Conversion to organics could increase food prices, shrink farm profits

A European Union policy goal to exponentially increase organic farming to 30% of all agricultural production by 2030 is expected to be considered by Gov. Gavin Newsom for next year’s budget. However, a new economic analysis says such a plan would dramatically increase the price of food for many consumers and jeopardize the solvency of […]

Efforts to protect groundwater are tested by drought

Balancing the state’s groundwater supplies for a sustainable future may not be easy due to severe drought and ongoing economic challenges facing farmers. “We’ve got the lowest prices and highest production costs and the least-reliable water supply that we’ve had since I’ve been farming,” said Bill Diedrich of Firebaugh, who farms row crops and permanent […]

Farmers brace for water cuts to help river

As the Colorado River water crisis deepens amid withering drought in the West, Imperial Valley growers with historic rights to water from the river are making calculations on whether to farm or fallow. This month, the Imperial Irrigation District, which supplies Colorado River water to farmers in America’s largest growing region for winter vegetables, joined […]

Study: Pesticide restrictions would spike lettuce costs

California’s farmers, ranchers and agricultural businesses produce more than 400 commodities as America’s leading food providers. But a new economic study on lettuce production indicates that California’s farm output would shrink, and food prices would rise without commonly used pesticides. A preliminary report by ERA Economics, a Davis-based consultancy specializing in the economics of agriculture […]

Newsom cuts deal and signs union card-check bill

Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed legislation that will allow unions to collect signed ballot or authorization cards to organize farm employees in lieu of holding secret ballot elections for union certification. California agricultural groups say Newsom’s signing of Assembly Bill 2183 last week as well as a supplemental accord with the United Farm Workers Union […]