Photo provided by UCCE.

Agriculture

University of California Cooperative Extension establishing tri-county Prescribed Burn Association

In partnership with the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County, UCCE of San Benito County recently received a Cal Fire grant to promote the use of prescribed fire in San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties.

Photo by Noe Magaña.

Agriculture

BL Special Report: What is prime agricultural land, and who keeps track of it?

The precise definition depends on the regulatory agency, and the context in which it’s used.

Haze and burned shrubs from the CZU fire. Photo taken on Sept. 14, provided by Devii Rao.

Agriculture

New study to investigate influence of cattle grazing on particulate matter and greenhouse gas emissions from wildfires

Preliminary results expected by the end of August 2021.

Site visit with SBALT and funder at Phil Foster Ranch in San Juan Bautista. Left to right: Landowner Phil Foster (with shovel), Paul Hain, SBALT Board member, Karminder Brown, SBALT contractor, and Elizabeth Palmer, USDA NRCS (funder). Photo by Cathy Summa-Wolfe.

Agriculture

San Benito Agricultural Land Trust on path toward accreditation

SBALT will submit a pre-application for LTA accreditation in March 2021.

News Release

Gov. Newsom signs legislation from Farmworker COVID-19 Relief Package

State Assemblyman Robert Rivas said AB 2043 and AB 2165 will ensure farmworkers have access to workplace safety information and essential state services.

Farmworkers in San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Agriculture

Panetta pushes for farmworker funding in next COVID-19 Relief Package

Letter sent to House leadership requesting $1 million toward improving housing conditions.

Rivas at a farmworker food drive in Salinas. Photo provided by the office of Robert Rivas.

Government / Politics

State Assemblyman Rivas named chair of Assembly Agriculture Committee

Launching statewide agriculture tour in October.

Photo courtesy of San Benito Farm Housing.

Health

Farmworkers face COVID, heat wave and wildfire smoke

SBC Office of Emergency Services provides N95 masks to guard against unhealthy air quality.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Agriculture

The benefits of cattle grazing for reducing fire fuels and hazard

The California Cattle Council recently funded a UC Cooperative Extension project to evaluate how much fine fuel (grasses and other plants) are eaten by cattle on rangelands, and how this may affect wildfire behavior.

Farmworkers in San Benito County. File photo by John Chadwell.

Agriculture

California Legislature passes first-in-the-nation COVID-19 Farmworker Relief Package

Bills now heading to Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk for consideration.

Photo provided by the Hollister Farm Service Agency.

Agriculture

USDA Coronavirus Food Assistance Program deadline is Sept. 11

Dairy, livestock, nurseries and an expanded range of specialty crops are covered.

Photo provided by the Hollister Farm Service Agency.

Agriculture

San Benito and Santa Clara County producers urged to consider Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program coverage

NAP covers losses from natural disasters on crops for which no permanent federal crop insurance program is available.

Farmworkers in San Juan Bautista. Photo by Robert Eliason.

Agriculture

Rivas and allies highlight farmworker vulnerabilities

Increased health risks and fewer jobs as pandemic continues.

Thousands of cans wait to be filled with processed tomatoes the morning of Aug. 6. Photo by John Chadwell.

Business / Economy

Meeting between Hollister and San Benito Foods expected on Aug. 10

Interim City Manager Brett Miller said if there is an agreement, it would go to the City Council on Aug. 17.

A temporary order signed June 22 allowed the San Benito Foods tomato cannery in Hollister to begin operations for the 2020 season, but now the facility must shut down by Aug. 8 unless it pays the city $2.5 million. Photo by John Chadwell.

Business / Economy

San Benito Foods to close Aug. 8 if it does not pay $2.5 million operations fee

Attorney argues the cannery’s closure would cause ‘irreparable harm to the community’ by eliminating 450 local jobs.