July 2016

NRCS Partners with Ducks Unlimited on New Rice Conservation Program

NRCS Partners with Ducks Unlimited on New Rice Conservation Program

As part of the recent new alliance between Ducks Unlimited (DU) and USA Rice Federation (called the Rice Stewardship Partnership), DU has partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) on the rollout of a National Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) to offer financial assistance for rice growers to implement projects designed to improve irrigation efficiency.  They recently issued a joint press release to help promote this conservation program opportunity.  The deadline to apply for this program is Friday, August 19, 2016. READ MORE

Rice comes full circle…at Stanford!

Rice comes full circle…at Stanford!

The horn sounds, the train starts moving, and I am off to Stanford. It’s 7am on a Friday. I’m excited. Why travel to Stanford, you wonder, during my rice internship? The simple answer is that a respected Stanford environmental ecology professor is interested in a deeper understanding of the relationship of the rice industry and the environment. Paul Buttner, Environmental Affairs manager for the CRC, aligned this meeting with my week shadowing him. After a week of CRC committee meetings and learning about the environmental and waterbird side of the rice industry, Stanford was my final adventure with Paul. READ MORE

Tricolored Blackbirds now fully protected as an Endangered Species

Tricolored Blackbirds now fully protected as an Endangered Species

The California Fish and Game Commission has taken official action to list the Tricolored Blackbird as an Endangered Species under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA). They took this action based upon the rapid decline of this species in California. This species is now fully protected under the provisions of CESA and, therefore, any “take” of this species is now expressly prohibited by law with significant penalties for violations of these provisions. READ MORE

Dam Train Ballot Measure Derails

Dam Train Ballot Measure Derails

After two attempts to gather sufficient signatures to qualify for the ballot, proponents of the Dam-Train ballot measure have stated they are pulling the measure and ‘updating’ the language. In short, they have failed and may or may not try a third time to get it right.

This is a huge victory for Sites Reservoir, water rights and for the environment! Teaming up, NCWA and CRIA engaged early to ensure that this measure was seen for what it was – an attempt to change the constitutional on water rights and strip all funding from Prop 1, an important component of the Sites Reservoir project.

Our extensive media, social media and advertising efforts, combined with coalition building among other Ag interests and conservation groups were an effective counterpoint to the small group of San Joaquin Valley agriculturalists who wanted to paint the effort as ensuring water for everyone. In fact, it was an effort to ensure water for them.

We wish to thank Nisei Farmers League, The Nature Conservancy, Family Water Alliance and our own Kurt Richter for their advocacy and support in defeating this ballot measure.

A Foreign View of California Agriculture Leadership

A Foreign View of California Agriculture Leadership

Agriculture, food and French culture filled the air at a dinner I attended with prominent French agriculturists and some California Agriculture Leadership Program Alumni. I pinched myself as I spoke or tried to communicate with French farmers about California agriculture and, more specifically, rice or “riz”. Thankfully a translator helped, as my French speaking abilities are nonexistent. During the dinner, I learned the goal of the French visit involved meeting California Agriculture Leadership (CALP) Alumni, learning about agriculture in California, and touring universities and farms in hopes of starting an Agriculture Leadership Program in France. READ MORE

Rice WDR Database closes August 12

The online database for completing your Farm Evaluation and the Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) will close Friday, August 12. The original deadline was March 1. Please note that the Central Valley Water Board (CVWB) is pursuing heavy fines in other areas where growers have not complied. READ MORE

Intrepid® 2F section 18 expires September 30, 2016

Intrepid® 2F section 18 expires September 30, 2016

The Intrepid® 2F crisis section 18 was amended to extend the expiration date to September 30, 2016. While processing an amendment request for an unrelated issue, the U.S. EPA extended the expiration date. The section 18 is available in the counties with documented armyworm losses: Butte, Colusa, Glenn, San Joaquin, Sacramento, Sutter, Yolo and Yuba. READ MORE

Going beyond Rice

Going beyond Rice

Rice, sunflowers, nuts, tomatoes, and bell peppers are some of the significant crops seen when driving through the Sacramento Valley. It’s quite impressive to the to see such a wide array of crops in “Rice Country”. While 97 percent of California Rice is grown in the valley; I’ve learned how the Rice Commission is actively working on behalf of many other parts of the valley.  Teaming up with the Northern California Water Association and others in the valley, the Commission has expanded its social media to cover all of the cities, farms and environment of our region. READ MORE

Three-month showing for California Rice Art

Three-month showing for California Rice Art

We are happy to announce the artwork commissioned for California Rice Legislative Day and rice boxes is now available for visitors at a prominent Sacramento location.

For years, Capital Public Radio (CPR) on the Sacramento State University Campus has rotated local art for the public to enjoy. Now through September, the California Rice art collection will remain on display at CPR. Timing of the display is excellent, as they will be hosting hundreds of reporters this fall for the Society of Environmental Journalists Conference. READ MORE