Food and Farm News

Agricultural exporters watch metal-import dispute

Farmers have a lot on the line in discussions about potential U.S. tariffs on imported steel and aluminum, according to an analysis by the American Farm Bureau Federation. If the U.S. imposes the tariffs and steel-producing nations retaliate, farmers worry agricultural products could be affected. The analysis says about one-third of California farm exports go to aluminum-producing countries, and nearly 45 percent go to steel-producing countries.

Farmers and ranchers visit state legislators

More than 150 farmers and ranchers from around California gathered in Sacramento Tuesday to visit legislators and discuss pertinent issues during the annual California Farm Bureau Federation Leaders Conference. Farm Bureau President Jamie Johansson told the group their voices are needed to reinforce issues important to rural California. The farmers and ranchers then conducted dozens of legislative visits at the state Capitol.

Collaborative salmon projects show promise

Cooperative projects to benefit salmon are proving helpful in recovering fish, according to participants in the projects. Farmers, researchers, agencies and organizations report positive results from ecosystem improvements that address challenges salmon face. The numerous projects include efforts to grow food for salmon in flooded rice fields and to create salmon refuges by lowering large tree trunks and root wads into the Sacramento River.

Research promises to boost water efficiency

Saying their work could lead to increases in agricultural water efficiency, scientists announced Tuesday they have been able to regulate a plant protein that controls photosynthesis. The team, including researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, says increasing the protein in plants allows them to grow more efficiently, and thrive on 25 percent less water. Researchers say the plants used less water without "significantly sacrificing" yield.

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