Food & Farm News
July 30, 2014
Thinning forests adds to resiliency against fire
With wildfire an ever-present concern, research in California forests confirms the benefits of thinning small trees to slow and control fires. In a recent study, a UC Davis researcher found that fuel treatments give forests more ability to withstand a burn. Many Sierra forests have become overgrown, and hot, dry summer conditions enhance the prospects for high-intensity fires in untreated areas.
State pledges to smooth trade with Mexico
During Governor Brown’s trade trip to Mexico, California Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross said she will work to solve trade delays that affect businesses on both sides of the border. Mexico is one of the top five destinations for California agricultural exports. After a meeting with Mexican agricultural officials, Ross said she committed to make progress within 60 days on issues that delay trade.
Officials call for floodplain flexibility
Emergency managers should give farmers more flexibility in complying with rules for agricultural structures in floodplains, according to California members of Congress. They released a report from the Government Accountability Office, which recommended that the Federal Emergency Management Agency update its guidelines. Farmers have said it’s not feasible to move or retrofit barns and other structures to comply with FEMA floodplain rules.
White House honors agricultural ‘champions’
A San Diego County farmer was among those honored at the White House Tuesday as a “Champion of Change” in agriculture. Pierre Sleiman founded a company in Encinitas that raises lettuce and other crops in greenhouses using hydroponics, a method of growing plants without soil. Sleiman and 14 others from around the country were recognized for helping to build the next generation of farmers and ranchers.