Developer, farmer and water trader John Vidovich plans to build a beef feedlot and processing plant near Lemoore according to a preliminary application filed with the county. The 789 acre project would be located along Highway 41 just south of 198. Located on property owned by Vidovich, the land is zone for ag.
 
According to their application, Sandridge Cattle wants to develop land in Kings County to construct and operate a cattle feedlot and beef harvesting plant on 250 acres of the larger parcel.
 
The proposed feedlot will grow cattle in ”a healthy, well‐managed, cattle friendly environment and cattle will be fed natural grain/hay and receive no hormones. The beef harvesting plant will produce high quality and dry aged beef for bulk sale to consumers. The beef harvesting plant will make use of humane slaughter techniques using kosher and halal methods.”
 
The feedlot portion encompasses approximately 215 acres of the site and includes approximately 120 acres of corrals, a 300,000 square feet beef loading and processing center, a horse barn, 275,000 sf manure lagoon, 50,000 square feet manure basin, 336,800 sf silage pad, 60,000 square feet silage lagoon run‐off, 6,500 square feet commodity barn, and 5,000 square feet equipment shop. At capacity, the cattle feedlot will be designed for a maximum of 12,600 cattle.
 
70 employees — small volume
 
The feedlot would be operated seven days a week from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. would require seven full‐time employees to manage and run the daily feedlot operations. During operations, the feedlot would receive approximately 30 feed deliveries and four cattle deliveries per week.
 
There would be a small walk-in customer retail store on site.
 
The beef harvesting plant includes approximately 72,000 square feet of building space consisting of livestock loading areas, a kill floor, coolers, cold storage, dry storage, a cut room, offices, employee facilities and 1,900 square feet of retail space. This facility will be used to slaughter, butcher, process, and distribute bulk beef products using kosher and halal slaughter techniques. At capacity, the beef harvesting plant would harvest a maximum of 120 cattle per day.
 
The plant would be operated Monday‐Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. and would require 60 full‐time employees to run the daily beef harvesting plant operations at maximum capacity.
 
By contrast, the Sandridge beef operation would be small compared to Central Valley Meat’s large and expanding operation on the outskirts of Hanford. With Sandridge cattle harvesting  just 120 cattle a day, Central Valley Meat plans to do a two-phase expansion of its beef processing plant that already processes about 1,500 head of cattle a day. According to the application  approved in the past year, the company plans to increase the capacity three-fold to 4,500 head a day.
 
Touchstone Pistachios remain stalled in Fresno County but move forward in Tulare County
 
The Valley’s "pistachio wars" pitting top dog Wonderful Pistachios vs local company Touchstone continue now for about  four years running. 
 
Fresno’s Touchstone Pistachios remains stalled on their 2018 plan to build a large 49-silo processing plant near Hwy 33 after a series of CEQA  environmental challenges by rival Wonderful. The plant was expected to be operating by now but instead Touchstone, stalled in Fresno County, is counting on a site in Tulare County to process the growing volume of pistachio nuts being grown in the Valley.
 
Touchstone got some good news in Tulare County when a county  judge ruled in November against Wonderful in their effort to halt new construction at rival Touchstone’s plant in Terra Bella.
 
Touchstone  alleges that like in the Fresno County case, Wonderful is suing by using environmental laws to stifle competition. Wonderful appeared to be carrying on their commercial  dispute with Touchstone who used to do business with Wonderful but is now on their own.
 
The judge pointed out that Wonderful didn’t challenge the building or operation of the Terra Bella plant when it was originally built in 1996 by ARO Pistachios. Instead, the company waited until the plant was purchased by Touchstone.
 
The Tulare County plant, when originally built, had just four storage silos. Today, owned by Touchstone, it sports 20 silos and now as of January  2022 the company has filed a plan to add another 16 for a total 36 silos.The “Minor Modification” application to the county says “There will be no expansion of the project site.  The intent of the applicant is to increase efficiency for the existing use.”
 
Processors need to add processing capacity and silos in the Valley as growers continue to plant 30,000 acres of new trees annually, says Bob Klein of the Administrative Committee for Pistachios. This year’s crop tops one billion pounds.

Parade of storms puts Jan. 1 precip index ahead of all last year

Cold storms over the past weeks have been impressive, raising hopes for a wet water year in California. A review of precipitation totals up and down the state shows Jan. 1 rainfall since Oct. 1, are already ahead of all last water-year. Snowfall is big this year too with Yosemite’s famous Tioga Pass recording just one foot on the ground Dec. 13 and now 7 feet as of Dec. 28. Statewide snowpack is 153% of average for the date and 49% of April 1 average. Sierra Snow Lab in Tahoe is reporting December's total to 202.1", which makes it the third snowiest month on record here (back to 1970). That is just under 17 feet with a few days of snow to fall.

In Northern California the precipitation index stands at 172% of average for Dec 28. That includes the state’s most important reservoir at Shasta Dam. The dam has a good way to go to fill to pre-drought levels, however. Today, storage reached 1.3 million af but the reservoir holds 4 million af. This time in 2020 it held 3.3 million af.

The San Joaquin Precipitation Index is at 169% of average for the date — runoff that will fill the Friant Kern Canal next spring. Tulare Basin average is 149% — on a track for the second wettest year ever. The latest precipitation number from Pine Flat dam shows around 9 inches to date, ahead of all last year when the dam got just 8 inches.

Also ahead of all last year’s precipitation are Giant Forest in fire-scarred Sequoia with about 18 inches approaching New Year after seeing just 13 inches of rain all last year. Lake Shasta has received around 30 inches to date as of Jan 1 compared to 25 inches all last year. Call it another Santa Claus rally. The rally will continue at a lower volume with about another inch of precipitation in the southern Sierra between Dec. 29 and Jan. 2 says a forecast report.

Recommended for you

Load comments