US EPA and Army Propose New WOTUS Rule

This past week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and U.S. Department of the Army (the agencies) announced a proposed rule to re-establish the pre-2015 definition of “waters of the United States” (WOTUS) which had been in place for decades, updated to reflect consideration of Supreme Court decisions. This action advances the agencies’ goal of establishing a durable definition of WOTUS that protects public health, the environment, and downstream communities while supporting economic opportunity, agriculture, and other industries that depend on clean water. This proposed rule would support a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with states, Tribes, local governments, and a broad array of stakeholders in both the implementation of WOTUS and future regulatory actions.

According to EPA Administrator Michael S. Regan, “Through our engagement with stakeholders across the country, we’ve heard overwhelming calls for a durable definition of WOTUS that protects the environment and that is grounded in the experience of those who steward our waters. Today’s action advances our process toward a stronger rule that achieves our shared priorities.” EPA claims that recent court decisions have reinforced the need for a stable and certain definition of WOTUS. The U.S. District Courts for both Arizona and New Mexico have vacated the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. Considering the court actions, the agencies have been implementing the pre-2015 regulatory regime nationwide since early September 2021.

EPA claims that the proposed rule would solidify the rules of the road for a stable implementation of “waters of the United States” while the agencies continue to consult with stakeholders to refine the definition of WOTUS in both implementation and future regulatory actions. EPA further states the proposed rule would maintain the longstanding exclusions of the pre-2015 regulations as well as the exemptions and exclusions in the Clean Water Act on which the agricultural community has come to rely. The agencies are taking comment on this proposed rule for 60 days beginning on the date it is published in the Federal Register. The Association is currently reviewing the proposed rule in preparation of making comments.

CCGGA Annual Meeting Announced

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) is announcing the 2021 CCGGA Annual Meeting to be held on Wednesday, May 12th at the International Agri-Center located at 4500 S. Laspina in Tulare, California.  Registration packets will be going out to all regular and associate members this week.  There is an information packed agenda that begins at 7:30 with registration and ends following lunch.  The featured speaker will be Dan Walters from CalMatters.    Walters has been a journalist for nearly 60 years, spending all but a few of those years working for California newspapers, and has written more than 9,000 columns for the Sacramento Union and the Sacramento Bee and continues his column for CalMatters, a non-profit journalistic organization which distributes to dozens of California news outlets.  He has written about California and its politics for a number of other publications, including the Wall Street Journal. He is also an author and contributor, two books of which are, “The Third House: Lobbyists, Power and Money in Sacramento” and “The New California: Facing the 21st Century”.

Association staff has met with Agri-Center staff and COVID safety protocols will be in place for now including mask requirements and social distancing.  You can click on the respective links to access the Tentative Agenda and Registration FormAttendance is free, but you must be registered!


L. M. Carter and J. H. Chesson

OBJECTIVES: To determine the degradation of wheel paths (roads) over time with normal tillage. To determine number of years of normal tillage and cropping to return soil to original or comparable state.

PROCEDURE: The paths to be studies were created in 1984 and used for conduct of system studies with the wide tractive research vehicle (WTRV) until 1989. In 1990 the guidance wire was removed and the paths only were subsoiled on 15 inch centers to a depth of about 18 inches. The entire field was then disk harrowed twice with all traffic east to west to prevent movement of path soil into plot areas. The field was then bedded, preirrigated, and planted to black-eye beans which were allowed to grow until late July. The field was then irrigated to wet the soil to beyond 3 feet and penetrometer measurements made in plot and path areas.

RESULTS: The penetrometer data was analyzed for difference in means and differences in data distribution by treatments. When an accumulative distribution of data by treatments was plotted it was apparent that more variability existed among path data than

in plot data. Using an univariate analysis it can be shown that the standard deviation for the path areas was between 1.38 and 1.43 MPa compared to the treatment areas with 0.64 MPa or 2.14 times greater. Using F-tests the probability that these are not the same exceeds 99.9%. The data could be from normal distributions but the data is skewed with less than expected low values. The path data could be fitted as a uniform distribution. The standard farmer approach to removing compaction (subsoiling) is not sufficient to remove the compaction within the fractured consolidates. There was no difference in the mean penetration resistance among paths and plots in the zone between the surface and 20 em. This may be explained by the disk tillage which probably extended to 20 em. At depths below 20 em the mean penetration resistance for the paths was 15 to 18 MPa compared to 7 MPa for the plot areas which represents a very large difference and could easily explain the poor growth of beans.

Deep tillage with subsoilers will not remove compaction of road-ways within 1 year. Perhaps the bad news is that variability among zones within the tilled path zones is much greater than old plot area and no tillage machinery is available to directly influence this variability.

FUTURE PLANS: The field has been mapped to locate the old path areas. After normal tillage operations in 1991 and a crop, another series of penetrometer reading will be made. These data will be compared to the 1990 data to access any improvement in soil variability or penetrability.


mean 2.29 2.44 1. 26
S.D. 1.38 1.43 0.64
variance 1.922 2.054 0.407
cv 60.7 58.7 50.6
W:NORMAL 0.93 0.93 0.93
Skewness 0.57 0.51 0.99
Kurtosis -0.41 -0.43 2.61
Mean: top zone 5.6 6.2 5.0
Mean: till zone 15.5 17.5 6.9
Mean: deep zone 15.5 15.4 8.3

For PDF Copy, Click Here.

Fred Starrh Recognized by the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame

Cotton Incorporated has announced the formation of a Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame, which will annually recognize U.S. cotton industry leaders that have made significant contributions to the Program or to the cotton industry in general. The five inaugural honorees: J. Dukes Wooters (New York); Morgan Nelson (New Mexico); Marshall Grant (North Carolina); Fred Starrh (California); and Lambert Wilkes (Texas) will be recognized for their achievements at the combined Cotton Board/Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors meeting in St. Petersburg, Florida this December.

The Cotton Research and Promotion Program was established in 1966 to expand the demand for upland cotton and to increase profitability for both cotton growers and importers of cotton products.

“As the Research and Promotion Program approaches its fiftieth year, we felt the time was right to acknowledge the contributions of those who have helped shape the modern cotton industry,” says Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.

  • J. Dukes Wooters, the first President of Cotton Incorporated, is recognized for his innovative marketing of cotton to consumers, including the development of the now iconic Seal of Cotton trademark.
  • Morgan Nelson, known as “Mr. Cotton” in his home state of New Mexico, was among the first directors of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors. He is honored for his strong leadership and lengthy tenure in this role, in which he was instrumental in generating and maintaining grower support and helping to shape the direction of Cotton Incorporated.
  • Marshall Grant, a staunch advocate of boll weevil eradication, is recognized for his foresight and tenacity in convincing local and national leaders to address one of the greatest threats ever to face the U.S. cotton industry. Heralded as one of the most successful USDA projects, the Boll Weevil Eradication Program also contributed to a reduction in pesticide applications and the implementation of Integrated Pest Management among U.S. cotton growers.
  • Professor Lambert Wilkes (deceased), along with his team at Texas A&M, is responsible for the engineering of the cotton module builder, which dramatically increased the efficiency of cotton collection and storage. In 2000, the state of Texas acknowledged the module builder as one of the four most significant economic achievements of the 1970s, alongside the opening of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Southwest Airlines.
  • Fred Starrh provided many years of leadership to the industry, first as Chairman of Cotton Incorporated and later as President and Chairman of Cotton Council International. He is honored for his strong leadership and for shepherding Cotton Incorporated through a transition of partnership with Cotton Council International to promote U.S. upland cotton around the world. He also served as the President of the California Cotton Growers Association (formerly Western Cotton Growers Association) from 1986 to 1990.

The 2014 honorees of the Cotton Research and Promotion Program Hall of Fame were chosen from nominations made by Certified Producer and Importer Organizations and voted upon by the Chairman’s Committee of the Cotton Incorporated Board of Directors. A huge congratulations from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations to Fred Starrh, and to all of the inaugural recipients on a very special honor!

Association Speaks Out on PG&E Gas Rate Increase

PG&E has proposed to increase its revenue requirement for natural gas over the next three years by over $2 billion! Association President/CEO Roger Isom (shown in picture) testified in opposition at a recent public hearing on the case before the Public Utilities Commission. These rate increases are proposed in the 2015 PG&E Gas Transmission and Storage Case (GT&S). PG&E contends this huge increase is necessary for PG&E to carry out all of the necessary pipeline enhancements and replacements in wake of the San Bruno explosions. Ratepayers are being asked to cover more than 75% of the cost with the remaining burden to be picked up by shareholders. The plan would increase rates as follows:

  • 2015: $572 million (80% increase over 2014)
  • 2016: $61 million additional (4.7% increase)
  • 2017: $168 million additional (12.5% increase)
  • Cumulative total = $2.006 billion increase!

CCGGA/WAPA joined the California League of Food Processors as the only ag organizations testifying in opposition to the proposed rate increase which would be devastating to cotton gins, walnut huller/dehydrators, pistachio plants, almond roasters and other processing plants that utilize significant amounts of natural gas. CCGGA/WAPA will be working with the Ag Energy Consumers Association (AECA) to submit formal comments in the proceeding.

Preliminary Pink Bollworm Numbers Are In Acreages Higher than Expected


The preliminary acreages as determined by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Pink Bollworm Program are in and slightly higher than predicted back in March.  The current estimate is now at a total of 210,000 acres statewide with 197,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley, 10,255 acres in Southern California and an estimated 2,500 to 3,000 acres in the Sacramento Valley.  The breakdown in the San Joaquin Valley is as follows:

               Fresno County –                47,805
               Kern County –                   34,660
               Kings County –                  63.970
               Madera County –               745
               Merced County –               35,945
               Total =                                197,115

In Southern California, the breakdown is as follows:

               Imperial County –             2,695
               Riverside County –            7,445
               San Bernandino County  –  115
               Total =                                10,255

The Sacramento County acres are still being determined, but again estimated to be between 2,500 and 3,000 acres.  In terms of variety, the pima vs. upland/acala has yet to be determined.  We will notify everyone when that becomes available. 

Please be advised that the acres listed are based on Pink Bollworm Program field mapping tecniques are intended for use on PBW Program detection and control activities and are not assumed to represent exact cotton acreage planted in California.