Over the past week the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Association (CCGGA) has been calling upon our grower community and last night they answered. Joining CCGGA Director of Regulatory Affairs Jodi Raley, nearly 20 growers gathered to provide public comment opposing the Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) proposed draft rule that would prohibit many applications within a quarter mile of a school site and day care facility. Additionally it would could cause growers to provide an annual notification to the school site of all potential applications they expect to make over the next year as well as a 48-hour notification to the school site providing a 12-hour window of when and where the application will be made. CCGGA provided public comment adamantly opposing the regulation as it not only limits the flexibility that growers need to make real-time decision for applications, but additionally the regulation only further will propagate fear, misunderstanding and undue concern surrounding crop protection tools and the method of applications. Comments from the grower community included points of how it will impact their operation and limit their ability to produce, however most importantly growers shared their relationship with adjacent schools and how they take pride in the communication, coordination and trust that has been developed for years. Many shared of how their children and now grandchildren attend those very schools so as responsible stewards of the land it is their duty to protect human health when growing their crop. These comments and others were critical in the public hearing process as the activists group present at last night’s meeting was requesting an extension of the regulation to a 1-mile buffer zone enforced 24/7. There is one public hearing left on this issue schedule for Thursday, Dec. 1 at 6 p.m. with written comments being accepted until COB Dec. 9, 2016. If you would like more information or would like to sign on to our opposition letter you can do that at http://www.ccgga.org/industry-call-to-action/.