Third Public Listening Session on Defining Regenerative Agriculture on 2.22.24

The listening session will begin with an update including summaries of the previous public listening sessions

SACRAMENTO — The California Department of Food and Agriculture, in collaboration with the State Board of Food and Agriculture, will be hosting its third public listening session to receive comments that will help define “regenerative agriculture” for state policies and programs. The listening session will begin with an update including summaries of the previous public listening sessions and the first work group session, which took place on January 31. Recordings of previous sessions may be found on the website: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/RegenerativeAg.

Public Listening Session:
Defining Regenerative Agriculture for State Policies and Programs
Thursday, February 22, 2024
4:30 – 6:00 PM
Webinar Link:https://csus.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZwudO6tpzIoGNAzqgcVsej04FrLrlwBi_WO#/registration
Spanish interpretation services will be available. 

Background: The California State Board of Food and Agriculture, as advisory body to the Governor and CDFA Secretary, is positioned to advise on how the state’s farmers, ranchers and consumers may be best served by agricultural policies in the state.

Incorporating a definition of regenerative agriculture for state policies and programs provides a science-based criterion for the designation or recognition of the term “regenerative” in agriculture-related policies of the state. By defining “regenerative agriculture” and its associated practices, we are working to formalize holistic methods of farming that are designed to protect, sustain and enhance natural resources on our farms and farming communities throughout California.

The public listening sessions will to help provide recommendations on a definition of “regenerative agriculture” and inform the State Board’s process.

Updates on the public listening sessions and the process for defining “regenerative agriculture” are available at: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/RegenerativeAg/.

Written Public comments can be sent to: RegenerativeAg@cdfa.ca.gov.

–California Department of Food and Agriculture

EPA Approves Section 18 Emergency Registration Request for Kasugamycin on Almonds

EPA Approves Section 18 Emergency Registration Request for Kasugamycin on Almonds 
February 6, 2024

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and California Department of Pesticide Regulation recently accepted a Section 18 petition to allow the use of Kasumin 2L (kasugamycin) to control bacterial blast (Pseudomonas sp) in almonds. The registration allows up to two applications under anticipated cold or freezing conditions on almonds at a use rate of 64 fl. oz. per acre from February 2, 2024, through petal fall. Application after petal fall is prohibited. Kasugamycin may only be used during bloom.

The approval applies to the counties of Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Contra Costa, Fresno, Glenn, Madera, Merced, Placer, San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Yolo, and Yuba.

Growers interested in this application are heavily encouraged to reference the Almond Board of California’s Honey Bee Best Management Practices as well as the Quick Guide for Applicators (in English & Spanish) to ensure pollinator health is maintained. As stated in these practices, growers should only use applications when absolutely necessary and should only make applications in the late afternoon or evening, when bees and pollen are not present.

Please contact your local County Ag Commissioner’s office for further details if interested in using this product. 

Visit the California Department of Food and Agriculture website for a full list of County Ag Commissioners’ offices as well as contact information for each.

Alert information courtesy of the Almond Board of California

CAWG: Legislation Introduced to Extend Pierce’s Disease Control Program

Growers are all too familiar with the significant threat posed to vineyards by Pierce’s Disease (PD)

SACRAMENTO — This week, Assemblywoman Dawn Addis, (D-Morro Bay) introduced AB 1861 to extend a vital program within the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) that protects California’s picturesque vineyards and our iconic wine industry from deadly disease. This legislation is sponsored by the California Association of Winegrape Growers and Wine Institute.

“The wine industry is integral to the economic success of the Central Coast and all of California,” said Addis. “I’m proud to author AB 1861 that extends a crucial line of defense for our wine industry against invasive disease. We have a track record of collaboration among State, local, federal government and the industry itself when it comes to battling Pierce’s Disease and the Glassy Winged Sharp Shooter. I’m proud to extend this collaboration and to be part of the on-going success of California’s wine regions.”

“Over the last 23 years, the Pierce’s Disease Control Program has been fundamental in addressing the challenges posed by Pierce’s Disease and other pests and diseases,” said Natalie Collins, President of the California Association of Winegrape Growers. “We thank Assemblymember Addis for her leadership in authoring this important legislation.”

“Our collaboration with California’s Department of Food and Agriculture continues to protect our vineyards against Pierce’s Disease and the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter,” said Robert P. Koch, President and CEO of Wine Institute. “AB 1861 will extend critical research, innovation, and mitigation and prevention efforts to safeguard the health and vitality of our winegrapes against this invasive species. We are grateful for the support of Assemblymember Addis and the California legislature.”

California’s wine industry stands as a formidable economic force, contributing significantly to the state’s prosperity. California leads the nation in wine production, producing 80 percent of all U.S. wine and generating a staggering $170.5 billion in annual economic activity. With 615,000 acres of winegrapes producing 3.6 million tons, California’s commitment to sustainability shines through, with eighty percent of its wine produced in certified sustainable wineries.

Growers are all too familiar with the significant threat posed to vineyards by Pierce’s Disease (PD), carried between plants by an insect called the glassy-winged sharpshooter (GWSS). Since the 1990s, GWSS has been one of the most invasive and deadly pests for vineyards. When a vine develops PD, its ability to draw in moisture is hindered and the plant will either die or become unproductive. PD has caused millions of dollars in damage throughout the state.

To safeguard California’s wine industry and support ongoing research, inspection, and control measures for PD, AB 1861 will extend the Pierce’s Disease Control Program (program) and the PD/GWSS Board from 2026 to 2031. This extension is subject to approval of growers through a referendum that would be conducted in 2025. The last PD/GWSS referendum, conducted in 2020, passed with 78 percent approval of California winegrape growers.

California’s first indication of a severe threat posed by this disease occurred in Temecula in August of 1999, when more than 300 acres of vineyards were infected with PD and had to be destroyed. In response, the Legislature enacted a legislative package that year creating the advisory task force. In 2001, the program was created to fight the spread and find solutions for PD and GWSS.

The program has demonstrated success in controlling the spread of PD and GWSS due to the collaborative efforts involving federal, state, and local agencies, along with grower-funded research. The program is funded through a combination of federal and industry funds, as well as grape grower assessments. These assessment funds are used for research, outreach, and related activities on PD, GWSS, and other designated pests and diseases of winegrapes.

The research overseen by the PD/GWSS Board is critical to advancing knowledge, improving practices, and guaranteeing the longevity of the California winegrape industry. The focus of current research projects ranges from investigating pests and diseases to evaluating existing control methods to exploring new promising control strategies.

California Association of Winegrape Growers

Original article courtesy of Morning Ag Clips

Protecting the Food Supply – CDFA to Begin Fruit Removal

All host fruit for the Oriental fruit fly—citrus as well as a number of other fruits–will be removed from properties, with trees remaining in place

SACRAMENTO — CDFA is preparing to begin large-scale fruit removal In the Redlands-area of San Bernardino County. Removal will occur at more than 2,000 residences and is scheduled to begin in late January.

All host fruit for the Oriental fruit fly—citrus as well as a number of other fruits–will be removed from properties, with trees remaining in place.

Properties slated for fruit removal are north and south of I-10, with a northern boundary of E. Highland Ave, a western boundary at the intersection of Garden and Elizabeth streets, an eastern boundary of Alta Vista Dr., and a southern boundary of Silver Leaf Ct. A map of the area may be viewed here: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/plant/docs/Redlands_HalfMileFruitRemoval_map.pdf

This approach will allow CDFA and its partners at the USDA and local agricultural commissioners’ office to break the lifecycle of the invasive fly, which lays eggs in fruit that develop into larvae (maggots), posing a threat to both residential and commercial citrus as well as a total of more than 230 crops, including nuts, vegetables, and berries.

If left unchecked, the Oriental fruit fly could become permanently established and cause billions of dollars worth of losses annually, which would significantly impact California’s food supply.

Residents in the Redlands-area are strongly urged to cooperate with the agricultural officials working on the project, as fruit removal is mandatory.  Removal is expected to continue until late February. Residents in areas of concern will receive a notice 48 hours prior to fruit removal, with work crews arriving after the stated time interval has passed.

Work crews may consist of a combination of the following: CDFA and USDA employees, California Conservation Corps employees, and private contractors specializing in fruit removal.

Residents in the removal area are asked not to remove fruit from trees themselves and they may not move produce from their property. If fruit falls from trees and must be disposed-of, residents are urged to double-bag it and place it in a trash bin rather than green waste bins or other organic refuse designations. This approach significantly reduces the risk of spread of Oriental fruit flies, larvae or maggots.

CDFA is planning to host a public meeting in Redlands on January 24 to share details of the fruit removal project. The meeting, which is intended for residents in the removal area, will occur from 6 pm to 8 pm at the San Bernardino County Museum at 2024 Orange Tree Ln., Redlands, CA 92374. Residents in the removal area will receive postcards in the mail inviting them to the meeting.

More information about the Oriental fruit fly is available at CAFruitFly.com.

–CDFA

Original article courtesy of Morning Ag Clips

USDA invests more than $100 million in fruit fly eradication efforts

Taken from a USDA news release The USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) is using emergency funding to respond to threats associated with growing outbreaks of exotic fruit flies in California. U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack approved the transfer of $213.3 million from the Commodity Credit Corporation to APHIS to directly support emergency response efforts domestically and internationally to protect fruit, vegetable and livestock industries and producers — $103.5 million of that funding will be provided for invasive fruit fly programs. The rest will be used to combat New World Screwworm detections in areas of Panama and other areas that are critical to preventing the pest from spreading back into North America. “Increasing our response efforts to exotic fruit fly and New World screwworm outbreaks is critical to minimizing their potential impact on our nation’s agriculture and trade,” said USDA Under Secretary for Marketing and Regulatory Programs Jenny Lester Moffitt. “This funding will enable us to swiftly prevent both populations’ further spread before they become established and harder to eradicate.” Exotic fruit flies are among the most destructive fruit and vegetable pests in the world. APHIS will use this funding to address known outbreaks of fruit flies in California and increase preventive activities in other susceptible areas in the United States. APHIS will also use the funding to address the increasing numbers of fruit fly incursions in areas of Guatemala and Mexico, where APHIS and cooperators maintain a buffer against northward spread of the Mediterranean fruit fly. “We greatly appreciate our long and productive partnership with the USDA,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “We have had a very difficult year with invasive fruit flies in California, and this investment puts us in a stronger position to eradicate infestations as quickly as possible while evaluating commerce pathways and other factors to better understand why detections have increased.” Photo: The Mediterranean Fruit Fly, one of a series of invasive fruit flies that threaten California’s environment and food production. Original article courtesy of CDFA Planting Seeds blog

New DPR Updates for Soil Fumigant & Non-Soil Fumigant Licensees

Under the California Department of Pesticide Regulation’s (DPR) recently amended Certification and Training regulations, currently licensed individuals who want to continue to perform pest control using either soil fumigant or non-soil fumigant pesticides next year must obtain the appropriate new licensing category starting January 1, 2024.

The new Soil Fumigation (Category L) is required for individuals who perform pest control using a pesticide labeled as a fumigant to control soil pests in sites including fields, forests, golf courses, greenhouses, and individual tree or vine hole sites. Individuals who previously performed this type of pest control under the Field Fumigation (Subcategory O), which is no longer a subcategory after December 31, 2023, will have to obtain the new Category L if they wish to continue performing soil fumigations.

LEARN MORE ABOUT THE LIMITED 3-MONTH ENFORCEMENT DISCRETION FOR COMMERCIAL APPLICATOR SOIL AND NON-SOIL FUMIGATION LICENSING REQUIREMENTS UNTIL APRIL 1, 2024.

***Contact your local County Ag Commissioner to confirm that the county is exercising discretion.***

If you are looking for more information on this regulation package please visit –>  https://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/license/cert_training.htm

APHIS Expands Three Fruit Fly Quarantines

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles

LOS ANGELES CO., Calif. — On November 15, 2023, the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) expanded a Mediterranean fruit fly (Ceratitis capitata; Medfly) quarantine and a Zeugodacus tau fruit fly quarantine in Los Angeles County. Furthermore, on November 21, APHIS and CDFA expanded a Queensland fruit fly (Bactrocera tryoni; QFF) quarantine in Ventura and Los Angeles Counties.

The expansion of the Medfly quarantine is in response to the confirmed detection of an unmated female Medfly by CDFA on November 8, from a trap in an avocado tree in a residential area. As a result of this detection, the Leimert Park area quarantine increased by 8 square miles to 98 square miles. APHIS and CDFA established the original Medfly quarantine on October 18 following the confirmed detection of two flies in the Leimert Park area on September 27, and expanded the quarantine on November 1 and November 7 following detections of additional flies. There is no commercial agriculture in the quarantine area.

The expansion of the Z. tau quarantine is in response to the confirmed detection of two adult male Z. tau by CDFA on November 4, from traps in ornamental trees in residential areas. As a results of these detections, the Stevenson Ranch area quarantine increased by 18 square miles to 128 square miles. APHIS and CDFA established the original Z. tau quarantine on July 11 following the confirmed detection of nine flies in the Stevenson Ranch area between June 7 and July 6, and expanded the quarantine on August 15, September 14, and October 3 following detections of additional flies. There is no commercial agriculture in the quarantine area.

The expansion of the QFF quarantine is in response to the confirmed detection of an adult male QFF by CDFA on November 13, from a trap in an ornamental tree in a residential area. As a result of this detection, the Thousand Oaks area quarantine increased by 14 square miles to 90 square miles. APHIS and CDFA established the original QFF quarantine on October 18 following the confirmed detection of two flies in the Thousand Oaks area on August 23 and October 9. There are a total of 3,379 acres of commercial citrus, avocado, stone fruits, and berries in the quarantine area.

APHIS is applying safeguarding measures and restrictions on the interstate movement of regulated articles to prevent the spread of Medfly, Z. tau, and QFF to non-infested areas of the United States, as well as to prevent the entry of these fruit flies into foreign trade. APHIS is working with CDFA and the Agricultural Commissioners of Los Angeles and Ventura Counties to respond to these detections following program guidelines for survey, treatment, and regulatory actions.

These quarantine expansions are reflected on the APHIS fruit fly website, which contains a description of all current federal fruit fly quarantine areas. APHIS will publish a notice of these changes in the Federal Register.

For additional information on the quarantine areas, please contact Fruit Fly National Policy Manager Richard Johnson at 301-851-2109 or richard.n.johnson@usda.gov.

–Dr. Mark L Davidson
Deputy Administrator
Plant Protection and Quarantine
USDA APHIS

Original article link courtesy of Morning AgClips

(Photo: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Public domain)

Valley Citrus Growers Prepare for 2023 Frost Season

Below-freezing temperatures lasting more than a few hours have the ability to impact all citrus varieties. (Photo by Jeroen van Nierop on Unsplash)

EXETER, Calif. — The 2023 frost season is underway for San Joaquin Valley citrus growers. That means growers will be closely monitoring weather forecasts to prepare for any cold spells that may sweep through the valley in the coming months.

While cold temperatures benefit the crop by maintaining fruit quality, improving color, and sending trees into dormancy long periods of below-freezing temperatures are of concern to growers.

“Cold temperatures aren’t a bad thing for citrus. In fact, they can have positive effects on the fruit and trees,” says California Citrus Mutual President/CEO Casey Creamer. “It’s when below-freezing temperatures last for long periods of time that we get concerned there could be damage to the crop.”

Below-freezing temperatures lasting more than a few hours have the ability to impact all citrus varieties. However, mandarins are often at the greatest risk due to their thin peel.

To combat below-freezing temperatures citrus growers run wind machines and irrigation. These techniques help raise grove temperatures and alleviate any negative effects of long cold periods.

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) aids growers during the frost season by running the Weather Watch Program. Through this program, CCM employs weather stations throughout the region and provides growers with daily citrus-specific forecasts. The program runs from November 15 through March 15 each year.

–California Citrus Mutual

Original article link courtesy of Morning Ag Clips