Potential Funding to Accelerate Water Projects

By Tim Hammerich, with the Ag Information Network 

With more California farmers facing significant water cutbacks, public officials have responded with legislation to address the state’s recurring water shortages. A plan in the state Legislature would allocate $2 billion to accelerate a variety of water projects and programs. At the federal level, the new legislation would restore canal capacity. Farm and water groups have also pressed to add water projects to a federal infrastructure package.

Two concurrent efforts aim to help farmers and ranchers ensure their properties in fire-prone areas. Legislation sponsored by the California Farm Bureau would authorize the state’s insurer of last resort, the California FAIR Plan, to underwrite coverage for commercial farms and ranches that can’t find it on the open market. At the same time, Nationwide has begun offering supplemental insurance for farmers who qualify for FAIR Plan coverage.

Dairy farmers will watch carefully as restaurants and other food-service facilities reopen. More than half of some dairy foods are typically consumed away from home. Dairy product sales to foodservice have increased and retail sales remain strong, but economists say future buying habits will be unpredictable as pandemic restrictions ease. With milk production expected to increase, analysts say food-service demand will be particularly important.

Source: California Farm Bureau