**California’s bleak 2021-22 water year officially ended September 30, without much hope for a better year ahead.

The California Department of Water Resources says another parched year may be in the works thanks to a continuing La Niña atmospheric phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean, which generally means warmer, drier conditions.

Last week, Lake Shasta, the largest Central Valley reservoir, stood at 59% of its historic average, less-than-promising news for farmers.

**A new federal grant program seeks to increase American-made fertilizer production. Ag Secretary Tom Vilsack announced the $500 million in grants, intended to spur competition in the fertilizer sector and combat price hikes on U.S. farmers.

The Fertilizer Production Expansion Program is part of a government-wide effort to promote competition in agricultural markets.

The Commodity Credit Corporation grants will support independent, innovative and sustainable American fertilizer production to supply American farmers.

**Ending the 14-week stretch of declining gas prices, the nation's average gas price posted a rise of 3.2 cents from a week ago to $3.67 per gallon.

The national average is down 17.5 cents from a month ago but 49.3 cents higher than a year ago.

But the national average diesel price went down 5.1 cents over the last week and now stands at $4.88 per gallon.

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