California heat wave prompts lemon shortage

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High temperatures in California have contributed to a demand-exceeds-supply situation for lemons.Distributors including Sysco produce division FreshPoint have been using their market reports to advise customers about availability issues expected to persist for months. In a Twitter post, FreshPoint recommended its customers switch to limes when possible.On July 18, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reported f.o.b. prices at mostly $ 41.80-45.80 for cartons of shippers first grade California lemons sizes 95 and 115. One month earlier, the prices for cartons of shippers first grade California lemons were mostly $28.80-31.80 for 95s and $29.80-32.80 for 115s. The USDA commented in its latest shipping point trends report that shipments are light and trading is very active.

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Soy "milk" may need to find alternative name

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FDA plans to enforce federal standard that defines "milk" as coming from cows

NEW YORK (AP) — Soy and almond drinks that bill themselves as “milk” may need to consider alternative language after a top regulator suggested the agency may start cracking down on use of the term.

The Food and Drug Administration signaled plans to start enforcing a federal standard that defines “milk” as coming from the “milking of one or more healthy cows.” That would be a change for the agency, which has not aggressively gone after the proliferation of plant-based drinks labeled as “milk.”

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State Re-releases its Unscientific Water Grab Proposal for the Tuolumne River

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After over a year of “review,” the State Water Board publishes newest unimpaired flow proposal without changing much; State Water Board’s hearing and plan for adoption scheduled for Aug. 21-22. Despite having well over a year to adequately address thousands of public comments from our region – 6,589 from the Worth Your Fight campaign alone – the State Water Resources Control Board today doubled down on its proposal to mandate 40 percent of unimpaired flows along the Tuolumne River from February 1 to June 30 annually.

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How California's Farm Labor Shortage Made Friends of Old Rivals

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D’Arrigo Bros. and the United Farm Workers once took more than 25 years to reach a contract, and for many years afterward they communicated mostly through court filings and job actions. But the top leafy green grower in California’s Salinas Valley and the national union founded by Cesar Chavez just inked a three-year contract amid fanfare and pledges of a new era of cooperation.

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Federal District Judge Puts On Hold Parts of AB 450 Which Prohibited Employers From Voluntarily Consenting To A Federal Immigration Agent’s Request To Enter Nonpublic Areas or For Voluntarily Providing Records

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On July 4, 2018, Federal District Judge John A. Mendez granted a preliminarily injunction enjoining the State of California, Governor Brown, and Attorney General Becerra from enforcing parts of AB 450, the controversial new law that limited employer conduct when dealing with federal immigration enforcement. Specifically, the Judge stopped the enforcement of the California Government Code Sections 7285.1 and 7285.2 and California Labor Code Section 1019.2(a)&(b) as applied to private employers. The Judge upheld two other sanctuary state laws and part of AB 450.

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U.S. lawmakers Urge Trump to Stay at NAFTA Table as Talks Slow

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U.S. lawmakers urged the Trump administration not to walk away from talks on a new NAFTA a day after America’s top negotiator said the countries are still far from a deal.

“It’s important that the United States, Canada, and Mexico stay at the table to negotiate a new and modernized NAFTA that grows U.S. jobs and helps us sell more ‘Made in America’ products,” Kevin Brady, Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said Friday in a statement. Ways and Means is the main committee in the House of Representatives that oversees trade policy

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Central Valley Congressman Continues to Lead on Trade for California Agriculture – Calls for Replacement of China Tariffs With a “Strategic” Allied Approach

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May 8, 2018 - Washington, D.C. – In his ongoing efforts to fight for California agriculture, on Monday Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) led other California members of the U.S. House of Representatives in calling on the Administration to replace its tariffs with a “strategic,” allied approach for addressing unfair or unbalanced trade practices.

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Feinstein's Re-election Bid May Spur Challenge on Her Left

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Senate Democrats have largely avoided the prospect of costly and divisive primary challenges, which are bedeviling their Republican colleagues and threaten to wreak havoc for the GOP as it tries to protect a narrow majority next year. But when California's Dianne Feinstein announced this week that she would seek a sixth term, she garnered criticism from some in her party who claim the senator's liberalism doesn't sufficiently match what the moment demands.

Feinstein's re-election bid appears likely to invite challengers from the left, potentially setting up a tug of war within the party in one of the most liberal states in the union.

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Perdue Disappointed With Lack of NAFTA Progress But Expects Ag Issues to Heat Up

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In what might be a summary of his approach on trade, Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said agricultural trade policy is “like policy toward North Korea — all options are on the table.”

Perdue spoke to the Washington International Trade Association. On NAFTA, Perdue said he believes there is a “real opportunity” to open Canadian dairy markets. He said he has been somewhat disappointed in NAFTA rounds so far, but believes the next round will be an opportunity to bring up more-serious agricultural issues.

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Governor Jerry Brown Signs Sweeping California Immigration Bills

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SACRAMENTO — A far-reaching measure aimed at preventing California’s law enforcement officers from helping to carry out President Donald Trump’s promised crackdown on illegal immigration — best known as the “sanctuary state” bill — was signed into law Thursday, along with 10 other bills designed to protect undocumented immigrants.

California Democrats this year have led a sustained effort to thwart Trump’s immigration agenda, an initiative that began more than a month before the president’s inauguration. Senate Bill 54 and other laws taking effect in January are widely seen — by champions and foes — as the most extensive statewide protections anywhere in the nation for those fearing deportation.

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Farmworkers Want Pesticide Banned in California After Trump EPA Refuses

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Environmentalists and farmworkers are pushing California regulators to ban the most commonly used conventional insecticide in the country. The Environmental Protection Agency under President Obama proposed banning chlorpyrifos in 2015 because studies suggest it threatens human health, but the Trump administration reversed that decision this spring. Now activists are pushing for a statewide ban.

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