Today’s quick hits, March 1, 2019

Farming in Southern California (KCET): Some 854,000 people live in Ventura County, yet for every acre of building and pavement, there’s an acre of farmland, thanks to a strong regard for agriculture and ordinances that require voter approval to rezone rural land for development.

Organic livestock suit clears hurdle (OTA): A U.S. district court judge rejected a USDA motion for dismissal of a lawsuit challenging the withdrawal of a regulation setting animal welfare standards for organic livestock. The decision keeps the case on track for trial.

Snowpack continues to build (Los Angeles Times): The snowpack doubled to 113 inches in one month in California’s Sierra Nevadas, which provide 30 percent of the state’s water for cities and crops. With a month left in the wet season, the snowpack is at 153 percent of its average depth.

‘Extenders’ bill includes biodiesel (Senate Finance): Finance Committee leaders unveiled legislation to retroactively extend 29 expired tax provisions, including the biodiesel tax credit, through the end of this year and provide tax breaks for businesses and people affected by major disasters last year.

Hunting for money in hemp (Stateline): Kentucky is the leader in developing an industrial hemp sector among 41 states with laws that allow cultivation and production; two-thirds of its growers produce hemp for processing into cannabinoid oil, popular as a health supplement.