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The permit pipeline for solar projects in Kings County keeps filling up with the latest filing by Apex Energy Solution for a 3-megawatt solar project to be built at 22868 Zenith Ave in Kettleman City on a 40-acre parcel. The applicant is based in Folsom. The project, located near the Kings/Kern line, also goes by the name of Leo Solar.

Farmers worry about NAFTA

Speaking of farm exports, President Trump recently indicated he may throw out the NAFTA trade deal but California and national farm groups says they oppose any wholesale dumping of the pact. Trump tweeted this in recent days: ”We are in the NAFTA (worst trade deal ever made) renegotiation process with Mexico & Canada. Both being very difficult, may have to terminate?”

When talks resume next month about renegotiating the North American Free Trade Agreement, farmers and ranchers will continue to press for policies that retain gains in agricultural trade among the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The California Farm Bureau says NAFTA has, on balance, been positive for California agriculture, although Mexican competition has hurt some crops. Canada is the No. 2 market for California farm exports, and Mexico ranks fifth.

Golf clubhouse demo

A building permit has been issued to demolish the Phoenix Sunrise golf course clubhouse at 14868 18th Ave, near Lemoore, to make room for more parking at the expanded Kelly Slater Surf Ranch. The permit was issued Aug. 7.

Pistachio expansion underway

Also near Kettleman City, a $1 million permit has been issued to Kennan Farms to build three new pistachio silos at its processing facility. The company is one of the largest pistachio processors in the United States. Founded in 1972, the family operation has been in business longer than any other California pistachio processor.

Daley Homes plans 134-unit subdivision in Lemoore

The city of Lemoore City Council recently approved a general plan amendment that would allow a new 134-unit subdivision near the 198 and Highway 41 interchange. The project, by Tulare-based Daley Homes, is located at the northeast corner of State Route 198 and State Route 41, south of San Simeon Drive and west of Arcata Avenue.

High Speed Rail work to begin construction here

The California High-Speed Rail Authority has announced overpass embankment, utilities and bridge construction at Kent Avenue and Kansas Avenue, between State Route 43 and 9½ Avenue in Kings County, as part of high-speed rail overcrossing construction. Work is scheduled to begin Sept. 25. This would be the first major construction activity for the project in Kings County.

Kings & California milk production down

Milk production both in Kings County and California continues to slump in 2017 when compared to years before. While USDA estimates overall milk production across the U.S. increased 1.7 percent in June 2017, compared to June 2016 - California milk production decreased 2.1 percent (with 13,000 less cows and 25 less pounds of milk per cow).

In Kings County we produced 339 million pounds of milk in June 2017 compared to 354.7 million pounds in June 2016, 355 million in June 2015 and 370 million pounds in June 2014. That is a decline of about 31 million pounds or about 9 percent.

Class 1 milk sales ( fluid sales) continue down in the state although when consumers are drinking a glass of milk – it is more likely to be whole milk, not reduced in fat.

Oil Patch layoffs told

Layoffs are indicated at Phillips 66 pipeline facility in Coalinga according to a state WARN notice. But a Phillips manger says they are contract employees of Irwin industries, not Phillips 66. Some 24 employees there will be losing their jobs according to the notice. The parent company, Irwin Industries, will lay off over 300 people in their oil field operations by October across California says the notice. An Irwin Industries official said they had no comment.

Sanger Walmart gets grocery pick-up service

Wal-Mart Stores is introducing its curbside pickup program at 26 stores in California soon including in nearby Sanger. Currently, more than 800 Walmart stores across the country provide curbside pickup of groceries ordered online. According to Walmart, more than 90 percent of shoppers using curbside pickup tend to purchase such items as fresh meat, dairy and produce. Other Valley stores introducing the service include Bakersfield, Delano, Fresno and Clovis.

Falling dollar good news for ag exports

Local farmers are not complaining that the declining value of the US dollar versus other currencies. The US Dollar Index has dropped to 92 this week compared to 102 a year ago, making our products some 10 percent cheaper for foreign buyers using their currency. That’s a boost for our ag exports.


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John Lindt is an independent business reporter. He can be reached at

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