October 8, 2013

Citrus Growers Unhappy

With Governor Veto of AB 571

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Allen Ishida
Allen Ishida, Tulare County Supervisor, District 1, said it appears that High Speed Rail is more important than California’s $2 billion dollar citrus industry. "I think everyone in the citrus industry supports California Citrus Mutual President Joel Nelson’s position on his disappointment of Governor Brown’s vetoing of AB 571," said Ishida. (See Monday’s post below.)

“The citrus industry is not only important for the Central Valley, but also for the Port of Oakland and the Port of Long Beach with the export shipments,” said Ishida.

“The navel citrus crop that’s maturing on the trees looks very good,” noted Ishida. “The Valencia orange season is just getting wrapped up.”

Ishida addressed other citrus news:

Like most growers, Ishida is worried about Federal water deliveries in the Friant Water District that he farms in. “We have no idea of how much water will be delivered next year,” he said.

Regarding Asian Citrus Psyllid finds in his county, Ishida is not sure what the industry is going to do, long term. “I have already sprayed some of my groves twice, as required. And it is decimating the organic citrus industry. They are forced to spray and will lose their organic status for one year. And if growers do not have to spray again, their farms can go back to an organic status,” Ishida said.

“With the wide range of ACP finds in Tulare County, I think we are always going to find the pest and will have to spray, and that would mean that organic industry may be over in the quarantine areas,” Ishida said.

As far as the new regulation from the regional water boards requiring nitrogen budgets, Ishida noted that if growers did not do anything, the high nitrates in the ground water would clear up on their own. “For the last 20 years we have not wasted nitrogen and we use soil and leaf analysis, which they did not have in the 1960s.”