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Is John Vidovich planning to sell off the valley’s lifeblood? Or is he just the newest water baron on the block?

 •  by Lois Henry

When you first meet John Vidovich, everything from his ball cap to his dirty boots tells you he’s a farmer. He certainly looks the part in his well-worn jeans and checkered shirts. But this outwardly unassuming multimillionaire has become a lightning rod of controversy. Because, while he does farm thousands of acres of pistachios, almonds…

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Groundwater

Declining agricultural land values tied to water

 •  by Lois Henry

It’s all about the water. As far as agricultural land values, that is. A new report on the outlook for Kern County ag land values shows water emerging as a major deciding factor in what land is worth, according to Michael Ming, a broker for Alliance Ag Services LLC. His report shows that, depending on…

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Floods

Survey says! We got a boatload of water coming soon

 •  by Lois Henry

The numbers are in and they are good. Amazing, actually. The April 1 manual snowpack survey for the Kern River basin shows we are at an overall 215 percent of average, according to the Department of Water Resources. (See side box for particulars.) The basin was at 49 percent of average last year and that…

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Groundwater

Farm land in Kern is down, but don’t fret

 •  by Lois Henry

Agricultural land values in the Central Valley, and Kern County, have slipped a bit but most analysts aren’t worried about a major drop. Though water will become a larger question mark in coming years. For now, analysts are looking at the recent dip in values as more of a “breather” from the meteoric rates at…

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Water Resources

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