Posts Tagged: agricultural

News

‘Pesticide drift’ affecting California health and safety

A helicopter sprays a field in the Salinas Valley. (Photo: Dwight Smith, via Shutterstock)

Angela Mancuso had just dropped off her kids at Glenwood Elementary School when she started to smell something “funky.” She was driving back to her home just a mile away in Stockton and decided to roll down her window for some fresh air. She noticed too late that a helicopter applying pesticide to a nearby walnut grove that Tuesday morning in September 2016 kept flying back and forth across the road, spraying continuously.

Opinion

‘Digital deserts’ push life to the slow lane

Illustration of online activity at a snail's pace. (mattsabe, Shutterstock)

OPINION: In California — and all across the country — there are “digital deserts,” places where it’s impossible to get high-speed Internet access at home and thus impossible to do homework, apply for jobs and be a full-fledged member of the digital economy. These digital deserts also prevent farmers from using Internet technology to improve efficiencies in growing crops and getting them to markets.

News

Devin Nunes in the eye of the storm

Rep. Devin Nunes, R-Tulare, the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. (Photo: J. Scott Applewhite/AP)

California’s Odd Couple find themselves on a wild ride in Washington, replete with cloak-and-dagger meetings, reports of Russian sneakiness and confusion all ‘round. But while Schiff and Nunes are both Californians and veteran politicians, that’s pretty much where the resemblance ends.

Opinion

Location, location: Solar PV and the San Joaquin Valley

Solar PV panels used to power agricultural equipment in the Central Valley. (Photo: Shippee, via Shutterstock)

OPINION: When we combined the separate maps, the result was pretty remarkable: Out of the 9.5 million acres in the stakeholder study area, the groups identified 470,000 acres of ideal, non-controversial land for solar PV development, or roughly 5 percent of the Valley study area. At a generic calculation of 1 megawatt of solar PV production from 5 acres of panels, that means the lands identified could provide 94,000 megawatts of renewable power.

News

Groundwater: The crucial challenge

A California Department of Water Resources geologist measures and records a pumping water level in a production well. (Photo: John Chacon,/DWR, 2013, via California Water Blog)

Analysis: California’s single most urgent water policy priority is preserving our groundwater supply. In normal years, groundwater provides one-third of our state’s urban and agricultural water. In dry years, it provides up to nearly two-thirds.

News

Parched Californians back cuts in water use

The dry bed of Ivanpah Lake in San Barnardino County, which had been filled by the 2004-05 rains. (Photo: Ed Berlen)

Field Poll: By a nearly three-to-one margin (65% to 23%) Californians support Governor Jerry Brown’s call to require urban water districts to reduce their water use by an average of 25% statewide. Support for the Governor’s plan is broad-based and bipartisan, and spans all major subgroups of the state’s adult population.

News

Drought, oil price decline pummel Kern

Pumpjacks in a Kern County oil field, November 2013. (Photo: Christopher Halloran)

Oil and water don’t mix, but in Kern County they’ve joined to create a double-whammy. Already confronting a drought of historic proportions, Kern County — the nation’s No. 2 agricultural county — also faces a severe financial hit because of falling oil prices. The county is home to more than two-thirds of California’s oil production.

Opinion

Drought takes toll on birds, Pacific Flyway

Birds take flight in the Pacific Flyway near Sacramento. (Photo: Department of Fish and Game)

OPINION: Summer is a relatively quiet time for birds in California’s Central Valley, as most of the ducks and geese are breeding in the north. But this year is more quiet than usual. According to a recent survey conducted by the Department of Fish Wildlife, the number of breeding ducks remaining in California this season is 23 percent below the long-term average. The decline speaks to the significant degradation of habitat in the Central Valley due to lack of precipitation.

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