A new bill is proposing to incentivize farmers to share equipment through regional cooperatives. The aim is to support socially disadvantaged and low-income farmers who otherwise cannot afford to purchase or rent the equipment. The program would work with UC Cooperative Extension, resource conservation districts and community organizations.
But the author, Asm. Steve Bennett of Ventura, ran afoul of agriculture last year when attempting to layer on more reviews for new irrigation wells. This year he has doubled down on that objective and added several new water and drought bills.
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Bennett is proposing to grant the state water board more authority in court adjudications concerning groundwater. He hopes to declare human health and safety the highest priority for water use and would incentivize solar developments to replace fallowed farmland.