Association Submits Comments on WOTUS Rule

the Association submitted comments on the Biden Administration’s proposal to reconsider the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rulemaking.  The Association expressed concerns with reopening the rulemaking, stating that under the Trump Administration the Navigable Protection Waters Rule (NWPR) brought clarity to a regulation that had caused consternation and conflict for years.  The NWPR finally eliminated debate and questions on issues like whether drainage ditches were navigable waters, and numerous other contentious examples of inconsistency with implementation of the rules.  The NWPR finally brought the clarity and understanding necessary for farming to move forward.  The Association expressed concern that reopening the regulation would only serve to bring back the inconsistency and questions. 

 

Incentive Funding for Electric Forklift Available

 

The VW Mitigation Trust announced that up to $175,000 per forklift is available to help forklift owners buy all-electric forklifts. Applications will be accepted on first-come first-served basis through September 22, 2021.

Key Program Details

  • Applies to forklifts with lift capacity of 8,000 lbs or greater
  • May be anywhere in California and in any use or sector

How It Works

  • Must scrap old forklift with internal combustion engine (Tier 4 diesel or earlier. LPG forklifts eligible. LSI forklifts eligible.)
  • Must replace with all-electric forklift (battery-electric, hydrogen fuel cell or grid-tied)

For more information regarding the program or to apply visit the Program Website or reach out to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Informational Flyer

CDFA Conducting Grower Survey on Navel Orangeworm

We need your help!  The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services Division has released the 2021 Navel Orangeworm Program (Program) survey to the industry in order to gather feedback.  The Program is actively addressing the priority of developing new tools to detect and control navel orangeworm in tree nut crops. The Program is a cooperative project between the U.S. Department of Agriculture, CDFA, and the California tree nut industry.   California’s climate with warmer winters and longer growing seasons increase winter survival of the navel orangeworm.  The navel orangeworm has a wide host-range and high dispersal capability. Current control methods can more than $400 per acre, yet can still result in unacceptable levels of damage. The goal of the Program is to provide an additional tool to growers in the management of this pest.    We ask that you please take 5 minutes of your time to fill out the survey.  Feel free to share this survey with others.

The survey can be accessed by clicking on the following link:

Navel Orangeworm SIT Survey

If you are having trouble accessing the link, you may copy and paste this address directly into your browser: https://arcg.is/0y0jjG

SWRCB Announces Public Workshop on Proposed Emergency Curtailment and Reporting Regulation for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed

The State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) has announced a Public Workshop on Proposed Emergency Curtailment and Reporting Regulation for the Sacramento-San Joaquin Watershed and is scheduled for July 27, 2021 from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

The proposed emergency regulation would require water right holders in the Delta watershed to curtail their diversions when water is found by the State Water Board to be unavailable based on the best information available to the Board. The emergency regulation would also allow the Board to require that water right holders provide additional information related to their diversion and use of water.

SWRCB staff will also provide an overview of the recent updates to the Water Unavailability Methodology for the Delta Watershed, which is planned to be used to inform curtailment decisions as described in the draft regulation. The draft emergency regulation text and draft resolution will be made available on July 23, 2021.

The Association staff is closely monitoring this issue and will be reviewing the draft regulation once released. We will keep you updated.

Ag Burn Alternatives Pilot Demonstration Day Kicks Off

In response to the landmark ban on ag burning in the San Joaquin Valley, several equipment dealers/manufacturers displayed and operated their equipment on recently removed grape vineyards and pistachio trees in Madera this week.  Equipment included an air curtain burner, and three different kinds of chippers for handling trees including one that could handle wire embedded in the vines, and another than handled not only the trunk and branches of the tree, but the roots as well.  The event follows on the heels of the recently announced $180 million in the legislature approved state budget just for alternatives to ag burning in the San Joaquin Valley.  Representatives from the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District (SJVAPCD), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) were also on hand to witness the operation of the equipment.   Agricultural burning is being phased out on a very fast time frame and will be completely eliminated on January 1, 2025.  Cost effective alternative solutions are sorely needed, and it is hoped some of these will fit that need.  Additional projects and equipment will be looked at in the next few months.  As for the funding, the details on how the money will be allocated and who will be eligible is yet to be determined but will be decided in the very near future as the first cut in burning is scheduled for January 1, 2022!

 

agburn_demo1.png       agburn_demo.png

 

 

 

 

Welcome to WAPA

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.).