-trade revenues fund corporate upgrades

California's carbon cap-and-trade program generates billions of dollars each year for state projects that advance zero-emission vehicles, fund housing near transit and invest in other climate-focused actions. The revenues also help well-known corporations. PepsiCo Inc., Anheuser-Busch Cos., Saputo Cheese USA Inc., E&J Gallo Winery, Sun-Maid, Foster Farms, Frito-Lay Inc.

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Episode 4: The Spanish Ranch - California Rangeland Trust (Podcast)

Cuyama Valley, CA - In this episode, Michael Delbar is joined by the California Rangeland Trust Development Director, Shannon Foucault, and Pam Doiron, owner of the Spanish Ranch.Listen as Pam tells us about her beautiful ranch in the Cuyama Valley, ...

Listen Here

Carbon Plan's Omission of Agriculture a Mistake

By Jim Lauria "Getting to Neutral" by the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory draws a roadmap to California's carbon neutrality by 2045, removing 125 million tons of CO2 emissions from the atmosphere (and the economy). The report's map is crossed by pipelines, dotted by underground carbon storage facilities, anchored by biomass-burning pyrolysis plants, and colored by a [...]

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Public comment on Morro Bay Offshore Wind Energy Area reveals locals' concerns, hopes for project

A potential renewable energy game-changer for California could be coming soon to the Central Coast: floating offshore wind turbines in a 376-square-mile area of ocean off of San Luis Obispo County's coastline. The City of Morro Bay and other local officials support the project for potentially establishing an offshore wind industry in the area, creating jobs and a new clean energy source.

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Livestock: Anti-CAFO Legislation Fails to Advance; Protests Expected

Meatpacking CEOs set to take heat from Congress amid soaring prices

The CEOs of several meatpacking companies are expected to come under tough questioning from lawmakers Wednesday at a House hearing where soaring food prices are likely to take center stage. Households are facing a 40-year-high in inflation, which has put heavy political pressure on the Biden administration ahead of the midterms. Biden and congressional Democrats...

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Anti-CAFO Legislation Fails to Advance; Protests Expected

California Cattlemen's Association -April 25, 2022

Assemblyman Adrin Nazarian (D-Van Nuys) this year introduced Assembly Bill 2764, which would have prohibited the creation or expansion of “commercial animal feeding operations” (CAFOs) with annual revenues over $100,000. The legislation was sponsored by radical animal rights group Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), a group known for headline-grabbing stunts.

This week is the deadline by which all fiscal bills – including AB 2764 – must pass out of relevant policy committees or be dead for the year. The Assembly Agriculture Committee’s final hearing before the deadline is this Wednesday and AB 2764 is not on the agenda (either in its original or an amended “study bill” form), meaning the bill is likely dead for the year.

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Vineyard & Wine: Regenerative Organic Certified - Wine Growers Workshop May 12 at Tablas Creek Vineyards

Regenerative Organic Certified - Wine Growers Workshop May 12 at Tablas Creek Vineyards


Thursday Winemaker Dinners - Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance

6:30 pm - 9:30 pm Thomas Hill Organics and The Hatch Paso Wine Fest kicks off Thursday, May 19 with two Winemaker Dinners at Thomas Hill Organics and The Hatch.

Winemakers cruise the floor sharing their wines and stories behind the label, all with locally sourced and harvested cuisine that is sure to delight the palate.

Purchase Tickets Here

Ag Economics & Trade: National And State Ag Groups Call For Meeting On Export Trade Imbalance

National And State Ag Groups Call For Meeting On Export Trade Imbalance - California Ag Network

Today, a collaborative of major agriculture associations released the attached letter sent to the United States Secretary of Agriculture, the United States Secretary of Transportation, and the National Economic Council.

The letter calls for an immediate federal effort to convene a meeting of ocean carrier companies and agricultural exporters to address the tremendous export trade imbalance which ...

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Contracts are common in animal and crop production

In 2020, agricultural contracts governed the production of about 33 percent, by value, of all U.S. farm commodities.

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Water: New research explores how farmers can help California rebuild its groundwater supply

New research explores how farmers can help California rebuild its groundwater supply

During drought years, California relies heavily on its groundwater supply. As droughts become longer and more intense with climate change, it's becoming more important than ever to "bank" excess surface water during stormy weather patterns in order to provide some long-term insurance.

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California bill would pay farmworkers $1,000 a month to help endure drought, climate crisis

LA Times - April 26, 2022

As worsening drought conditions in California and the West take a heavy economic toll on agriculture, state legislators are considering a plan to pay farmworkers $1,000 a month to help them cover the cost of necessities.

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Water restrictions differ by community on the Central Coast

The Board of the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California declared a water shortage emergency Tuesday, requiring about 6 million people to cut back their water usage. While that declaration does not include Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties, water restrictions are not a new concept for many of our cities.

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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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