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Ag Beat: ARB Targets Methane Emissions / Citrus Update / More

ARB Wants To Reduce Methane Emissions On Dairies

Screen Shot 2016-04-24 at 7.42.08 AMA new California Air Resource Board report vows to cut methane emissions by 40 percent below current levels in 2030 by avoiding or capturing methane from manure at large dairies, meeting industry targets for reducing methane emissions from enteric fermentation ( belching), effectively eliminating disposal of organics in landfills,and reducing fugitive methane emissions by 40-45 percent from all sources. By next year in coordination with CDFA and local air quality and water quality agencies, ARB says they ” will initiate a rule making process to reduce manure methane emissions from the dairy industry in-line with the objectives in this proposed strategy.” ARB says dairy methane emissions can be significantly reduced by switching from flush water lagoons to solid-scrape or dry manure management systems. They propose more capture of methane gas to make useful biogas fuel.

Honey Production Down 34% Last Year

California honey production was down some 34% in 2015 compare to 2014, likely due to the drought. California produced 8.2 million pounds in 2015 compared to 12.4 million pounds in 2014.

Citrus Crop: Florida Volume Drops 27 Percent While California Climbs 7 Percent

The US citrus crop forecast for 2015/16 is at 7.95 million tons, down more than 12 percent from the 2014/15 final utilized total of 9.02 million tons, and down almost 16 percent from 2013/14.  The forecast is down largely due to Florida’s huge 27% drop from last season. Florida orange juice production is expected to decline by 25%. The orange crop is the smallest in 65 years hurt by citrus greening disease as wells lower demand for OJ.
In contrast, the 2015/16 California all-orange production is estimated to be  2.1 million tons—a 7percent increase from last season. The navel crop is estimated at 1.68 million tons, up 6 percent from last season while the Valencia crop is up 11 percent. Despite the projected increase in the navel orange crop, slow movement to market assisted in keeping early-season prices above last season.  Total production of U.S. tangerines/mandarins is estimated at 907,000 tons, and if realized, will be the largest harvest on record. Production gains in California are making up for declining production in Florida says USDA.

More Farm Work – Larger Employers Have Large Percentage Of Workers Here

The average employment of hired workers or the number of full-time equivalent jobs in California agriculture has been rising, and was 410,900 in 2014. The total number of workers employed for wages sometime during the year is twice as high, 829,300. The two-to-one ratio between total workers and average jobs was similar in 2007, 2012, and 2014.EDD reports in Tulare County, 1,169 farm businesses had 36,900 employees during the third quarter of 2012. The 59 farming businesses with 100 or more employees were less than five percent of employers, but they hired 35 percent of workers and paid 30 percent of wages.

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