Thanks California Farmers!

We are Grateful for the California Farmer

 

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

 It’s morning, and as the sun rises over the Sierra Mountains, the California farmer rouses early to plan the day and greet his or her employees alongside their pickup trucks.

Side-by-side, they

  • Walk the orchards of almonds, walnuts or pistachios;
  • Peruse the groves of citrus, peaches, plums, and nectarines;
  • Inspect the vineyards of table, raisin or wine grapes;
  • Survey the fields of lettuce, spinach, broccoli, celery or strawberries;
  • Raise forage to feed their healthy dairy cows.

We are grateful for the dedication of the California farmer:

Who may also be a rancher or dairyman.

Who takes NO days off from caring for their livestock and poultry.

Who follows the legacy of prior generations on the family farm.

Who contributes to our nation’s security by providing abundant, nutritious and safe homegrown food to eat.

 

We are grateful for the lawful vigilance of the California farmer:

Who checks their email for newly registered crop protection materials to prevent pests and diseases from destroying her crops.

Who adapts to ever-changing, complicated and costly regulations.

 

We are grateful for the responsible “buck-stops-here” accountability of the California farmer:

Who appreciates the dedication and experience of his employees.

Who follows preventive safety measures, such as providing work breaks, ample water, and shade from the heat.

Who pays her employees well and provides training for them.

Who ensures all equipment is well maintained and furnished with all safety features.

Who follows all best management practices whether industry-recommended or regulator-mandated.

Who adheres to all food safety laws and regulations to prevent food-borne illnesses.

Who tracks her produce every step in the process from seed to farm to fork.

 

We are grateful for the versatility of the California farmer:

Who farms more than 450 different crops—from artichokes, asparagus, and avocados, to

zucchini—which we all need to eat for great nutrition and vibrant health.

Who raises the wholesome foods that ought to dominate our plates to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases.

Who produces most, if not all, of the nation’s almonds, walnuts, pistachios, processing tomatoes, dates, table grapes, raisins, olives, prunes, figs, kiwi fruit, and nectarines.

Who leads the country’s production of avocados, grapes, lemons, melons, peaches, plums, and strawberries.

Who tends to his fields of stunning and delicate flowers that make so many people happy.

 

We are grateful for the ambitiousness of the California farmer:

Who produces award-winning, world-renown wine grapes, and vintages.

Who meets consumer demand for organic, gluten-free, low-fat, locally sourced, family-owned and farmed food.

Who increases the contributive value of California agriculture to the economy by stimulating secondary industries and jobs.

Who increases her yields to feed a hungry and growing world population.

Who contributes towards California’s 15% share of all U.S. agricultural exports (2015).

 

We are grateful for the conservation-minded California farmer:

Who uses drip or micro-sprinklers to conserve every drop of California’s water resources.

Who spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to invest in turnouts and valves to move floodwater onto their land, to build checks around open fields to capture runoff—all in an effort to recharge groundwater basins.

Who uses integrated pest management practices by following regulations and approved crop product directions, with an understanding of residues and the risk of pest and disease resistance.

Who uses fertilizers judiciously at the right time, for the right crop, in the right place, in the right amount, using the right methods.

Who installs solar panels to harness the abundant sunshine to power her operation.

Who floods her rice fields to conserve flyways for migrating birds and water for fish to thrive.

 

We are grateful for the savvy and social-minded California farmer:

Who advocates for his business and understands financing, accounting, insurance, and business and risk management planning.

Who reaches out to consumers (in her spare time) through social media to reassure excellent quality and safety control of their crops and to share their family’s farming legacy.

Who relays her challenges and achievements—the transparent, complex information that consumers want to know.

 

We are grateful for the accessible California farmer:

Who answers his phone to give directions on crop pruning, thinning and spraying.

Who responds to employee concerns with mutually beneficial solutions.

 

We are grateful for the generous California farmer:

Who contributes funding for local school gardens, agricultural curricula, harvest festivals, sports teams, Farm Bureaus, political action committees, and AgSafe.

Who donates to local food banks and homeless shelters.

 

We are grateful for the intelligent, knowledge-seeking California farmer:

Who regularly attends continuing education training on best practices, pest and disease management, and improved food safety practices.

Who stays current on scientific research and recommendations, and who chooses to fund such endeavors, plus industry associations and trade.

 

We are grateful for the deeply invested California farmer:

Who sends a text to her PCA to schedule a lunch meeting, then gets out of the truck and grabs a shovel to check soil moisture.

Who knows his field and weather conditions, trade and market variables, and employee concerns on a regular basis.

Who sustains the “California” brand known for exceptional quality, nutrition and safety.

 

We are grateful for the determination, stamina and perseverance of the California farmer:

Who stubbornly, painstakingly pushes for a good harvest despite growing challenges to his livelihood and way of life.

Who knows when to fallow a field, change a crop, or sell her business.

Who stewards her crop as best she can despite stormy weather, droughts, and floods.

Who relies on one paycheck per year, generally, which may or may not cover the cost of his operations.

 

We are grateful for the integrity of the California farmer:

Who checks his watch to make sure he arrives on time to his children’s parent-teacher meetings and extra-curricular activities.

Who is dedicated to her family, friends, and community.

 

We are grateful for the Optimistic California farmer:

Who realizes that hard times don’t last forever.

Who anticipates that next year could be better.

Who never gives up.

Who makes every effort to preserve his soil’s health, so it can produce the crop … for next year.

 

2020-11-25T06:58:34-08:00November 25th, 2020|

Jim Costa for Ag Committed Supported

U.S. Citrus Industries Support Congressman Jim Costa for Chairman of the U.S. House Agriculture Committee

 

 In a letter dated November 11, 2020, to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Citrus Mutual (CCM), Florida Citrus Mutual (FCM), and Texas Citrus Mutual (TCM) formally asked that Congressman Jim Costa, D – Fresno, be appointed as the new chair of the House Agriculture Committee.

 

As a farmer himself, Congressman Costa understands the industry’s issues, such as pest and disease, trade, water, and immigration. Notably, Congressman Costa was instrumental in securing federal funding to support research to find a cure for the devastating citrus disease Huanglongbing.

 

Congressman Costa’s track record of support for the citrus industry and specialty crops is indisputable. He has led countless bipartisan efforts on behalf of agriculture and rural America.

 

“The House Agriculture Committee needs a leader who understands its importance not only for our farmers, but for underserved communities, and national security,” says CCM President/CEO Casey Creamer. “Congressman Jim Costa is that leader, and we are proud to offer our strong support.”

 

“U.S. agriculture, especially fruit and vegetable growers, are at a crossroad. Increasing production costs coupled with unregulated imports, place the U.S. grower in a desperate situation. I am confident that if appointed Chair, Congressman Jim Costa will be a leader for agriculture in addressing these and other critical issues that affect growers and rural communities across the country,” said  Michael W. Sparks, CEO of Florida Citrus Mutual.

 

“The agricultural industry within Congressman Jim Costa’s district is very similar to specialty crops, including citrus within Texas, making him well versed in many of the issues that affect our growers,” says Dale Murden, President of Texas Mutual. “Citrus Greening is a major concern for the Texas citrus industry, and we know Congressman Costa understands the issue well, and we are proud to support him.”

 

We trust that Congressman Costa will lead the committee with his years of experience and dedication to agriculture in California and the United States.

2020-11-19T13:45:29-08:00November 19th, 2020|

Should Farmers Meter Their Wells Now for SGMA?

Prepping for SGMA Regulations

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

With the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) is closing in on growers throughout California, there are many questions. One big one: should growers go ahead and put a meter on their pumps?

Helping the farming industry comply with SGMA, is Chris Johnson owner of Aegis Groundwater Consulting located in Fresno. He recommends that growers put flow meters on their wells. But he does understand the hesitation.
It’s pretty straightforward. Instrument your wells, and monitor them, including water levels, flow rates, electrical use. It’s good for growers to be able to manage wells as assets

Johnson thinks growers are afraid to put flow meters on their wells. They believe it may provide a mechanism where someone can measure, record, and evaluate how much water they’re using, that’s going to go against them. “And the reality of it is that somebody might very well do that, but they’re better off knowing that going in. They’re better off understanding and being able to manage and represent for themselves upfront.

And while the local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies have created the Groundwater Sustainability Plans, Johnson noted that the GSPs are the deliverable that the groundwater sustainability agencies are tasked with.

“But we need to understand that the lack of data that we have to work with and be able to make decisions. And as a consequence, what so many different GSAs are forced to do is to either accept existing data at face value, or they have to interpret what the data might be in the absence of actual functional information,” noted Johnson. And so, it may very well misrepresent what the basin as a whole has to go through, and regulators may put restrictions on farmers and growers based on that. That’s where having your data helps you defend and protect yourself.

2020-06-29T08:42:40-07:00June 29th, 2020|

Act Now to Help Pass the USMCA

House to Take First Step Towards Full Ratification of USMCA

Provided by California Farm Bureau Federation

This Thursday, the House will take the first step towards full ratification of the renegotiated NAFTA known as the “US-Mexico-Canada Agreement” (USMCA). California agriculture exports $6.6 billion in goods to Canada and Mexico and supports more than 56,000 jobs.
 
Since NAFTA was implemented, U.S. agricultural exports to Canada and Mexico quadrupled from $8.9 billion in 1993 to $39 billion in 2017. After President Trump renegotiated NAFTA, the International Trade Commission determined that the USMCA would have a positive impact on the U.S. economy and a positive impact on U.S. agriculture. An additional $2.2 billion in exports is expected once this agreement is ratified.
 
Congress must pass USMCA to preserve the proven successes of NAFTA while enjoying greater access to dairy, chicken, and eggs. The agreement has positive updates for fruit exports, improvements in biotechnology, protected geographical indications, and strengthened sanitary/phytosanitary measures.
 
All in all, the USMCA is needed to bring more stability to the volatile trade market. Please reach out today to your U.S. Representative to urge their YES vote on this important agreement.

Click Here: ACT NOW for USMCA House Passage

2019-12-25T14:06:59-08:00December 18th, 2019|

PLF Sues EPA Over Continued WOTUS Ruling

EPA Sued for Relying on Illegal Rules Following WOTUS Repeal

Albuquerque, New Mexico; October 22, 2019: A lawsuit filed today on behalf of the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association challenges the Trump Administration’s decision to rely on old, unconstitutional rules in the wake of the 2015 Waters of the United States rule’s repeal

Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency announced the repeal of thecontroversial 2015 Waters of the United States rule. The 2015 rule was the subject to numerous lawsuits, and five federal courts found that the 2015 rule was illegal.However, the EPA reverted toolder rules that are similarly unconstitutional. 

Represented by Pacific Legal Foundation, the New Mexico Cattle Growers’ Association is challenging this reversion to the pre-2015 rules. 

“The old rules that EPA is using now have been ruled unconstitutional by the Supreme Court,” said PLF Senior Attorney Tony Francois. “While it is good that EPA is repealing the 2015 rule, the older rules the agency is now enforcing have many of the same legal defects. The problem here is that for decades, not just since 2015, EPA has sought to use its Clean Water Act authority over navigable lakes and rivers to regulate puddles and dry arroyos on private property all over the country. This is the trend that has to be turned back.”

PLF has represented numerous people who were unfairly prosecuted under the rules on which EPA will now rely, including Andy Johnson, whose case President Trump discussed when he ordered the EPA to review the WOTUS rule in 2017.

2019-10-22T13:47:05-07:00October 23rd, 2019|

New Water Year Brings Surplus!

Surplus for New Water Year Will Help Farmers in 2020

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

The Oct. 1 new water year, has brought the state a surplus— with statewide reservoir storage 128% of average.

“The wet 2017 was needed for our reservoirs to refill after an extended drought, and we’re hopeful that the upcoming water year will be generous,” said Mike Wade, Executive Director of the California Farm Water Coalition based in Sacramento.

The coalition educates consumers and others in the state about the importance of water for farms

“One of the things that we’re concerned about is allocations that have not seemed to keep up with the water supply, but we do understand there’s some question about environmental practices and enough water held over for stream flows, and those questions are something that we’ll have to contend with in the future,” said Wade.

With the carryover water that we have, we know that we’ll be in better shape going into this coming year than we have in some years in the past. But one of the things that are going to be helpful is if the Governor’s voluntary agreements get implemented regarding the State Water Resources Control Board’s Bay-Delta Plan on the Tuolumne River. “We have more reliability and understanding about how water is going to be used from year to year and how much will be available for water supply reliability, as well as the important environmental projects that are going on around the state,” he said.

“In December 2018, when the state Water Board adopted their Unimpaired Flow Plan, there was a lot of concern that that was going to take a lot of water. It would have taken a million or 2 million acre-feet of water potentially out of the available water that we have from year to year,” said Wade.

“The voluntary agreements represent a generational change in how we manage water and environmental projects in the state. I will provide more local control, more input from water users, and the ability to build the kinds of projects and do the kinds of stream restoration that not only help restore our ecosystem, but it makes water supply more reliable for farms, homes, and businesses around the state,” he said.

 

2019-10-10T19:42:02-07:00October 14th, 2019|

Almond Board Schedules Market Facilitation Program Workshops

2019 Market Facilitation Program Workshops October 7 | October 11 | October 15 | October 16

USDA’s Market Facilitation Program (MFP) is continuing for the second year, providing almond growers with an opportunity to apply for direct payments to help alleviate the damage resulting from the global trade situation.

Unlike the 2018 program when payments were based on delivered pounds, the 2019 MFP program is based on bearing acreage. To learn more about the changes to the 2019 program, and how you can also apply for 2018 payments, the Almond Alliance of California and Almond Board of California are co-hosting workshops with local USDA Farm Service Agency offices.

Come learn about the program and how you can apply!

Chico, October 7, 2019 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Manzanita Place at Chico Elks Lodge #423 1705 Manzanita Avenue Chico, CA 95926 RSVP: MFP-Chico@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Fresno, October 11, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Fresno County Farm Bureau 1274 W. Hedges Avenue, Fresno, CA 93728 RSVP: MFP-Fresno@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Bakersfield October 15, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. UC Cooperative Extension Kern County 1031 S. Mt. Vernon Avenue, Bakersfield, CA 93307 RSVP: MFP-Bakersfield@almondboard.com 209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

Modesto, October 16, 2019 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Almond Board Of California  1150 9th Street, Modesto CA 95354 (15th floor of Double Tree Hotel) RSVP MFP-Modesto@almondboard.com  209-343-3220 Seating is limited.

For more information contact Toni Arellano at 209.343.3220; tarellano@almondboard.com

2019-09-30T21:19:46-07:00October 2nd, 2019|

DPR Has Big Funding for Pest Managment Program

The Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR’s) 2020 Pest Management Research Grant solicitation is now available

See the Grant here: http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/grants/research/index.htm

This year, the Pest Management Research Grant Program will allocate:

1-   $2,100,000 to fund projects that identify, develop, and implement safer, practical, and sustainable pest management alternatives to Chlorpyrifos. DPR will consider proposals requesting $150,000 to $500,000.

2-   $500,000 to fund projects that develop methods or practices to reduce risks associated with pesticides of high regulatory concern and/or are considered to high-risk and which can be incorporated into an IPM system. DPR will consider proposals requesting $50,000 to $500,000.

Concept proposals must be submitted by 5:00 PM PST on Monday, October 7, 2019.

Concept application must be downloaded from DPR’s Research Grants webpage, here:

https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/grants/research/solicitation.htm 

A Proposal Package will be provided to applicants invited to submit full proposals.

Completed Concept and full Proposal applications must be submitted to the following email address: dprpmgrants@cdpr.ca.gov

If you know groups or individuals who may be interested in applying for a Pest Management Research Grant, we encourage you to pass on this information. 

 For additional information on the Pest Management Research Grant Program, please visit http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pestmgt/grants/research/index.htm

If you have any questions, please contact Atefeh Nik at 916-445-2509 or Atefeh.nik@cdpr.ca.gov or John Gerlach at 916-445-3909 or John.Gerlach@cdpr.ca.gov.

2019-09-15T19:07:11-07:00September 18th, 2019|

Action Needed to Amend SB1

Urge your Representatives to AMEND SB 1

From California Citrus Mutual

This week the Assembly will consider Senate Bill 1 by Senate Pro Tem Toni Atkins.

SB 1 proposes dangerous changes to how the state implements the Endangered Species Act (ESA) and will have devastating impacts on how water is managed in California.

The bill seeks to preserve environmental regulations against perceived rollbacks by the Trump Administration by empowering state agencies to immediately adopt the “baseline” standard in place before January 19, 2017 (the day before President Trump was inaugurated).

As currently written, SB 1 would lock in the existing biological opinions that determine how much water must flow out of the Delta to protect native fish species. This directly influences how much water is available to ALL water users south of the Delta.

The State and Federal agencies are currently in the process of updating the biological opinions, which will result in lower flows and more water for communities and agriculture. But, by locking in the existing biological opinions, SB 1 prohibits State from using the best available science to manage how water moves through the Delta.

Recent amendments do not go far enough to address the ESA provisions.

California Citrus Mutual and many other agricultural and business-sector groups have proposed constructive amendments to address these concerns.  The Pro Tem’s office, however, did not make substantive changes to the bill before it was passed out of the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Friday despite pressure from the Governor’s Office.

The Legislature will adjourn next Friday and it is imperative that SB 1 be amended THIS WEEK.

We are calling on our Assembly Members and Senators to urge the Senate Pro Tem to accept amendments to the ESA section.

Please click on the link below to send a letter to your representatives asking them to support amendments to the ESA section in SB 1.

California Citrus Mutual Action Center

2021-05-12T11:05:02-07:00September 4th, 2019|

SB1 Advances in Sacramento

SB1 Advances to California Assembly

The California Water Alliance announced today California Senate Bill 1, or SB1, by Senator Toni Atkins (D-San Diego), advanced from the California Assembly Appropriations Committee. SB 1 will now be considered on the California Assembly floor before the Legislature adjourns on September 13th.

Assemblyman Frank Bigelow (R-O’Neals), Vice-Chair of the Assembly Appropriations Committee, shared with the California Water Alliance, “I am disappointed that SB1 was released off suspense file with amendments that make it much worse for farming and California as a whole.”

SB1 effectively declares that California would adhere to laws governing clean air, water, endangered species and labor that were in place in January 2017, before the beginning of the Trump Administration.

“SB 1 is bad for farmworkers, farmers, and communities throughout the state of California,” said William Bourdeau, Chairman of the California Water Alliance. “Our environmental laws and regulations should be defined by current, sound science, not petty politics.”

SB1 would freeze the existing federal biological opinions. Future permits would be subject to outdated science and ineffective federal baseline measures, thus permanently, constraining the coordinated operations of the Central Valley Project and the ç.

Action Needed

The California Water Alliance has led effort to demand that the California Legislature “Fix or Nix SB1”: https://californiawateralliance.org/fix-it-or-nix-it/. The California Water Alliance is a non-profit, non-partisan organization that advocates for an increase in water supply for municipal, agricultural and environmental needs: https://californiawateralliance.org/.

2019-08-30T18:16:06-07:00August 30th, 2019|
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