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Lodi growers go digital

Local farmers turning to smartphone, tablet apps to keep track of tasks

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1 comment:

  • Doug Chaney posted at 12:46 pm on Sun, Feb 24, 2013.

    advocate Posts: 502

    Wow, farmers that need a computer program to remind them to water their crops or prune their vines? My long time related farmer generation of North Dakota, most of them resting in peace, since coming to America in the early 1900's and beginning their quest for farming, are rolling over in their graves with laughter. Many of the local area "farmers" in this area are given the nice climate, soil and water factor to grow some of the best crops in the country and for that they should be thankful. My forebears couldn't grow much of anything but sugar beets, wheat or alfalfa in this desolate country and many chose to be cattle or chicken farmers. They didn't get subsidies or paid not to grow certain crops nor any kind of government welfare or help of any kind in those days. Nor the help of pesticides, herbicides, sulfur or chemicals of any kind unless they were contained in the water they paid dearly to pump from the ground. Droughts produced no extra irrigation water to sustain their crop growth from some government or private entity that controlled the water usage in times of drought. The government and especially local water districts take care of the water rationing today with some farmers buying the water on the cheap and selling it for a huge profit to those who aren't so lucky to be allocated the same share the larger, well connected farmers are given. Many of these small water districts are led by "farmers" that know absolutely nothing about water except that the more they are allocated, the better the crop yield and the surplus can be sold for a very generous profit. These boards and their directors seem to usually be made up of a group of yes men who are the larger players and acreage owners in their district and operate with very little or no oversight at all. I'll cite the North San Joaquin Water Conservation District as being one of these long time dysfunctional water boards in a small corner of north Lodi. This small district, and their board director, the local newspaper owner who seemed to have a strong with the Lodi city council, was granted a 200K stipend for years from the Lodi taxpayers, much of which was never accounted for due to either sloppy record or bookkeeping, contracts for maintenance and pump work, etc, were just given to the same two or three people and no records of the work ever being performed even though they were paid by the district and director. They never have been accountable for all those missing funds all those years and even the grand jury was too protective, I'm guessing because that the foreman of the grand jury was one of the Lodi good old boys and a retired police officer and well connected with the director and didn't want to seem to jeopardize him with the embarrassment of possibly a full investigation into the financial troubles of this district. And maybe criminal charges against some of those who comprised the board and its director all those years, and including some other prominent names in agriculture in this district, some who owned large acreage and financially successful which could have been due to the fact that the finances being an absolute mess and lack of a thorough investigation into who was responsible for these missing funds. It's refreshing to see a local farmer featured in this article rather than the well connected and publicized wine grape growers that control the real destinies of those who make waves that could upset the applecart. Mr. Pilkington was one of those this well connected group tried so desperately to shut up, they finally succeeded but not until some of the ugly practices of this water district were made known by this board and director to the grand jury and general public. Just another saga in the life of the good old boys regime in Lodi, CA.



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