California flood damage and USDA expanding wildfire efforts

31 January 2023

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USA – From the Ag Information Network, I’m Bob Larson with your Agribusiness Update.

**Farmers in California’s Salinas Valley are still calculating crop damages from a series of storms that caused the Salinas River to overflow its banks, flooding 20,000 acres of farmland.

Total damages are difficult to access with slow receding storm waters, but the Monterey County Farm Bureau estimates losses from $40 to $50 million.

While much of the flooded acreage was dormant, thousands of acres contained newly planted vegetables and strawberries.

**The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association recently filed a Notice of Intent to sue the Department of the Interior and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service over the listing of the “lesser prairie chicken” under the Endangered Species Act.

NCBA Associate Director of Government Affairs Sigrid

Johannes says, the lesser prairie chicken only survives today because of the voluntary conservation efforts of ranchers,” adding, there are numerous places where this listing goes seriously wrong and we are defending ranchers against this overreaching, unscientific rule.

**Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced his agency is expanding efforts to reduce the risk of wildfires in the western U.S.

Funds will be invested to directly protect at-risk communities and critical infrastructure in 11 additional landscapes in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington.

Vilsack says, it’s no longer a matter of IF a wildfire will threaten many western communities, it’s a matter of WHEN.

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