The new face of agro-plutocracy

Submitted: Jun 10, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

  

 

"Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent of their gross revenues directly from the government," Phillip Bowles told KGO. "I don't have a good explanation for that. Somebody else might, but it beats me."

Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do -- so few that the Census Bureau quit counting.

-- Carolyn Lochhead, San Francisco Chronicle, July 26, 2007.

 

Seven years ago, we had the Phony "Man-made" Drought, a comic production starring two Hollywood personalities, Governor Arnold "The Hun" Schwarzenegger, and standup comedian Paul Rodriguez, one of the founders of the Latino Water Coalition (Against the Environment and Every Endangered Species). An excellent supporting cast included FoxNews top comedian, Sean Hannity, and the San Joaquin Valley's own Three Stooges, congressmen Dennis "Shrimp Slayer" Cardoza, Devin "Big Milk" Nunes, and Jim Costa, Shy Defender of the Agroplutocracy.  The Phony Drought Comedy was directed by the usual, highly competent water agencies, their directors, owners and customers:  Westlands, the tributary irrigation districts, Central California Irrigation Districts, Kern County Water Bank, with quiet support from Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. Producers included Sen. Dianne Feinstein, the Resnick's special friend and a host of finance, insurance and real estate interests too shy to be listed.

Despite the venom and hysteria of the PR campaign, masterminded by the global PR firm of Burson-Marsteller, when it was all finished,  Valley agriculture had a good year and the predicted drastic reduction in farm-labor jobs did not occur. The major victims of the year were endangered species and the environment.

This year, as keen observers point out, we have a real drought and neither the pundits nor the agroplutocracy are claiming it is man-made. That has been left to cautious scientists who are developing the theory that, although droughts in California have always been a regular feature of its climate, global warming exacerbates drought impacts. A more immediate and local effect of man on water this year is the consequence of huge and growing plantations of nuts and vines -- the reduction of agriculture to nothing more than a fast paced pursuit of the largest possible profits, in other words, agriculture as nothing but the production of more capital, obviously as this year proves, without any care for the consequences to anything but the quickest return on investment.

The Tragicomedy of the Real Drought is produced and directed by the same special interests but the cast has changed: Cardoza, the Hun our Governor, and others are gone and we see no signs of Burson-Marsteller yet in this year's campaign by California agribusiness against its environment.

Instead, a new young hero has arisen, born to play the role personifying the values of family-based, export-led cotton capitalism. He is an English major from UC Berkeley and heir to the Bowles Farming fortune, which descends in a direct line from Cattle Baron Henry Miller's Miller-Lux Ranch, based in Los Banos. The young hero even has a literary name, Cannon, (1) after the  bankrupt clerical alchemist in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales. (2)

This year, Cannon Michael is the face of  California family farming caught in the grip of drought. This year, Cannon Michael stands on farmland, gazing at the horizon as the new epitome of California agribusiness Vision. It is as if all those New York photographers aspire to be the new Irving Penns of photojournalism and no portfolio is complete without the obligatory portrait of some San Joaquin Valley agribusiness heir with uncallused hands clutching a farm tool or folded against his chest as he looks fearlessly into the horizon of advantages he will draw from the new Farm Bill and old subsidies. The photo is always from the boots up, showing the head of the New Alexander of Agribusiness silhouetted by the Big Bad Western Sun. Through such veins as these runs the blood of One Who Bought the West for a Pittance and bequeathed to heirs and assigns pre-1914 riparian water rights, Heinrich Alfred Kreiser, aka Henry Miller.

The arrival of old cotton money to the public stage signals that new almond money is not in the public favor at the moment "A gallon a nut" is a powerful environmental slogan and the public is less likely to ask how many acre-feet it takes to grow a crop of cotton. UC Extension in 2012 saw a range of between 2 and 3.5 acre-feet of irrigation water, usually mixture of surface and groundwater, for San Joaquin Valley cotton. (4) If the Bowles family farm of 12,000 acres just in Merced County is near the top of irrigation usage, it is using about the same amount of water that almond orchards are.

However, there is a difference: cotton is an annual row crop. The farmer can fallow acreage he won't irrigate. An orchard dies without water. Michael told the members of Congress recently that he would have to fallow a quarter of his acreage. In Merced County alone, that would be 3,000 acres not planted in subsidized cotton for subsidized export. And some farmworkers wouldn't be needed. (3)

Valley agribusiness is promoting Cannon Michael as the poster child for the contemporary San Joaquin Valley family farm, according to the high standards Oregon-based Family Farm Alliance (Against "Death" Taxes). (5)

Badlands would like to suggest that Michael is a poster child for other aspects of agriculture as well. He is an excellent argument for higher estate taxes and inheritance taxes. His ownership of 12,000 acres in the Central California Irrigation District's service area is an excellent argument for enforcement of the 960-acre limitation for water under the authority of the federal Bureau of Reclamation.

The Bowles Farming Co. received $11.5 million in subsidies from the federal government between 1995-2012, $11 million of it for cotton. (6) Cannon Michael is an excellent argument for the elimination of all subsidies for cotton.

Cannon Michael is also a superb argument against the new Farm Bill, based on federally subsidized crop insurance that guarantees up to 86-percent returns based on past revenues while cutting billions out of the food-stamp program. (7) With this Farm Bill, the bankers, lawyers, politicians, USDA bureaucrats, accountants and others that gather wherever sufficient accumulations of capital occur have really delivered the gift of risk-free agriculture and just in time for the Real California Drought of 2015 (a continuation of several years of drought and perhaps the precursor of years of drought to come). -- blj

 

 

 

 


<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
<!--[endif]-->

6-2-15

McClatchy Washington Bureau

California drought defies easy solutions at Senate hearing

BY MICHAEL DOYLE

http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2015/06/02/268592/california-drought-defies-easy.html 

WASHINGTON — Expanding California’s San Luis Reservoir may present a “great opportunity for increasing water supplies,” a key Obama administration official said Tuesday.

But building a bunch of big new dams is not a viable solution to the state’s present drought emergency, Deputy Interior Secretary Michael Connor warned lawmakers.

“There are fundamental questions about the economic viability of some of these larger projects,” Connor told the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee, adding that “at times, we get bogged down on the larger projects.”

Joined by Los Banos, Calif.-area farmer Cannon Michael and other witnesses, Connor spent two hours Tuesday morning illuminating the drought that has afflicted Western states while it has stymied members of Congress. There are few easy federal solutions, all agreed.

Even Connor’s nod to a possible San Luis Reservoir expansion, which by some estimates could add 130,000 acre-feet to the reservoir’s current capacity of 2.04 million acre-feet, has its shortcomings, thirsty farmers fear.

“If you can’t move the water, what’s the point?” asked Michael, president of Bowles Farming Co.

Michael is a sixth-generation California farmer, and representative of the Family Farm Alliance, an Oregon-based advocacy group for western growers. On Tuesday, he articulated the human cost of the drought. He noted that he has already fallowed one-quarter of his farm acres on the west side of the San Joaquin Valley because of water shortages, and he said more may be necessary.

“If I leave an acre fallow, my workers have less work and I use my tractors less,” Michael testified. “If I use my tractor less, I buy less fuel, lubricants and parts and tires, which means the local businesses that supply these things sell less and their companies suffer.”

The Senate hearing was the first congressional examination of the California drought this year, and the standing room-only session amounted to an ad hoc Western water convention. Two former congressmen-turned-lobbyists, Dennis Cardoza of California and Dennis Rehberg of Montana, monitored the action from the audience.

Rehberg represents the Westlands Water District, whose general manager Tom Birmingham was also taking in the action from the back of the third-floor room in the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Lobbyists for farmers served by Friant Dam, on the San Joaquin Valley’s east side, sat several rows ahead of long-time environmental advocates.

The big question, for all, is whether Congress will legislate. Last year, the Republican-controlled House passed a bill that was opposed by Northern California lawmakers and the Brown administration in Sacramento. The measure died in the Senate.

This year, the chairwoman of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee said Tuesday, the approach will be different.

“It’s important that we have something that passes,” said Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska. “This is bigger than just California, (so) we’re going to try to build a broader Western water package.”

She already has some motivated Western colleagues.

Drought conditions classified as “extreme” now extend to much of Oregon and pockets of Utah and Idaho, Congressional Research Service natural resources specialist Betsy A. Cody told the panel, while almost 47 percent of the land area in California is experiencing the most serious category of “exceptional” drought. Moderate to severe drought conditions prevail in Arizona and Washington.

“The Department of the Interior views this as an all-hands effort,” Connor said.

Underscoring the heightened attention, Murkowski noted Tuesday that she visited a Fresno, Calif.-area orchard several months ago and saw “whole fields of beautiful citrus trees that were literally bulldozed over because there was no water.” Another committee member, independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, said he was in California in April and was “shocked to see” how low reservoirs had fallen.

Neither of California’s two Democratic senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, serve on the Resources panel and did attend the hearing. Feinstein had been quietly trying to craft a bill earlier this year, with some hoping it could be ready for discussion Tuesday. For now, it appears stalled.

“If anybody comes up with an idea that goes back to the same old arguments of decades and decades of water wars, they ought to learn that it’s a new time,” Boxer told reporters Tuesday. “It’s a new paradigm and we have to work together.”

In the House, Democrats led by Rep. Jared Huffman, D-Calif., have cobbled together an 118-page draft water bill currently being circulated for discussion. Covering areas like recycling, conservation and planning, it emphasizes different priorities than the approach typically favored by Republicans.

The timing of the House GOP’s drought bill, and its precise contours, remain under wraps. On Tuesday, Murkowski pointedly said she had expected to see it by now.


<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
<!--[endif]-->

4-16-14

Western Farm Press

Cannon Michael takes helm at Bowles Farming Co.

Amy Roberts

http://westernfarmpress.com/vegetables/cannon-michael-takes-helm-bowles-farming-co

The new president of Bowles Farming Company carries the weight of overseeing an 11,000-acre farm during California’s water crisis, increasingly onerous regulations and environmental restraints, plus realizing he is the sixth generation to lead the Los Banos-area farm.

Cannon Michael took the farm’s helm Jan. 1.

He never studied agriculture in college as he graduated from the University of California, Berkeley with an English degree. Michael understands the business aspects and relies on his team of farm managers to run the agronomic side of the business.

Despite ties to the historical heyday of Miller & Lux, who purchased huge swaths of land to support cattle ranching during their transformational imprint on the western U.S., Michael had a lot to learn when he hitched his future to the enterprise in 1998 after working in business for five years in Atlanta, Ga.

Over the past 15 years, he has worked a variety of jobs and shadowed his uncle, Phillip Bowles, to gain a solid understanding of the nuances and challenges that he could face if chosen to carry on the family legacy.

 

 “It was never a given that the job was mine, but as the oldest male child and with my older sister not interested in taking over, I was given the opportunity to earn the position,” Michael said.

The family has a long history in California. Michael’s great-great-great-grandfather was Henry Miller, a penniless German immigrant, whose partnership with Charles Lux built up landholdings to a million-plus acres.

Miller was focused on building a cattle ranching dynasty. Due to his personality, he did not see a need to develop a succession plan near the end of his life, according to Michael. By that time, most family members, who were enjoying the wealth and lavish lifestyle the city had to offer, were not inclined to take over.

The intervening years were disrupted by the San Francisco earthquake which destroyed the partners’ city feedlots, Miller’s death in 1916, developing new leadership to guide the landholdings, and the eventual breakup of the Miller-Lux property in the 1960s. This reduced the Miller side of the ranch to the current size.

While the operation started as land to raise cattle, it is now wholly dedicated to growing cotton, fresh market and processing tomatoes, field crops, and other commodities. Michael says future economic opportunities may include solar, aquaculture, and new crops.

Stewardship of the land

Cotton farming continues to be a high priority, albeit a decision to drill down their high of 5,000 cotton acres four years ago to gain higher returns on processing tomatoes. This year, the family will plant 2,000-3,000 acres of Hazera, Acala, or Pima varieties - depending on market and weather conditions at planting.

“We would like to plant more cotton this year,” Michael said. “Cotton prices are actually high right now (early April) and our yields and quality have been excellent. The lack of water is holding us back.”

 

The desire to plant more cotton is partly due to a decision made several years ago to purchase three of the newest generation GPS-guided John Deere harvesters which roll and store cotton at the back of the picker and drop it at the end of the row.

This reduces field passes, fuel costs, and the number of workers and concerns for their safety. These savings, Michael says, are slightly offset by the higher cost of the wrapping material.

 

The farm has also incorporated reduced tillage practices. At one time, Michael says it took up to seven passes to prepare fields to plant cotton and other crops. Today it requires two trips through the fields.

The company’s commitment to its employees and the stewardship of the land is evident. They recognize their team’s hard work by providing health care, a defined benefits pension plan, and profit sharing.

Environmentally, the family continues to evaluate and incorporate the latest equipment, technology, monitoring, and research innovations to protect and preserve the farm’s investment.

 

Buried drip was incorporated on 60-inch tomato beds which can be split when rotating to cotton. The collaboration with researchers to screen new products and ideas is important to the farming operation.

New regulations limiting chemistries to protect crops from insect and weed pressures are a concern, Michael says. Besides spider mites, there is low lygus pressure and no whitefly. Some Race 4 fusarium has been found but is not widespread.

“We use integrated pest management to determine spray thresholds and we try to use good levels of beneficial insects and softer chemistries,” he said.

 

No lack of ostacles

The farm has moved away from harsher organophosphates to defoliate cotton.

Since Cannon does not play a large role in the daily agronomic operations, he engages in discussions and attends events on the issues facing California agriculture.

Water is the top concern in California agriculture today, he believes. However, with the environmental and regulatory atmosphere, which the federal government and state legislature impose, there is no lack of other obstacles hindering California agriculture.

  

To address these concerns, Michael is generous with his time. He serves on association boards of directors, speaks at water rallies, and helps offer ideas to advance agriculture’s success.

His many extra activities include director and trustee of the Henry Miller Reclamation District and the San Luis Resource Conservation District president.

Michael is a director for the California Cotton Alliance, California Tomato Research Institute, Cotton Council International, and the San Luis Canal Company.

He is the immediate past president of the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association.

While it sounds like a plateful, Michael enjoys time with his wife Heidi and three boys - Nick, Luke and Drake. Michael shares with his sons that a position with the Bowles operation is not guaranteed - it must be earned.

Michael embraces social media to share his thoughts on agricultural issues. His Twitter handle is @agleader.

 

 

 

7-26-07

San Francisco Chronicle

Huge Farm Bill Offers More of Same for Agribusiness

Carolyn Lochhead

http://www.commondreams.org/news/2007/07/26/huge-farm-bill-offers-more-same-agribusiness

WASHINGTON - A prominent San Francisco patron of the arts, Constance Bowles -- heiress of an early California cattle baron, widow of a former director of UC Berkeley's Bancroft library and a resident of Pacific Heights -- was the largest recipient of federal cotton subsidies in the state of California between 2003 and 2005, collecting more than $1.2 million, according to the latest available data.

That is the way U.S. farm programs are designed to work. Five crops -- cotton, corn, wheat, rice and soybeans -- received 92 percent of the $21 billion in federal farm payments last year. The biggest payments go to the biggest farms.

That also is pretty much the way farm programs will continue to work for the next five years under mammoth legislation scheduled today for a House vote.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of San Francisco has endorsed the new farm bill, produced by the House Agriculture Committee to run programs for the next five years, as a major reform because it limits annual payments to farmers who earn $1 million a year.

The income limit for a couple would actually be $2 million, because a husband and wife each could collect.

If the bill becomes law, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says the cap will affect just 3,100 farmers, assuming they do not use accounting tactics to reduce their taxable income. Actual payments to farmers would rise over the five years authorized by the bill. The bill is over budget, so Democratic leaders propose a $4 billion tax increase on U.S. subsidiaries of foreign companies to pay for it.

This year's farm bill has drawn extraordinary attention in the Bay Area and across the country, where a back-to-the-farm food movement has attracted such high-profile supporters as Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, the New York Democrat running for president.

The aim of the advocates is to link farmers directly with consumers to provide fresher food, including more fruits and vegetables in federal nutrition programs such as food stamps and school lunches. They contend that crop subsidies have fueled the industrialization and concentration of agriculture into giant agribusinesses and contribute to the nation's obesity epidemic by encouraging the use of corn sweeteners and vegetable oils in processed foods.

Pelosi is pushing for a quick House vote this week on the Agriculture Committee's bill to give rural Democrats -- especially those who won seats in GOP-dominated districts last year -- something to tout when they return home for the August congressional recess.

Pelosi owes her speakership to those new members. But most California farmers -- and most U.S. farmers -- do not grow the five subsidized crops and do not receive direct payments from the federal government. California fruit, nut and vegetable growers, who would get research and marketing aid under the new bill, mostly oppose crop subsidies and did not seek them.

Economists say the subsidies harm most farmers. That's because they lower crop prices, raise land prices and rents, and give subsidized farmers a financial advantage that has helped drive their neighbors out of business and keep young farmers from getting started.

Many farmers, and farm state politicians of both parties, oppose large payments. Rep. Ron Kind, D-Wis., Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, all want to limit payments to one-quarter the size Pelosi has endorsed in the House bill.

"When you say to the biggest farms in the country, 'The bigger you get, the more money you get from the government,' then the farm program effectively subsidizes the destruction of family farming," said Chuck Hassebrook, executive director of the Center for Rural Affairs in Nebraska. "Most people in rural America think that is bad policy."

The big payments would continue while prices of subsidized crops are at or near record highs, fueled by the ethanol boom. The value of this year's giant corn crop -- which would almost cover the state of California in acreage -- is expected to reach $40 billion.

California's top subsidy recipient from 2003 to 2005, Bowles, 88, of San Francisco, collected the $1.2 million in mostly cotton payments through her family's 6,000-acre farm, the Bowles Farming Co., in Los Banos (Merced County). She could not be reached for comment.

Another family member, George "Corky" Bowles, who died in 2005, collected $1.19 million over the same period. George Bowles once ran the farm but lived on Telegraph Hill. A collector of rare books and 18th century English porcelain, he served as a director of the San Francisco Opera and a trustee of the Fine Arts Museums.

The farm is run by Phillip Bowles in San Francisco. Phillip Bowles was on vacation Tuesday and could not be reached. He told KGO television last week that he's no fan of subsidies, but if big cotton growers in Texas get them, so should he.

"Many of these businesses are getting 20 to 30 to sometimes 40 percent of their gross revenues directly from the government," Phillip Bowles told KGO. "I don't have a good explanation for that. Somebody else might, but it beats me."

Economists say they can find no rationale for the subsidies, which started in 1933 as temporary aid for small farmers devastated by the Dust Bowl and the Great Depression. Then, a quarter of Americans lived on farms. Today, less than 1 percent do -- so few that the Census Bureau quit counting.

"The programs are just outdated," said Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center and a leading farm economist. "No one can think of a legitimate reason why we have these farm programs for a handful of crops in the United States.

"If the best the committee could do is say these payments are to help people in need, and we're going to define for farm legislation that somebody's in need if the family makes $2 million a year -- a million for the husband and a million for the wife -- that's a little strange. If these are really welfare programs for the needy, we don't normally cut those off at $1 million. It's more like $20,000."

Cotton ranks as the No. 1 subsidized crop in California. Federal data compiled by Environmental Working Group, an advocacy organization, shows that the state's cotton, rice and dairy farmers received more than $1 billion in federal support from 2003 to 2005. During the same period, about $62 million went to farm conservation and environmental projects in California.

Environmentalists have taken aim at farm subsidies this year because the farm programs are where the money -- and the land -- is.

About half of the continental United States is farmland. More than 150 million acres were enrolled in federal farm conservation programs in 2005, according to report by Stanford University's Woods Institute for the Environment.

"The environmental implications of U.S agricultural conservation policy ... are enormous," Craig Cox, director of the Soil and Water Conservation Society, wrote in the Stanford report.

Farm environmental programs now total $4 billion a year, far outstripping any other federal funding for private conservation. Environmentalists would like to see the crop subsidies also go to "green payments" to induce environmental protection for wildlife habitat, watersheds and the like.

 

5-16-14

Los Banos Enterprise

Exchange Contractors to receive water from Millerton Lake

Marina Gaytan

http://www.losbanosenterprise.com/2014/05/16/220444_exchange-contractors-to-receive.html?rh=1

 

 

 

 

      Landowners within the San Joaquin River Exchange                Contractors got some good news this week, as water districts continue to cope with a record-setting drought plaguing the Central Valley and California.

Federal officials announced Tuesday a plan to tap San Joaquin River water to meet contractual obligations to the Exchange Contractors, which is made up of the Central California Irrigation District, Colombia Canal Co., San Luis Canal Co. and the Firebaugh Canal Water District.

The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation said it will use water from Millerton Lake and the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta to provide 529,000 acre-feet of water to landowners from Patterson to Mendota. For the landowners, that’s an improvement over the 350,000 acre-feet - 40 percent of their allotment to 65 percent - they were previously told they would get.

An increased water release from Millerton Lake, through Friant Dam, began Thursday, and water began to flow down the San Joaquin River, according to exchange officials

“We will get our critical year allocation between April and October, and a portion of that water will be served through the Delta-Mendota Canal from San Luis Reservoir and a portion would come from Millerton,” said Chris White, general manager with the CCID.

White said while he is thankful for the additional allocation, the district is looking at ways to support Friant users as well, who are still at zero percent allocation.

“We have been working with Friant and those districts in order to accomplish exchanges and transfers … creative ideas that can get them some water this summer.”

One idea in place involves water trades.

Recent rainstorms have helped the district, White said, but more flexibility from the fishery agencies would put the district in a better position.

Cannon Michael, with Bowles Farming Co., said the news in some ways is good and in other ways disappointing. “Mainly because there are other farmers in other districts in real jeopardy,” he said.

“It will also allow us to pump less groundwater in our district, which will be a benefit,” said Michael, who receives his water from the San Luis Canal Co.

The total amount of water delivered to Exchange Contractors from Millerton Reservoir will depend on several hydrological factors, according to the bureau.

The California Department of Resources reported May 1 the final snow survey read at a mere18 percent of average for the date.

The readings record the statewide snowpack’s water content – which normally provides about a third of the water for California’s farms and cities.

CCID serves 1,900 landowners, and a total of 143,000 acres, on which are farmed dozens of different crops including tomato, alfalfa, cotton and a variety of orchards.

 

5-27-15

Visalia Times-Delta

Some water for Friant approved by reclamation

John Lindt

http://www.visaliatimesdelta.com/story/news/local/2015/05/27/water-friant-approved-reclamation/28025075/

At least local water districts will not have another zero allocation year from the Friant-Kern Canal it was announced recently.

The Bureau of Reclamation and water users inCalifornia’s Central Valley have forged an agreement that will bring some much-needed Central Valley Project water supplies to farmers in the CVP’s Friant Division this summer. The deal was announced earlier this month.

“Thanks to an unprecedented collaboration between districts on both the west and east sides of the San Joaquin Valley, about 60,000 acre-feet of water will be made available as much-needed relief to our Friant Division,” said David Murillo, Director of Reclamation’s Mid-Pacific Region.

Recognizing the dire situation faced in the Friant Division, the San Joaquin River Exchange Contractors Water Authority and its members — senior water-right holders for waters originating in the upper San Joaquin River basin — reached out to Reclamation and the Friant contractors to develop a collaborative plan. Weeks of negotiations involving nearly all Friant Division contractors, the Exchange Contractors, Westlands Water District, Reclamation and other agencies paid off in an agreement reached May 7.

“The deal has a lot of pieces, but the gist of it is that Friant contractors are going to be securing some supplies either by purchase, exchange or time-shifting exchanges in theSan Luis Reservoir,” said Friant Water Authority Acting General Manager Eric R. Quinley. “The amount of Millerton deliveries Friant contractors can expect to receive varies by district; however, most contractors will receive a supply that is roughly equivalent to 5 percent of Class 1 entitlement.”

From Reclamation’s perspective, the plan would leave water that the Exchange Contractors are otherwise entitled to in Millerton Lake, making it available for Friant Division contractors, rather than Reclamation having to make equivalent releases down the San Joaquin River, as was done last year to provide a partial supply to the Exchange Contractors.

Some of the water transactions that make the deal possible include a land fallowing and transfer program put forth by the Exchange Contractors, an exchange of State Water Project and other non-CVP supplies in San Luis Reservoir for supplies in Millerton Lake. A plan was put forth by the Delano-Earlimart Irrigation District and the Kern-Tulare Water District, and an arrangement with Westlands Water District to defer delivery of about 13,195 acre-feet until at least the fall of 2015 when critically low storage levels in San Luis Reservoir are not of imminent concern.

“The current drought conditions demand maximum cooperation among water agencies,” said Thomas Birmingham, Westlands Water District’s general manager. “Westlands entered into this agreement because it was the right thing to do in order to enable Reclamation to make water available to farmers and communities on the east side of the Valley.”

The Friant Water Authority is coordinating the agreement and payment logistics for the Friant contractors.

 

NOTES:

(1) Cannon is an early Medieval English name which means 'clergyman'. This name comes from the English word 'canun' which means 'clergyman'. The origin of 'canun' could possibly be from the Latin word 'canon' which means 'rule or discipline'. In Medieval English times, this name was often used as a nickname given to those who are very 'clerical or proper in their manner'.-- http://babynames.net/names/cannon

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Canon%27s_Yeoman%27s_Tale

 

(3) http://californiawaterblog.com/2015/06/08/california-drought-killing-farm-jobs-even-as-they-grow/

 

(4)http://coststudyfiles.ucdavis.edu/uploads/cs_public/a3/60/a360464e-9d4c-4948-ac28-82978d9e4be7/cotton2012pima.pdf

(5)http://www.familyfarmalliance.org/

(6) The Bowles Farming Co. $11.5 million in USDA subsidies between 1995-2012.

http://farm.ewg.org/persondetail.php?custnumber=A09367920

(7) http://badlandsjournal.com/2015-01-14/008243

| »

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Copy the characters (respecting upper/lower case) from the image.

To manage site Login