NEWS & ISSUES

Latest News- Irrigation & Nitrogen Management Plan Grower Self-Certification Training

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) will be holding our first ever Irrigation & Nitrogen Management Plan Grower Self-Certification training event at the Monterey Plaza Hotel on February 22nd, 2018. This training is being held in coordination with CCGGA’s Annual Meeting, also being held at the Monterey Plaza Hotel February 22nd-23rd. This training is open to growers of all commodities, and is aimed at assisting growers in being able to self-certify Irrigation & Nitrogen Management Plans. These plans are submitted to 3rd Party Coalitions, and ultimately to the Regional Water Quality Control Board. The State Water Board is including a requirement for these types of plans to be certified by either a licensed CCA, or by growers who have achieved certification through a Grower Self-Certification course. Click below for more information.

http://bit.ly/2mzJvfp

REMINDER TO ALL KINGS COUNTY GROWERS: Election Closes this Week

This is just a reminder that the 2017/2018 CCGGA Director Election closes this Friday, January 19th for the election of 2 directors to your Association’s Board of Directors.  These are grower positions for Kings County.  There are 3 duly nominated and certified candidates that have filed the required Candidates Statement Form indicating their willingness and desire to serve if elected.  The two receiving the most votes as certified by your Elections Committee will be elected to the two (2) – 3 year term directorships up for election.  In the case of ties, a run-off election will be held at the 2018 Annual Meeting to take place in Monterey, California on February 23rd, 2018.  Should a run-off be necessary, a proxy process will be available and all members will be notified accordingly.  Please take time to vote and please do not vote for more than 2 of the 3 candidates on the ballot.  Deadline for return of your official original ballot to the Association’s office will be Friday, January 19th, 2018.  Thank you for your participation in this important process.

CCGGA Annual Meeting & Agenda, Feb. 21-23 Register TODAY

The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association is looking forward to hosting the 2018 Annual Meeting at the Monterey Plaza from February 21-23. The cutoff for hotel reservations and meeting registration is just under a month away!
This year’s meeting will surely be a good time with a fully packed agenda. Attendees can look forward to the historic favorites including a Wednesday evening welcome reception, the Annual CCGGA Golf Tournament on Thursday at the Quail Lodge & Golf Club, Thursday evening dinner with comedic entertainment as well as an informative session during the Friday Business meeting. New this year, CCGGA is offering a Nitrogen Management Plan Self Certification course Thursday morning for growers or other interested parties to participate in. The Annual Business meeting on Friday will include both a ginner’s and a grower’s track delving into the issues of pest pressures of the past year and how we address the 2018 crop, classing office activities, updates from our gin labs, as well as speakers from National Cotton Ginners Association, National Cotton Council along with an issues update from our staff.

Please fill out the below forms and submit to our offices no later than Friday, February 9th. You can pay for your registration online and download forms at //ccgga.org/membership/ccgga-annual-meeting/.

Hotel reservations MUST be made by February 1st to ensure the Association’s special rate. Reservations can be made by calling (800) 334-3999 and you must identify yourself with the group name “CA Cotton Ginners & Growers Association” by the cutoff date above.

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

Member Registration Forms

Associate Member Registration Forms

Tentative CCGGA Annual Meeting Agenda

Wednesday, February 21, 2018
5:00 pm                Welcome Reception Lower Terrace

Thursday, February 22, 2018
8:00 am Nitrogen Management Plan Self Certification WorkshopCarmel Room
8:30 am CCGGA Golf TournamentQuail Lodge and Golf Club, Carmel Valley
6:00 pm                ReceptionLower Terrace
7:00 pm                DinnerMonterey Bay Room
8:00 pm                Entertainment: Comedian Adam FerraraMonterey Bay Room

Friday, February 23, 2018
Business Meeting Agenda
8:00 am Welcome/IntroductionsPhil Hansen, Chairman, CCGGA
8:05 am CCGA Financial ReportJanell Attebury, Baker Peterson Franklin
8:15 am National Cotton Council UpdateMike Brueggemann, National Cotton Council
8:35 am Supima UpdateEarl P. Williams, Supima
8:55 am Cotton Inc. UpdateChristi Chadwell, Cotton Inc.
9:15 am BREAKOUTS

Ginners Track
Cypress Ballroom
Growers Track
Carmel Ballroom
9:15-9:35
National Cotton Ginners Association Update
Stan Creelman, President, NCGA 9:15-10:15
Insect Pressures – 2017 Season in Review Panel Discussion
Bob Hutmacher, UC Cooperative Extension State Cotton Specialist, Moderator  Panelists:
9:35-9:55
Cotton Ginning Laboratory Research Update
Derek Whitelock, Research Leader, USDA-ARS, SWCGRL
9:55-10:15
Cotton Classing Update
Greg Townsend, Area Director, USDA AMS

10:15 am              **BREAK**
10:35 am              Sacramento Update George Soares, Kahn, Soares & Conway
10:55 am              Regulatory and Legislative Issues Update
                             Roger Isom, President/CEO, CCGGA
                            Christopher McGlothlin, Director of Technical Services, CCGGA
                            Jodi Raley, Director of Regulatory Affairs, CCGGA
11:55 am              Closing RemarksPhil Hansen, Chairman, CCGGA

FDA Announces Enforcement Discretion Policy for Certain FSMA Regulations

The FDA announced that it intends to exercise enforcement discretion for certain provisions in four of the rules that implement the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).  This means that during the enforcement discretion period, the agency does not intend to enforce these provisions as they currently apply to certain entities or activities.

 

The enforcement discretion announced today pertains to specific provisions in the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food rule (PC Human Food), Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Food for Animals rule (PC Animal Food), Foreign Supplier Verification Programs rule (FSVP), and Standards for the Growing, Harvesting, Packing, and Holding of Produce for Human Consumption rule (Produce Safety) and how they apply to:

 

  • facilities that would be farms except for certain factors and activities; such as the ownership criteria and/or facilities that are solely engaged in the ginning of cotton.
  • written assurances provisions in all four rules related to the control of identified hazards or microorganisms that are a potential risk to public health
  • the animal food preventive controls requirements for certain manufacturing/processing activities performed on human food by-products used as animal food, and
  • FSVP requirements for importers of food contact substances.

 

In general, the FDA is exercising enforcement discretion to allow time to consider changes or other approaches to address concerns regarding the application of these provisions to certain activities or entities.  FDA had previously extended the compliance dates for many of the provisions covered by this enforcement discretion guidance (see August 2016 compliance date extension) but is now exercising enforcement discretion.

 

The enforcement discretion will be given until FDA can complete rule-making related to the farm definition. 

 

This announcement aligns with the concern CCGGA has voiced to FDA on the use of ownership in the definition of a farm and the necessity to define all cotton gins as a farm and exempt from the Preventative Controls for Animal Food. CCGGA will continue to work with the FDA to find the appropriate solution. We will keep you updated!

 

New Year, New DFEH Poster—Get Yours Ready

By: Rebecca Hause-Schultz

As 2017 quickly draws to a close, it is important for employers to review new laws that will be implemented January 1, 2018, and ensure their company is in compliance.
Starting in 2018, as a result of Senate Bill 396, employers must display a poster about transgender rights in the workplace, available here in English, and here in Spanish. The poster is required to be posted in a prominent and accessible location in the workplace. If ten (10) percent or more of a company’s workforce speaks a language other than English, the DFEH posters must also be displayed in that language.
You can brush up on the other bills that will become effective January 1, including the “Ban the Box” bill and the prohibition on salary inquiries here.

COUNSEL TO MANAGEMENT:
It is important to get your company in compliance with these new laws sooner rather than later. As employers know, the employment-law landscape in California is constantly changing—be on the lookout for more e-Blasts in 2018! The Saqui Law Group wishes you a happy and safe new year!

Association Testifies to CA Water Commission

The California Water Commission convened in Sacramento to listen to the technical presentations of applicants for the Water Storage Investment Program (WSIP). Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley attended the meeting to show support for both Sites Reservoir and the Temperance Flat Reservoir Project. Raley had the opportunity to provide comments of support for the Temperance Flat Reservoir. Raley stated that after the devastating effects the drought had on valley agriculture and jobs that the Temperance Flat project was necessary for the long term survival of the industry in the state. Additionally, Raley cited that water will become an increasingly precious resource as farmers begin to feel the pressure of achieving the goals of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act. The Association supports and has provided letters of support for both Sites Reservoir and Temperance Flat Reservoir and will continue to take advantage of opportunities to engage on the matter to ensure the dams get built!

Latest News – IC-DISC Restored in Senate Bill

Late Friday night, the Senate capped a frenetic few days with the adoption of a “wraparound” amendment to H.R. 1, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  These amendments were drawn to the manager’s amendment which incorporated a range of individual members’ amendments that had been prepared for the bill, along with new language negotiated throughout the day.  Many of these amendments are technical, clarifying or making minor revisions to non-notable provisions.  However, there were some important revisions that were made as a result of intense negotiations.  Included in those amendments was restoring the IC-DISC tax incentive.  The California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) was heavily involved in this effort working closely with a tax coalition focused on IC-DISC, and was on the phone daily last week with Washington, DC and New York, NY.  We also want to recognize our members and Associate members who took the time to write letters and make calls to legislators throughout last week.  It was the specific examples of the impact of potentially losing IC-DISC that changed the tide for us.  The bill now heads to Conference Committee, where the Association will still be closely monitoring the situation to protect IC DISC.

 

 

Latest News – Supporting Temperance Flat Dam

The San Joaquin Valley Water Infrastructure Authority is seeking the attendance of Temperance Flat Dam supporters at the next California Water Commission meeting on Wednesday, December 13. During this meeting Valley water leaders will be making a formal presentation on the project to commission members and how critical the 1.3 million acre-foot reservoir is to valley agriculture and residents. This is possibly the only chance to show the California Water Commission, the strong regional support there is for the project. Transportation and provisions will be provided to all participants as this will be an all day trip. If you are interested in participating in this effort please contact your County Farm Bureau for information on bus transportation.

Latest News – Chlorpyrifos to Be Listed Under Prop 65

The Developmental and Reproductive Toxicity Identification Committee (DARTIC) made a decision to list chlorpyrifos under Proposition 65 as a developmental toxicant. California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association submitted comments in opposition to the product’s potential listing, stating that any additional actions that could potentially limit the use of the product are unacceptable. This latest action while not favorable, will not affect the availability or use of chlorpyrifos containing products for the time being.

Latest News – East San Joaquin Revised Order Draft Released, Workshop Dates Set

Last month, the State Water Board released a second draft of their Proposed East San Joaquin Order.  This Order aims to strengthen groundwater quality protection by leveraging stronger monitoring and field level requirements on growers and coalitions, and the Order is precedential in that it can be applicable to all Coalitions throughout the State.  The recently released draft has several key changes to various requirements set forth in the order, primarily the inclusion of more stringent surface water monitoring throughout the state.  This newly added requirement will undoubtedly result in higher fees to stakeholders due to the newly incurred cost at the Coalition level for this kind of monitoring.  Other changes include the elimination of township level data aggregation, this provision is being replaced by individual operation data being submitted to the Regional Board with only the name of the operation being withheld by the Coalitions.  Another major change is that growers in Low Vulnerability areas must have their Nitrogen & Irrigation Management Plans signed off on by a CCA or other certified source.  This was not a requirement in the previous draft, although the State Water Board was trying to designate the entire State as being in High Vulnerability to groundwater quality.

The State Water Board will be hosting 2 workshops on this specific topic within the month of November, as well as holding a specific workshop in front of the entire Board during the month of December.  A workshop will be held in Fresno on November 27th, and an additional workshop will be held in Redding on November 30th.  We will be developing talking points to distribute amongst the membership, and we encourage you to participate in the Board Hearing as well as the workshop that is closest to you.  We would also encourage you to submit written comments to the Board, as these will be reviewed and considered for the final draft to be released this next year.  For more information on the proposed workshops, please visit the link below.

http://bit.ly/2mKPLV6