NEWS & ISSUES

Where is the 2019 Cotton Acreage?

Chinese tariffs, depressed cotton prices, but an abundant supply of water have sent mixed messages to cotton growers as they head into the 2019 planting season.  As a result, California is preliminarily only expecting a 1.5% increase in overall cotton acreage for 2019.

According to preliminary planting intentions survey conducted by the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association this month, the Association is currently estimating approximately 184,000 acres of pima, 17,000 acres of Hazera and 60,000 acres of upland statewide for the 2019 cotton season plus or minus 10%.   This survey is based on surveys from all of the gins in California and things could change when final field surveys are completed by CDFA.  If it plays out, it will represent a 4% decrease in pima acreage and a 25% increase in upland acreage in California as compared to 2018.   Again, this is preliminary, but reflects what all gins are reporting.

Deadline Extension – 2019 Ag Tractor and Mobile Equipment Survey

For the past couple of weeks, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has been sending out and collecting agricultural equipment surveys from farms, agricultural operators, and first processing facilities.  CARB has partnered with Cal Poly San Luis Obispo to conduct the survey and anonymize the received data, in order to help display the types of equipment being utilized from field to first process.  The survey covers all mobile agricultural equipment including tractors, combines, balers, agricultural use ATV’s, forklifts, and various other equipment.  The data that is collected and organized is utilized to help determine allocation of hundreds of millions in incentive monies targeting the turnover of agricultural equipment from both federal and local air district incentive programs.  The survey submittal deadline has now been extended to May 15th, 2019. 

The survey can be found on Cal Poly’s website by clicking the link below.  If you would like a hard copy, please feel free to reach out to Chris McGlothlin with CCGGA at chris@ccgga.org or by phone at (559) 252-0684.

Cal Poly Ag Equipment Survey Section

California Department of Fish and Wildlife to Consider Listing Four Species of Bumblebees as Endangered

In response to a petition by the Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife, and the Center for Food Safety, the Fish and Game Commission (Commission) list four (4) species of bumblebees as endangered under the California Endangered Species Act (CESA).  The California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) has prepared an evaluation report (Petition Evaluation) for the Petition.  The Commission referred the petition to CDFW.  The four species include Crotch bumble bee, Franklin bumble bee, Western bumble bee, and Suckley cuckoo bumble bee.  After reviewing the Petition and other relevant information, the Department found that “the Petition provides sufficient scientific information to indicate the petitioned action may be warranted. Therefore, the Department recommends the Commission accept the Petition for further consideration under CESA.”

The report cites several factors or threats affecting the ability of all the petitioned species to survive and reproduce and they fall into four main categories: 1) present or threatened modification or destruction of their habitat; 2) competition; 3) disease; and 4) other natural and human-related factors, including pesticide use, genetic factors, and climate change.  Within these categories, agriculture is highlighted many times as posing a threat.  Under habitat destruction, agricultural conversion of lands is cited as a contributor to loss of habitat.  Within the category of competition, the report highlights threats from other species of bees, “particularly of other bee species imported and managed to pollinate crops or produce honey” as a direct threat by reducing pollen and nectar resources.  Under “other factors” the report specifically highlights the use of herbicides and pesticides as having “several negative impacts on native bumble bees, including degrading habitat and removing floral resources, causing direct mortality and sublethal effects, reducing population success and survival rates, and increasing disease risk.

What does all this mean?  The Department now has 12 months to produce a peer-reviewed report based upon the best scientific information available that advises the Commission whether the petitioned action is warranted.  Finally, the Commission, based on that report and other information in the administrative record, then determines whether or not the petitioned action to list the species as threatened or endangered is warranted.  If listed, this will put even more pressure on the use of pesticides and herbicides in agricultural settings.  This will have to be closely monitored over the next several months.

California Employer Update Notices

The updated notices have been released by the Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) and the Employment Development Department (EDD).  Effective April 1, 2019 the DFEH requires all California employers to post the NEW Family Care and Medical Leave and Pregnancy Disability Leave poster.  This notice was previously named Family Care and Medical Leave (CFRA) and Pregnancy Notice and only employers with 50 or more employees had to post. This new updated notice has a revision date of March 2019 and all employers with 20 – 49 employees must post and employers with 50 or more employees must update their exiting notice.  Please be sure to update your bulletin board(s).  Click this link to print in English/Spanish.

In addition, the EDD has updated two pamphlets: California Paid Family Leave and Disability Insurance Provisions, both have a revision date of March 2019.  These pamphlets are to be provided to new employees and to employees either taking a covered leave of absence or a non-work-related disability leave.  Click this link to print in English/Spanish.

Association Opposes Nighttime Lighting Requirements

his past week the CalOSHA Standards Board held a public hearing on the proposed Nighttime lighting requirements for agricultural operations.  The Association attended the hearing and spoke in opposition to the proposed requirements.  The Association specifically noted the lack of accidents supporting such requirements, and specifically commented on the Board’s flawed economic analysis, which said that you could meet the lighting requirements by purchasing some cheap “rechargeable” lighting masts for only $200, and that you would only need one to comply.  The Association specifically referenced light measurements data submitted to CalOSHA during the Advisory Committee process that demonstrated it would take more than one, and that the “rechargeable” light mast only received the discounted price if you bought in bulk from China.  Proponents of the proposed changes cited alleged accidents and cases of sexual harassments, but did not provide documented proof.  The Standards Board is expected to vote at next month’s board meeting.  Joining the Association in opposition, was the California Farm Bureau Federation, California Association of Winegrape Growers, and the California Poultry Federation.

CCGGA Hotel Registration Deadline – MONDAY

The last day to secure your hotel reservation for the CCGGA Annual Meeting at The Cliffs Hotel and Spa is Monday, April 22nd. The CCGGA Annual Meeting will be held May 15th-17th in Pismo, CA including a welcome reception, Annual Golf Tournament at Avila Beach and Golf Resort, Annual Meeting Dinner featuring comedian Greg Warren and an informative business meeting on Friday covering the latest industry issues. Attendees will received updates from Association staff, USDA-AMS, researchers from the cotton ginning laboratories, National Cotton Ginners Association, National Cotton Council, Supima, Cotton Incorporated, University of California Cooperative Extension and much more. Additionally, attendees will receive critical updates on water, crop protection tools, including paraquat and glyphosate, as well as a Sacramento Update from George Soares.

Registration forms can be filled out and returned to our offies with a check (1785 N. Fine Ave. Fresno, CA 93710) or you may register, sponsor and pay online at www.ccgga-events.com . Forms must be returned by Wednesday, April 24th. Accomodations can be made by calling The Cliffs Hotel and Spa at (805) 773-5000. In order to receive the group rate of $199/night, identify that you are with California Cotton Ginners & Growers Associaiton group.

If you have any questions, please contact our offices at (559) 252-0684.

Tentative Agenda

Regular Member Registration

Associate Member Registration

Social Security Mismatch and Immigration: Where do we go From Here?

Attached is information regarding employers and Social Security “no matches,” courtesy of The Saqui Law Group, a division of Dowling Aaron. Click the button link below for the flyer or follow the direct link for more information: http://www.laborcounselors.com/news-resources/news/20-immigration/581-social-security-mismatch-and-immigration.

For the full six page advisory document click here: http://www.laborcounselors.com/files/Newest_Social_Security_Briefing_l_Final_4122019.pdf

Social Security Mismatch Flyer

Upcoming Sexual Harassment Prevention – 1 hour Nonsupervisory Webinar -Friday March 22nd!

Effective January 1, 2019 California law requires employers with 5 or more employees to provide not only two hours of sexual harassment and abusive conduct prevention training with Supervisors, but also a 1-hour training to all non-supervisory employees.  The Western Agricultural Processors Association and California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association in partnership with AgSafe, will be offering 1-hour Nonsupervisory Webinars.  Click on the links below to register or visit our website Events and Training Classes page https://agprocessors.org/events.

Event Flyer

FREE Upcoming Weed Science Extension Meetings April 2nd and April 11th!

The University of California Agriculture and Nature Resources Cooperative Extension is offering FREE Weed science extension meetings. The first meeting is scheduled for April 2nd located at the Westside Research and Extension Center in Five Points, CA. The second the meeting is on April 11th at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, CA. Space is limited so call the UCCE Merced County office at 209-385-7403 to register. Contact Lynn Sosnoskie at lmsosnoskie@ucanr.edu if you have any questions about the program. Please see the attached flyers below for more information.

April 2nd Flyer

April 11th Flyer

Association Participates in USDA ARS Research Planning Session

Association President/CEO Roger Isom and Director of Technical Services Christopher McGlothlin traveled to Ft. Collins, Colorado this week to participate in an important five (5) year Project Plan Workshop at the Plains Area Office in Ft. Collins.  Joining them was Association Chairman Tom Gaffney of the J.G. Boswell Company.  Many topics were discussed as the purpose of the meeting was to determine research priorities for the next five years for the cotton ginning laboratories in Las Cruces, New Mexico; Lubbock, Texas; and Stoneville, Mississippi.  Critical priorities identified for California included contamination, sticky cotton, roller ginning and drying alternatives.  Attending the meeting were researchers and scientists, regional administrative leaders, and industry stakeholders.