Sunday, April 20, 2014
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Feds announce $20M for California farmers

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From page A8 | February 05, 2014 | 1 Comment

California Drought

File - In this Jan. 17, 2014 file photo, a 5 MPH boating speed limit buoy is stuck in the ground as there is no water to be seen at Black Butte Lake near Orland Buttes Recreation Area in Orland, Calif. Amid California's most crippling drought of modern times, state officials on Friday, Jan. 31, 2014, announced they will not allocate water to agencies that serve 25 million people and nearly 1 million acres of farmland. The announcement marks the first time in the 54-year history of the State Water Project that such an action has been taken. State Department of Water Resources Director Mark Cowin said the action was taken to conserve the little water that remains behind the dams in the state's vast system of reservoirs. (AP Photo/Chico Enterprise-Record, Jason Halley, File)

FRESNO — Federal officials lent a hand to California’s drought crisis Tuesday, announcing that $20 million in aid focused on water conservation will be available to California farmers and ranchers who are the hardest hit.

U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack told reporters in a teleconference from Washington, D.C., that this will be the first in a number of announcements to be made regarding drought relief, including one expected Thursday aimed at forestry assistance.

The first round of money, to be given in grants under the Natural Resources Conservation Services Environmental Quality Incentives Program, will be directed at improving irrigation methods, heading off erosion of unplanted fields and creating better ways to water livestock, Vilsack said.

He was joined by phone by California Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary Karen Ross and Rep. Jim Costa, a Fresno Democrat and third-generation farmer. “What we’re really talking about right now is a lifeline,” Costa said.

California is going through its third-straight dry year. Gov. Jerry Brown has declared a drought emergency, and state officials announced last week that they would not be sending water to California’s agricultural customers. U.S. officials are expected in late February to announce that they will allot only a fraction of the federally controlled water that farmers want, if any.

The drought has fanned the flames of long-standing water battles between Republican and Democrat lawmakers, but Costa said this is no time to talk in “tired old” sound bites. “At the end of the day, they don’t provide one more drop of water,” he said.

Farmers and ranchers can apply by March 3 for the federal money. Priority will be given to farmers whose water allocations have been cut by at least 85 percent.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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  • The MisterFebruary 05, 2014 - 7:13 am

    Do you suppose the last decade of ramped-up geo-engineering to the west of, and over, California could have anything to do with our persistent drought condition year after year? Did nobody else look up to and see the Chemtrails in the sky, day after day, week after week? You remember Contrails from jets, right? The water vapor from their engines that hung in the atmosphere for a minute or two. You'll notice the difference with Chemtrails because they hang in the sky for 8 hours or more. As Chemtrails are an admitted part of the government's geo-engineering effort, and as Chemtrails have been resident above and to the west of California for over a decade, it would seem the government's efforts to change the climate in California has succeeded. Now Californians have shipped their cattle to Texas, the fields and orchards will lay barren, communities will have rationed drinking water. Who will be there to help? The same people that caused the problem in the first place. It's an M.O. we've seen before!

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