Association President/CEO Roger Isom provided testimony at today’s Public Advisory Workgroup (PAW) meeting on the PM2.5 State Implementation Plant (SIP) at the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD). The 12th such workshop, which does include the four Air Resources Board (ARB) and SJVAPCD Board Briefings, was held to provide an update on the development of the SIP which will be considered and voted on by the SJVAPCD Governing Board in March of 2018 and by the ARB Board in April of 2018. The Association has been present and testified at every single one. Isom’s comments focused on the SJVAPCD’s proposal to electrify more ag pump engines, use incentive funds in “hot spots” areas for tractor and harvesters, as well as looking at new Conservation Management Practices (CMPs). Isom also commented on the ARB’s proposal to have a tractor rule that would put forth a date by which tractors would have to be replaced with Tier 4 engines. “Incentive funds are the only way agriculture can address a tractor replacement regulation. We cannot pass along the cost, like other industries”. With regards to the electrification issue, Isom commented that there needs to be a meeting of the agencies, including the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) as the utilities are proposing to change their rates which would have a direct negative impact on further electrification. Stay tuned as this issue continues to move towards Board adoption.
NEWS & ISSUES
CDPR Finalized Pesticide Use around Schools
The California Department of Pesticide Regulations has adopted the official regulations regarding the use of agricultural pesticides near schools and licensed child day-care facilities. The regulations will take effect on January 1, 2018. The new rule prohibits most applications within a quarter mile around schools and day care facilities from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additionally, the regulations require growers within the quarter mile radius to provide an annual notification no later than April 30 of pesticides they expect to be used between July 1 of the current year through June 30 of the next year. Pesticides that require use but are not included on the annual notification must provide notification at least 48 hours prior to their use. Fumigants may not be applied within 36 hours of the school and/or daycare facility are open.
Below is a breakdown of distance and application restrictions.
Prohibited applications within a quarter mile:
- Airblast sprayer or other ground application equipment that delivers spray into an air stream created by fan
- Sprinkler chemigation
- Dust or Powder, unless injected into the soil
- Fumigant, includes fumigation of stockpiles in orchards but excludes fumigation on huller/processor sites.
Prohibited applications within 25 feet:
- Ground rig sprayer
- Field soil injection equipment
- Drip or flood chemigation
No distance restriction:
- Application made within closed space (exception of fumigant)
- Bait stations
- Dust or powder injection into soil
- Application of granule, flake or pellet (exception of fumigant or aircraft application)
- Backpack sprayer (exception if it incorporates airblast or is used to apply dust/powder)
- Hand pump sprayer (exception if used to apply dust, powder or fumigant)
Don Cameron, longtime cotton industry advocate and friend, was awarded Fresno Chamber of Commerce’s Agriculturalist of the Year award. Cameron who farms more than 7,500 acres has proven to be an industry leader through innovative farming practices as well as through his high level of involvement in the industry. Cameron, who once served as California Cotton Growers Association Chairman from 2007-2008, has participated on numerous committees and boards. He currently serves on the California State Board of Food and Agriculture and is currently the chairman for the California Cotton Alliance and serves on the Western Growers Board of Directors. He has had critical involvement with the Sustainable Ground Water Management Act formation, in the Kings Sub-basin. President/CEO Roger Isom said, “There is no one more deserving than Don. If you look at what a grower needs to be successful in California in 2017, it’s Don Cameron.” California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association congratulates Don Cameron on a well-deserved award! To watch Don Cameron receive the award watch the link below.
CCGGA Tours SoCal Ag with Urban Legislators
The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association joined a large group of urban southern California legislators last Friday to tour the agricultural industry in the 44th (Irwin) and the 37th (Limon) legislative districts. Assemblywoman Irwin, Assemblywoman Limon, Speaker Rendon, Assemblyman Bloom, Assemblywoman Burke, Assemblyman Jones-Sawyer, Assemblywoman Rubio as well as several staffers were among the participants in the day long tour. The group visited Houwelling’s Tomatoes, a Driscoll’s farm site and Limoneira packing house. The Association was represented by Director of Technical Services Chris McGlothlin and Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley. This was an incredibly unique opportunity to discuss agricultural issues with several members who are primarily in urban Los Angeles areas. Issues discussed included labor, the increasing cost of staying in business in California, and the increasing regulatory burden agencies are rolling out. The Association finds great value in these opportunities to expose our lawmakers to the agricultural industry with the result of them emerging with a greater understanding and appreciation of agriculture!
The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association is offering folks the chance to win a Beretta Silver Pigeon I shotgun at the same time as supporting the Association’s PAC efforts! Funds from the CCGGA Federal and State PAC are critical in influencing legislation, campaigns and industry efforts in Sacramento and D.C. With today’s political climate these funds prove to me more valuable now more than ever!
Tickets are $100/each, limit 250 entries. You can purchase a ticket online by clicking the button below or by check mailed to our offices (1785 N. Fine Ave. Fresno, CA 93727). Payment can be accepted in the form of a personal or company check. Checks can be made payable to California Cotton Ginners & Growers PAC and you MUST include your phone number on the check. Payments must be received by 5 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 22 to 1785 N. Fine Ave. The drawing will be held during the CCGGA Board Meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 6th, winner need not be present.
If you have questions or would like more information please call Jodi Raley at (559) 252-0684.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Pink Bollworm Program has released its final report for monitoring Silverleaf Whitefly. The program monitored for whitefly and other cotton pests from July 11, 2017 to September 29, 2017. Throughout the season California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations encouraged growers, PCAs and others to utilize this valuable information in working to eliminate sticky cotton. We encourage the industry to read and share this critical information.
California Assemblywoman Blanca Rubio (D-48) joined the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association and other members of the Agricultural President’s Council on a day long tour of agriculture in the Central San Joaquin Valley. Rubio, who represents areas including Baldwin Park, Covina, Glendora and Azsu, had the opportunity to visit Dos Palos Coop Red Top Gin, The Specialty Crop Company, Fowler Packing as well as Minturn Huller Coop. The Assemblywoman was joined by Association President/CEO Roger Isom, Director of Technical Services Chris McGlothlin and Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley. The primary issues discussed were water availability, necessary oversight from legislature over regulatory agencies, along with discussing the impacts operations are beginning to feel from the ag overtime and minimum wage bills. The Association looks forward to building our relationship with this Assemblywoman and future opportunities to bring southern California representatives to the Valley!
Last month the Association, in working with the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), solicited potential participants for an Electric ATV Incentive Program, in which the SJVAPCD would pay 75% of the cost of an electric ATV to replace old fuel fired ATVs. The list of participants was submitted with the District’s application for funding and the funds are anticipated to be approved next month with the hopes of issuing vouchers for the replacements at the beginning of 2018. The Association continues to see this project through. President/CEO Roger Isom, Director of Technical Services Chris McGlothlin and Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley met with an ATV dealer to learn more about how electric ATVs operate and the feasibility of electric equipment on a farming operation. After lengthy discussion and a demo, it seems incredibly promising! We will continue to be engaged in seeing this program come to fruition so stay tuned!
As the season continues, it is important to remain vigilant to invasive cotton insect pests. The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Pink Bollworm Program has released their latest Silverleaf Whitefly Report from August 14, 2017 to September 14, 2017. Please use and share this report to maintain the industry effort to eliminate sticky cotton! To view the Silverleaf Whitefly Monitoring Report (8/14/2017-9/14/2017) click the link below.
This past week, CCGGA President/CEO Roger Isom testified before the California Air Resources Board touting the success of the incentives approach to replacing tractors and harvesters in an effort to stave off a mandatory replacement regulation for tractors and harvesters. It was yet another hearing/meeting in a two-year process for CARB and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. CARB announced they are now looking at putting a firm date in place by which all Tier 0 and Tier 1 engine equipped tractors and harvesters would have to be replaced. Those dates were not announced and Isom encouraged the board to allow the incentives to work. Isom also briefed the board on the huge influx of money coming from the recent Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund (GGRF) budget bill that was passed that will being $135 million in incentive funding for agricultural equipment. This is very significant and should be allowed to be utilized first, Isom stated. The latest timeline has the Air District adopting the State Implementation Plan (SIP) in December and CARB will consider the plan in March.