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california agriculture

Drought farm (Jae C. Hong / Associated Press)

How California Went Dry

Gov. Jerry Brown of California is fired up about nailing his citizens to the wall, should they dare to use more than their allotted amount of water. On Sunday, Brown said that those who did not take shorter showers would be punished with fines of up to $500, in order to cut urban water use 25 percent; now, according to CBS News, water authorities will use “smart meters” to monitor water use and update them for purposes of fines.

California Oranges (Pat Roque / Associated Press)

Cal Fruits and Crops Rotting at West Coast Ports in Union Fight

The increasingly bitter labor strife at West Coast ports between employers represented by the Pacific Maritime Association (PMA) and members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU), whose members command average wages and benefits of about $1,200 a day, is causing California’s agricultural sector to watch its labors rot away.

Napa Valley (AP)

Cuba Big Export Potential for California Farmers

Cuba should be a bountiful island with an excellent growing season. But the workers’ paradise has to import $2 billion in food each year to prevent the workers from starving. American farmers have been able to get a small piece of the market since food sales were allowed as an exemption to the 1962 trade embargo in 2000. But with Obama Administration moving to normalize relationships, California, as America’s top food producing state, looks forward to serving a market of 11 million new consumers.

California drought (AP)

Probability of El Niño this Winter at 65%

Although Northern California is at 140% average rainfall so far this year, the state is still in the equivalent of one of its worst droughts. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) recently downgraded its estimated probability of El Niño torrential rains developing this winter to approximately 65%.