WAPA Hosts Navel Orangeworm Meeting with USDA APHIS

This past week the Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) hosted an important meeting on the potential development of a sterile insect technology (SIT) pilot program for Navel Orangeworm (NOW).  Led by USDA APHIS PPQ, the two day meeting focused on the latest research on NOW and an update from USDA APHIS PPQ on the ongoing research with Navel Orangeworm at the USDA Pink Bollworm Rearing Facility in Phoenix, Arizona.  The meeting was chaired by USDA APHIS PPQ Deputy Administrator Osama El-Lissy, and included staff from USDA APHIS, USDA ARS and CDFA.  In addition to the WAPA, also participating were the California Pistachio Research Board, Almond Board of California, the California Walnut Board and the California Cotton Pest Control Board.  The California Pistachio Research Board (CPRB) has taken a leadership role in the effort to see if rearing sterile NOW and releasing them over infested orchards can be an effective tool to suppress large populations of NOW.

The CPRB has committed $2.5 million to this project.  So far, the Rearing Facility has proven they can rear the moths, and this season they will begin to test the release of small amounts.  At this meeting a pilot plan was formulated to do a pilot program in 2018 to release several million moths every day over an isolated 5,000 to 10,000 acres to determine effectiveness.  In the meantime, the rearing facility will work on increasing moth production and the testing of aerial releases. 

IMMIGRATION LAW WEBINAR: I-9’s in a Nutshell; and

What to Do When ICE Shows Up

 

NO CHARGE EVENT:  SPONSORED AND PRESENTED BY:  WAPA and The Saqui Law Group

Date: July 18 2017

Time: 10:00 a.m. 

The Saqui Law Group and the Western Agricultural Processors Association offer this webinar for Owners, Office Managers, Supervisors, and HR team members.

PRESENTER

Michael Saqui, The Saqui Law Group — Michael Saqui’s highly successful track record spanning over two decades makes him a powerful partner to the clients he represents in all aspects of employer-employee relations. He does extensive public speaking including seminars, lectures and in-house training, to counsel employers in developing proactive approaches to address employment and labor relations matters. 

TOPICS COVERED

  1. “TRUMP-Train” trends and their effect on AG;
  2. Dealing with Employee confusion and “Fake News;”
  3. Dealing with I-9 compliance issues;
  4. Employer workplace obligations; and
  5. What to do when ICE shows up.

Q+A: Bring your questions. 

Please RSVP by July 14, 2017.

For more information and to register, contact Elda at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

 

 

 

FDA to Extend Compliance Dates for Agricultural Water Standards

Earlier this year, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced that it is exploring ways to simplify the agricultural water standards established by the Food Safety Modernization Act’s (FSMA) Produce Safety Rule (PSR) after receiving feedback from stakeholders that some of the requirements are too complex to understand and implement. As a result, FDA has now announced its intention to extend the compliance dates for agricultural water requirements in the Produce Safety Rule (other than for sprouts). The FDA intends to extend the compliance dates using appropriate procedures at a later time and the length of the extension is under consideration.   Major concerns surround the water requirements including the amount of testing and the test method itself. The FDA intends to use the extended time period to work with stakeholders as it considers the best approach to address their concerns while still protecting public health. The extended compliance dates will also give farms an opportunity to continue to review their practices, processes and procedures related to agricultural water and how it is used on their farms.  The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) is currently working on this issue, including conducting testing during the upcoming season.    

ARB Holds Hearing on PM2.5 Plan – Association Continues Fight

While activists outnumbered agricultural representatives 10 to 1, the Association yet again spoke out against the mandate to tractors, harvesters and pump engines at the California Air Resources Board Hearing this week in Sacramento on the State Implementation Plan (SIP) for attaining the PM2.5 Standard.  Once again, Association President/CEO Roger Isom testified before the Board to ensure agriculture’s accomplishments were recognized.  The plan will have a hearing In August or September, but CARB demanded an update from staff on the development of the plan and what will be included.  The Association, along with the Nisei Farmers League, were the only ag organizations to testify at the hearing where environmental advocates and some ARB board members called for a mandatory farm equipment and harvester replacement rule.  Isom highlighted the 12.65 tons of NOx reductions already obtained on a voluntary basis through the NRCS EQIP program and the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District’s Ag Equipment Incentive Program. 

Soil Health Workshop Next Week

Next Week, the Cal Poly Center for Sustainability will be holding a Soil Health Assessment Field Day at Macon Seed in Turlock.  The event will feature plant pathologist and Denele Analytical Director, Joe Mullinax, USDA-NRCS Regional Soil Health Specialist, Zahangir Kabir, as well as Cal Poly staff.  The event will focus on the contribution of biology and organic matter as it relates to soil health, how they can be measured and supported through sustainable agricultural management practices, as well as a variety of tools available now that assess soil health.  The event will be held Thursday, May 25th at Macon Seed, located in Turlock, CA.  For more information on the event and registration information, please visit: http://cfs.calpoly.edu/soilsworkshops.html

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Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

Ignoring the pleas of real farmworkers and the agricultural industry, Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. today signed AB 1066, the ag overtime legislation. This means that California will have the most stringent trigger of any state in the country for overtime for farmworkers, with 45 states having no overtime protection at all. The Governor signed this bill, supposedly to bring “equality to all workers”, yet taxi cab drivers, commercial fishermen, car salesmen, student nurses, computer programmers, and carnival workers all work without any overtime provisions whatsoever. The Governor signed this ag overtime bill in the same year that minimum wage legislation was also passed that will take California to the highest minimum wage as well as legislation forcing California to adopt additional greenhouse gas regulations for businesses in California. California is the only state in the country subject to such regulations. Today’s signing occurred despite numerous requests by the agricultural industry to meet with the Governor to discuss our concerns. The message is clear. California simply doesn’t care. These provisions will be phased in over the next few years ending with the overtime provisions to be triggered at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week.

In the Beginning As folks transitioned out of cotton and into tree nuts, the industry recognized the need to have active and effective representation at the local, state and national levels. Having enjoyed such effective representation over the years from the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, these folks yearned for the same representation in the tree nut processing industry. Issues such as air quality, food safety, labor, taxes, employee safety, and environmental concerns are at the forefront, and there is a significant need for an aggressive and dynamic Association to lead the industry into the next decade and beyond. In recognition of this, the Western Agricultural Processors Association was created in 2009. The Western Agricultural Processors Association (WAPA) shares staff and office space with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations taking advantage of a unique and opportunistic situation. WAPA is a voluntary dues organization with four shared staff and one dedicated staff person. Regulatory, legislative and legal issues fall under the purview of this new organization for the tree nut processing industry, which includes almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts. From air quality permits to conditional use permits, from regulatory hearings on greenhouse gases to federal legislation on food safety, and from OSHA violations to assisting members on hazardous materials business plans, no issue is too small or too large for WAPA. WAPA has assembled one of the best and most capable staffs in the industry, and the results are already starting to show Membership The Western Agricultural Processors Association represents facilities involved in the processing of almonds, pecans, pistachios and walnuts.Membership in the Association is classified as Regular memberships are limited to almond hullers or processors, pecan and pistachio processors, and walnut dehydrators and processors. Associate memberships are limited to any individual or business entity which is not engaged in agricultural processing, but which provides products or services directly related to the agricultural processing industry. WAPA Associate members include, but are not limited to, commodity brokers, accounting firms, and insurance brokers. Organization The Western Agricultural Processors Association is governed by a Board of Directors, elected by its membership.The Board consists of up to 15 members from throughout the state, and throughout the industry.The Board meets on a quarterly basis and conducts an Annual Meeting in the spring of each year.WAPA, in conjunction with the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations, conducts a special training school for its members focused on safety.In combination with the school, the Association holds a Labor Management Seminar for all of the managers. Consulting Services In researching and considering the concept of forming a new organization, the Boards of Directors for the California Cotton Ginners and Growers Associations instructed staff to perform some of the work on a consulting basis first. The point was to determine the workload from consulting and to determine if there was sufficient interest. In November of 2007, the Association began conducting services under consulting contracts for such services as air quality permits and safety plans.The effort has been so successful that demand has progressed outside the tree nut industry into other agricultural processing facilities, including vegetable dehydration facilities, tomato processing facilities, and wheat mills, as well as cotton gins in Arizona.It was determined by the new Board of Directors of WAPA, that WAPA would maintain the consulting services to provide offsetting income to help with the expenses of getting the new organization up and running.Today, WAPA provides for a long list of satisfied clients in the agricultural processing industry, by providing critical services such as air quality, safety, food safety, and environmental issues (Hazardous Materials Business Plan, Spill Prevention Control and Countermeasure Plans, etc.).