Roger Isom: Probable Electric Rate Hikes Raise Concern for Ag

California Agriculture Concerned Over PG&E Increases, Overtime Rules

By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor

Water, labor, and air quality issues in California keep growers’ plates full of challenges, but with probable PG&E rate increases in the future, it seems they can’t catch a break. Roger Isom, President and CEO of the Western Agriculture Processors Association and California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association, is among those wondering how the industry is going to compete.

“We’ve been paying for a lot of those safety upgrades. What happened? I mean, we’ve got to let the investigation take place, but to saddle rate payers with that amount of money, we just can’t do it,” Isom said of the threat of rate increases.

Roger Isom, president and CEO, Western Processors Association
Roger Isom, president and CEO, Western Processors Association (source: LinkedIn)

At the same time, the industry is still battling the effects of the Brown administration’s ruling on overtime.

“There are farm workers in 45 states that could work 20 hours a day, seven days a week, and never trigger overtime. We have to compete with that, and that’s just unacceptable,” Isom said.

Isom is optimistic about new appointments in California administration, though.

“You’ve got Jared Blumenfeld, who’s the new CalEPA Secretary. He was actually extremely helpful over there when we were working on incentives for replacing pumps and tractors,” Isom explained.

Isom also gave credits to Wade Crowfoot, who was on the previous administration and helped with port shutdowns.

“He’s going to hit up resources, which obviously with the water situation is a very critical agency for us. Seeing somebody over there that could be helpful is important,” he said.

CARB Seeking Participants for Agricultural Tractor and Mobile Equipment Survey

CARB Wants Inventory of Ag Equipment 

News Release

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) is seeking participants for an update to their Agricultural Tractor and Mobile Equipment Survey.  For those that remember, CARB conducted a similar survey in 2008, and partnered with Cal Poly in their review of the submitted surveys.

This survey effort is looking to inventory various mobile agricultural equipment, including tractors, combines, balers, agricultural use ATVs and forklifts, and many more.  This survey is extended out to producers in the field, custom operators, and first processing facilities, and covers equipment using any type of fuel or electricity and any horsepower.  Responses to the survey are completely confidential and are anonymized upon receipt.

The survey that was previously conducted in 2008 was utilized to help fund incentive programs for agricultural equipment turnover programs utilized throughout the state.  CARB’s goal upon completion of this upcoming survey round is to utilize the data in the exact same manor, to utilize results to determine the best usage of incentive monies in the agricultural sector.

The survey is being made available through the internet.  Please follow the link attached below to complete the survey.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact offroadinventory@arb.ca.gov.  Paper copies will be available if you would like; feel free to contact Chris McGlothlin with the Western Agricultural Processors Association at chris@ccgga.org or by phone at (559) 455-9272.

Survey can be found online here.

 

WAPA Webinar on Revisions to Proposed FSMA Rule

The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) will be hosting a very special webinar on Thursday, November 13, covering the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed changes to the Produce Rule and Preventive Controls Regulation of the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). 

Jennifer McEntire of The Acheson Group will be providing the update.  Find out how the FDA is proposing to handle hullers and what the requirements will be under these revisions.  This free webinar is an absolute must for all huller and processor members.

For more information about WAPA, click on the link http://www.agprocessors.org. Register here for the webinar.
webinar

The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) represents facilities involved in the processing of almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. Regular WAPA memberships are limited to almond hullers or processors, pecan and pistachio processors, and walnut dehydrators and processors. Associate memberships include any individual or business entity which is not engaged in agricultural processing, but which provides products or services directly related to the agricultural processing industry, such as commodity brokers, accounting firms, and insurance brokers.

Featured photo: WAPA