Ag News: Pistachio Thief and Racial Discrimination Defeat
**Deputies in Tulare County California arrested a man for allegedly stealing and reselling more than 24 tons of pistachios.
According to www.agweb.com, the Touchstone Pistachio Company ran an audit earlier this month and discovered something wasn't right, so the county’s ag detectives jumped into action and quickly found a tractor trailer full of the missing nuts.
Authorities arrested 34-year-old Alberto Montemayor, who’d been working for family-owned Montemayor Trucking, a contractor for the pistachio company.
**The $4 billion debt relief program enacted by Congress to address past racial discrimination of socially disadvantaged farmers and ranchers suffered another legal defeat last week when a federal judge in Florida halted payments nationwide.
According to www.agrimarketing.com, U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard says the program is "untethered to an attempt to remedy any specific instance of past discrimination."
Instead, she adds, the program "appears to create an inflexible, race-based discriminatory program not tailored to make the individuals who experienced discrimination whole.
**Created to deal with scarcity, the California water-rights system is being tested this summer.
A state water board already imposed emergency regulations in the Russian River watershed and warned water-right holders in the Central Valley about water cutbacks.
A Sacramento Valley farmer affected by the action says his farm will idle about a-third of its rice acreage because of short water supplies.