Fungicides

BREAKING NEWS: Historic Monterey County Farmworker Safety Initiative

BREAKING NEWS

Ag Commissioner & Farmworker Advisory Committee Announce Historic Pesticide Initiative for Farmworker Safety

 

Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner, Eric Lauritzen and the Farmworker Advisory Committee, formed with the assistance of the Center for Community Advocacy (CCA), announced an historic initiative TODAY aimed at providing additional pesticide protections for farmworker safety. The initiative launches a pilot program with leading growers to enhance worker notification through warning signs when pesticides are used in the fields.

 

“California has the toughest farm pesticide restrictions in the nation, and Monterey County already imposes local rules that further protect farmworkers,” said Lauritzen at TODAY’s press conference. “But we are going to do even more to communicate our commitment to safety in the fields.”

 

“We are excited about this initiative that adds an additional element of protection for farmworkers by providing the time and date when it is safe to reenter the fields that require posting,” said Lauritzen. “Farmworkers are the backbone of Monterey County’s $4.8 billion Ag industry, and they are entitled to the highest standard of pesticide safety.”

 

Eric Lauritzen, Monterey County Ag Commissioner

Eric Lauritzen, Monterey County Ag Commissioner, speaking at Press Conference TODAY on Historic Farmworker Safety Initiative

Intended to protect farmworkers, the initiate “has created a relationship between our office, the regulators and the farm worker community,” said Lauritzen. “And it’s really building trust and confidence with our office and the regulatory program there to protect farmworkers,” noted Lauritzen.

 

Additionally, every farmworker in Monterey County (approximately 50,000) will receive a business-card-sized information card (in Spanish) advising them to call the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office if they suspect violations of safety rules. The cards also advise employers that it is illegal to retaliate against farmworkers who seek the help of the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office.

 

The information card reads:

If you have questions or complaints on pesticides, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office will help.

The card includes phone numbers and advises workers that state law also protects them against retaliation if they report a pesticide problem.

 

Currently, regulations for posting pesticide warning signs do not require information indicating the date or time when it is safe for farmworkers to re-enter the fields. The pilot program will include the addition of one sign that will be prominently marked with a red flag and include the date and time that the law allows workers to safely reenter the field. Only the grower or his/her officially designated representative may remove the signs, after first showing the crew leader proof that the re-entry restrictions have expired.

 

Osvaldo Cisneros, a lettuce worker and member of the Farmworker Advisory Committee, feels that the change is very important. “Some farmworkers have been showing up for work and have been told by their mayordomos (supervisors) to re-enter fields even though warning signs are still up,” said Cisneros. “They have to depend on the word of the mayordomos even though they have no way to verify what they are told. This change will allow farmworkers, themselves, to tell when it is safe to enter fields.”

 

The posting and information card initiatives were developed in cooperation with the Farmworker Advisory Committee, a group formed jointly by Lauritzen and the non-profit Center for Community Advocacy. “Many farmworkers are unaware of their right to a safe working environment,” said CCA Executive Director Juan Uranga. “That’s why it is important to provide farmworkers with the information they need to both protect themselves and also gain access to the agencies, like the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, that exist to protect them.”

 

A second member of the Farmworker Advisory Committee, Maria Elena Andrade, added: “It is important for our community to know that the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office exists to serve us, as well as the other parts of the agricultural industry. We are trying to create that message through the Farmworker Advisory Committee, even as we work with the Ag Commissioner and his staff to improve safety for farmworkers.”

 

Growers involved with the initiative include Sea Mist Farms, Tanimura & Antle, Bayview Farms, Scheid Vineyards and Costa Family Farms. Lauritzen recognized these leading growers for their, support, innovation and dedication in their effort to provide additional protections for farmworkers.

 

Lauritzen briefed officials at the state Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) on the pilot warning sign program and the information card campaign. DPR Director Brian Leahy praised the Monterey County initiative. “We all know that farmworkers are the most vulnerable population in terms of potential exposure to pesticides,” said Leahy. “When we protect farmworkers more effectively, we also enhance protection for the environment and the community at large. This initiative represents an important step forward for farmworker safety, and it underscores California’s leadership in environmental protection.”


Historic Note:

The accord reached two years ago between the Office of the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner, the agency that oversees pesticide regulations and other worker safety matters, and the Center for Community Advocacy (CCA), a farmworker advocacy group, established the Farmworker Advisory Committee for the Office of the Agricultural Commissioner of Monterey County—the first of its kind in the State Of California.



 

2021-05-12T11:05:48-07:00August 29th, 2016|

USDA Pesticide Data Program Report Confirms Food Safety

USDA Pesticide Data Program Report Confirms Food Safety:

More than 99 percent of sampled food tested below allowable pesticide residue levels!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has confirmed again in its annual report that American consumers can focus on the nutritional benefits of conventional and organic produce without concern for pesticide residues. Over 99 percent of fresh and processed food available to consumers tested below allowable pesticide residue levels, as detailed in the 24th Pesticide Data Program (PDP) Annual Report released on January 11, 2016 by the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS). Only .36 percent [0.36%] of the products sampled through the PDP had residues above the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) established tolerances, giving consumers plentiful options to meet their daily nutritional needs.crop life america logo

“Today’s consumers can choose from food produced with a variety of farming methods and necessary crop protection strategies and be confident that it will sustain and enrich their families’ lives,” stated Jay Vroom, president and CEO of CropLife America (CLA). “Across the nation, our growers continue to use the most advanced crop protection technology available to target specific crop threats. From precision agriculture to integrated pest management, farmers in the heartland, the plains, coastal areas and everywhere in between are pushing forward with the best ways to produce food for their communities and for the country.”

PDP researchers tested a total of 10,619 samples of fresh and processed fruit and vegetables (8,582 samples), oats (314 samples), rice (314 samples), infant formula (1,055 samples), and salmon (354 samples). To ensure the samples were representative of the U.S., researchers collected data in a variety of states throughout different times of the year. The findings support the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2015-2020, recently released by USDA and the U.S. Department of Health, which encourage consumers to eat more fruits and vegetables.ChooseMyPlate.gov

“With rapid advancements in computing technology, the space for developing new ways to fight agricultural threats is increasing exponentially,” stated Dr. Janet E. Collins, senior vice president of science and regulatory affairs at CLA. “Consumers have a number of options at the grocery store, thanks in large part to the work of the scientific community involved in research and development, the companies that are manufacturing products, and America’s farmers and ranchers. The 2014 PDP report demonstrates again that, with the sound science-based regulation of pesticides and commitment from the industry, farmers and other stakeholders, we can reach toward making sure that every American, no matter their wallet size or geographic location, can access healthy food.”

A 2012 report from CLA demonstrates that crop protection has made healthy food more financially accessible to the American consumer, providing a 47.92 percent savings in overall grocery bills for a family of four in the U.S.1 In addition, increased agricultural production, due to advanced pesticides, has created an additional 1,040,661 jobs generating more than $33 billion in wages—all while decreasing the need for tillage operations, thereby reducing fossil fuel use by 558 million gallons per year.

Recent reports from the United Nations also show that an increasing number of people worldwide have gained access to healthy food. Over the past 25 years, the number of people worldwide who are hungry has declined from one billion to about 795 million, or about one person out of nine—which means that 2 billion people have avoided a “likely state of hunger” given the global population increase of 1.9 billion people since 1990-92.2 Multiple factors have contributed to the decrease in global hunger, including the integration of family farmers and small holders in rural areas into well-functioning markets for food, inputs and labor.

The PDP was established in 1991 for the purpose of collecting data on pesticide residues found in food. Information collected by the PDP is sent to the EPA to help the agency conduct important dietary risk assessments. The USDA also uses this data in the development of integrated pest management objectives. Since the PDP program was initiated, 109 different commodities have undergone testing. A complete version of the 2014 Annual Summary is available at www.ams.usda.gov/pdp.


1 CropLife America. The Contributions of Crop Protection Products to the United States Economy.

2 Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Fund for Agricultural Development and the World Food Program. State of Food Insecurity in the World 2015.


Established in 1933, CropLife America (www.croplifeamerica.org) represents the developers, manufacturers, formulators and distributors of plant science solutions for agriculture and pest management in the United States. CropLife America’s member companies produce, sell and distribute virtually all the crop protection and biotechnology products used by American farmers. CLA can be found on Twitter at @CropLifeAmerica. CLA supports CropLife StewardshipFirst.

2021-05-12T11:03:05-07:00January 13th, 2016|

More Rain, More Fungi, More Use for Multiuse Fungicides

With More Rain, More Fungi, More Use for Multiuse Fungicides

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Deputy Editor

With spring rains, many vegetables, tree fruits, grapes and nuts succumb to fungi pressure. However, during the past few years, only trivial amounts of spring rain have moistened California’s soil and lulled farmers to abandon their vigilant watch for fungi proliferation. But now, the strong likelihood of El niño-driven wet weather this spring could catch growers off-guard.

“We have an El niño coming that has already been tagged, ‘Too big to fail,’ which will bring a lot of rain. So it’s really important for folks to think about switching gears this year on their pest management mindset. With more rain, comes more fungi disease. We always see really high pressure disease years with rain,” said Kate Walker a technical services representative with BASF Corporation on the Central Coast, who advises use of a multiuse fungicide product already on hand.

Anthracnose in Strawberries, UC Statewide IPM Project

Anthracnose in Strawberries (Source: UC Statewide IPM Project

Strawberries, in particular, are vulverable to fungi. “We have heard from our strawberry growers,” said Walker, “that these fungal diseases are always present in California, but they vary significantly in their severity year-to-year depending on the weather,” noted Walker.

“One major disease that accompanies higher moisture, Anthracnose, often called leaf, shoot, or twig blight,” Walker explained, “results from infection caused by the fungus Colletotrichum. I’ve heard some growers have not experienced Anthracnose issues in 10 years,” said Walker. “As it emerges and becomes more problematic in strawberries, farmers really need to know which types of fungicides to use to manage this and other diseases.”

“It is very important for farmers and PCAs to walk through and scout their fields for disease,” Walker said, “and when they identify one, to become very aggressive with their fungicide management program. So, as representatives for BASF, we are lucky to have multiuse fungicide products available to control these diseases, such as Merivon Fungicide.”

Walker noted Merivon has two modes of action, “so it is very broad-spectrum. Typically we position Merivon in California for use on powdery mildew and Botrytis, but what we seldom talk to growers about is its utility for Anthracnose. We see a lot more  Anthracnose in Florida and on the East Coast due to the increased rains; whereas, it usually doesn’t come through every year in California. So it is good to for farmers and PCSs to know that the product with which they are familiar for use in Botrytis, is also very effective with other issues, like Anthracnose.”

Walker offered, “Another very common disease that flourishes with increased rain, Rhizopus, occurs post-harvest, after the berries are picked up from the field. Again, Merivon has utility for Rhizopus as well, so growers don’t have to change or reinvent their program to manage these diseases.”

Walker said, “Rhizopus is an airborne bread mold. It is very common in the air and in the soil, so anytime a fruit or a nut is exposed to the spores blowing in the wind, it is vulnerable to infection with this disease.”

2016-05-31T19:27:02-07:00December 4th, 2015|

European Farmland Under Pressure

European Farmland under Pressure Due to Regulation and Diversion

By Laurie Greene, Editor

Jose Gomez Carrasco, executive sales manager for AGQ Labs and Technological Services based in Oxnard, is in charge of covering a large area that includes the U.S., Mexico and Central America. Noting global concern regarding how farmland is being used, particularly European farmland, Carrasco said, “There’s a growing population of around 150,000 or 170,000 new mouths every day to feed.” Carrasco said agricultural production on land designated for agricultural use in every country, worldwide, is being diverted to bio-ethanol, or bio-mass, or different renewable energy use, so the availability of agricultural products for food is diminishing.

Carrasco stated this progression needs to be moving in the opposite direction, “especially because there are other issues that are making production more challenging, such as water scarcity, soil erosion and the use and price of agro-chemicals, inputs and fertilizers, all of which are being controlled and monitored more and more.”

“The regulation of crop protection materials is intended to help everyone in the food supply chain,” he continued, “all the way from the grower to the consumer; however, sometimes these regulations can be quite burdensome.”

“In some cases regulations are not for the benefit of all,” Carrasco explained; “just for some. So in markets such as the European Union where the [maximum threshold] number of molecules registered has diminished from 1,000 to 300 or 400 in the last decade, we’re finding a lot of this regulation comes from Germany.” Carrasco said they are leaving a lot of farmers with no agro-chemicals in their arsenal, especially in Spain, Portugal, and Greece, all in southern Europe.

2016-05-31T19:28:07-07:00August 11th, 2015|

MRLs and Crop Protection Materials are Improving but Complicated

MRLs and Crop Protection Materials are Improving but Complicated!

By Laurie Greene, Editor and Patrick Cavanaugh, Associate Editor

Rachel Kubiak, Environmental & Regulatory Affairs director with the Western Plant Health Association, based in Sacramento, commented that crop protection materials are improving. They target specific pests and they are set to maximum residue levels (MRL’s) when sold domestically or internationally. Yet, they are quite complicated.

“The materials are getting better,” Kubiak said, “but I would say that there is a large component that I don’t believe the activist community understands,” noted Kubiak.

Richard Cornett, director of communications for WPHA, blogged, “What most people are unaware of is that there is a highly integrated and multi-layered process of safety procedures to assure that pesticides are accessed for their safe use around humans and in the environment.”

U.S. EPA (a) scientifically reviews all pesticides for safety before registration, (b) involves EPA scientists at the Office of Pesticide Programs, the Department of Fish and Wildlife, as well as other departments, (c) guarantees that any pesticide used in the U.S. has been accessed and is safe and (d) applies tolerances only to produce grown in or imported into the United States.

In California, the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) enforces EPA tolerances by sampling produce for pesticide residues from throughout the channels of trade, both domestic and imported, including wholesale and retail outlets, distribution centers, and farmers markets.

“There are complications in making those products available to our growers,” Kubiak said, “because so much of what we produce in California is exported to other countries, and this MRL issue complicates things.”

Foreign countries follow an international standard called CODEX Alimentarus which contains a list of pesticide MRLs. EPA tolerances and International Codex MRLs are not harmonized; residue on an imported commodity can trigger a no-tolerance-established assessment and removal by California DPR while being a legal residue in other countries.

“I think this is a large area in which we could do better. Educating those who don’t live in our world on the difficulties in bringing new products to market isn’t as simplistic as they like to make it seem,” said Kubiak.

2016-05-31T19:28:12-07:00July 2nd, 2015|

BioConsortia Invents the Future

BioConsortia Plans New Ag Bio Products

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Associate Editor

Marcus Meadows-Smith is with BioConsortia, a research and development biodiscovery company in Davis, Calif. He and his company have big plans to invent the future for Ag.

“The company was founded about 20 years ago in New Zealand and was funded by a U.S. private equity,” said Meadows-Smith. “We decided to globalize the technology, and I became the founding global CEO of the company as it was established in the U.S. about 1 year ago.”

The company in New Zealand is called BioDiscovery. For many years, it was a contract research company that was very successful in the microbial space, working with companies like Monsanto and Syngenta. Then Biodiscovery made a R&D breakthrough. “We have totally restructured the company so that the global headquarters and global R&D are now run out of the United States,” noted Meadows-Smith, “and the New Zealand company has become the subsidiary that handles complementary R&D functions.”

Meadows-Smith mentioned that UC Davis and surrounding areas such as West Sacramento are teaming with bioscience researchers. “It’s turning into a bit of a hub for microbial expertise with several of the big players. Obviously you’ve got UC Davis, which is always credited as being the number one U.S. agricultural university. I’ve heard that it is now the world’s best agricultural university, so it’s a great place to be.”BioConsortia Logo

“We’ve got an excellent team of scientists in Davis, and the historic team in New Zealand has a lot of experience. They’ve been working together now for about five years, so the R&D down there is really humming at a great pace,” said Meadows-Smith.

“We’ve been able to rapidly bring together a group of scientists in the U.S.,” said Meadows-Smith, “that have jelled. We have set up a series of experiments, and we’re putting discoveries together. It’s a very exciting time to be doing pure research in the lab.”

“The other very exciting progression for us is we have just planted our second year of field trials, having completed our first year of field trials in 2014–just after the company was established,” he said.

The company is biological- and microbial-based. “We are looking at teams of microbes to improve plant traits and increase plant yield . We are developing products for fertilizer-use efficiency, abiotic stress tolerance, and biotic stress,” said Meadows-Smith.

“Pests and disease control are important, as well as metabolite expression,” he continued. “We’ve identified teams of microbes that instruct or enable the plant to deposit more sugar. As you can imagine, this provides the double productivity benefit of increasing both yield per acre and sugar content per plant.”

“While getting the plant to have increased sugar deposited in its leaf structure is a good thing; but that is actually not our main focus,” Meadows-Smith said. “We look at all the crops we want to target and ask what are the biggest needs today?”

“Fertilizer, for example, is a significant cost for the grower, so fertilizer-use efficiency products, we believe, would experience a large demand,”  Meadows-Smith stated. “There are also concerns about fertilizer leaching into groundwater, so the more efficient you can make plant take up the fertilizer, the better,” he added. “And of course, living in California, we are acutely aware of the importance of drought, so we are working on that as well. We are hoping for a yield increase per acre for the grower in everything we do.”

“We are moving products down the pipeline as we speak,” he commented, “and, obviously, we want a large body of data to demonstrate to growers how to best use our products. We are looking for two years of good field trial results and then we’ll go through the registration process. So we are expecting to get our first product on the market by 2017.

“We are developing products that contain beneficial bacteria, beneficial fungi, and good plant colonizers,”  Meadows-Smith declared. “Some will colonize the root system, and some the outside of the plant. Still others, endophytes, that will actually grow through the plant tissue. Just as we humans have microbes in our guts to aid digestion, plants actually have beneficial microbes, bacteria and fungi growing within the plant tissue,” Meadows-Smith explained.

Meadows-Smith said BioConsortia’s revolutionary platform will take biologicals to the next level “by assembling teams of microbes that perform complementary functions; so while some microbes will enhance the root system, others will aid the root in nutrient uptake,” he said. “This will bring consistency and superior performance to the marketplace. It’s a very exciting time for the industry as a whole,” he said.

“We are looking to transform food production in a way that is sustainable, bringing benefits to the grower and feeding the world with nutritious, affordable food. That’s what we are in this industry for. These are very exciting times!” Meadows-Smith said.

Featured photo: Marcus Meadows-Smith, with Bio Consortia Scientists.

2016-05-31T19:28:13-07:00June 20th, 2015|

ADAMA Captan Gold ® 4L Now Registered in California

ADAMA Captan Gold ® 4L Fungicide Gets EPA “Go Ahead” for California Strawberries, Tree Fruits

 

Adama LogoADAMA has received EPA approval for Captan Gold 4L liquid fungicide for use on strawberries, tree fruits and other specialty crops. A multi-site contact fungicide, Captan Gold 4L penetrates fungal spores, protecting high-value crops against tough diseases like anthracnose, botrytis (gray mold), brown rot and scab.

“ADAMA Captan Gold 4L is the only liquid captan with a ‘Caution’ signal word,” states the company’s national marketing leader Sara Zinck. “Backed by more than 50 years of captan manufacturing experience, Captan Gold 4L delivers excellent efficacy through its multi-site mode of action, making it a trusted partner in fungicide resistance management.”

Gray Mold on Strawberry, UC IPM

Gray Mold on Strawberry, UC IPM

 

Captan Gold 4L on strawberries

For use on California strawberries, Captan Gold 4L is labeled for applications at 2 to 3 quarts per acre. Early applications at pre-bloom and bloom offer the best fruit protection from botrytis. Follow up applications can be applied at 7 to 14 day intervals up to harvest. Application rates are not to exceed 24 quarts per acre per crop cycle.

# # # # #

ADAMA Agricultural Solutions Ltd (formerly Makhteshim Agan Industries) is a leading global manufacturer of crop protection solutions. With a comprehensive range of high-quality, differentiated and effective products, ADAMA strives to provide accessible, easy-to-use solutions that simplify the user experience while improving crop yields.

For more information, call 866-406-6262 or visit Adama.com.

Always read and follow label directions. Captan Gold® is a registered trademark of an ADAMA Group Company. ©2015 Makhteshim Agan of North America, Inc. d/b/a ADAMA.

Featured photo: Strawberries, UC IPM

2016-05-31T19:28:14-07:00June 16th, 2015|
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