California Water Managers Collaborate and USDA Helps Specialty Crops
**Some 150 water managers, government officials, farmers, environmentalists and others gathered in Sacramento to collaborate on some of the state’s most challenging water issues.
The Water Education Foundation’s Annual Water Summit came after heavy rains boosted reservoirs in 2023, following three years of severe drought.
Eric Oppenheimer of the California State Water Resources says the water-rights system “is a challenging system to manage” and requires better data collection.
**Deputy Secretary Xochitl (zo-CHEEL) Torres Small announced USDA is starting a new effort to support Specialty Crop producers and increase competitiveness.
Torres Small says USDA has compiled useful information on its programs and services that support the specialty crops industry in its directory.
The directory will be a one-stop shop for the sector and contains a comprehensive snapshot of USDA’s resources and services for specialty crop producers and businesses in one convenient location.
**The U.S. Commerce Department has lowered duties placed on phosphate fertilizers imported from Morocco.
The National Corn Growers Association says this move gives true savings to farmers and access to critical inputs that have been scarce in recent years.
Commerce lowered the rates from 19.97% to 2.12%.
NCGA President Harold Wolle says farmers were already facing rate hikes on inputs, and the duties were making the situation worse.