**A judge in Siskiyou County has temporarily blocked a state order that would have prevented area farmers from tapping into percolating groundwater supplies they’ve relied on for decades.

The State Water Resources Control Board looked to stop groundwater pumping there as part of a drought emergency order for the Shasta and Scott rivers.

But irrigators argue the state’s authority doesn’t extend to groundwater.

A hearing on the matter is planned for May 5.

**The United Nation’s Food and Agriculture Organization says its Food Price Index set a record in March.

The index averaged 159.3 points, up almost 18 points from February.

The 12% jump in the index during March sent it to the highest level since the index began in 1990.

The latest increase reflects all-time highs for vegetable oils, cereals, and meat sub-indices, while sugar and dairy products also rose significantly.

**U.S. beef exports turned in another strong performance in February.

USDA data compiled by the U.S. Meat Export Federation says the strong month for beef was led by excellent value growth in key Asian and Latin American markets.

Beef exports hit 108,500 metric tons in February, up 5%.

Beef’s export value rose 35% to over $904 million.

USMEF President Dan Halstrom says, international demand has never been higher and global supplies remain tight.