California Citrus and Chinese Tariff Exemptions

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Trade

The latest development in the Chinese market came as welcome news for the California citrus industry, as China moved to implement tariff exemptions. California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer explained that the tariff reduction is coming at an important time for the industry. “It’s probably the break we’ve been looking for when it comes to citrus movement to China,” Creamer … Read More

Video in Spanish on HLB Best Practices

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), through its Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program, has developed a mobile-friendly, Spanish-language training video. It’s for use by field crew supervisors and farm labor contractors prior to harvest. The new tool trains industry managers and workers, including field crews, with best practices to prevent the spread of the Asian citrus psyllid … Read More

Prepare for California Wildfire Smoke Rules

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Regulation

With fire season on the horizon, employers should prepare now to be in compliance with wildfire smoke regulations. Bryan Little, director of employment policy for the California Farm Bureau Federation and chief operating officer for the Farm Employers Labor Service, highlighted the things agricultural employers will need to do to get ready for the coming fire season. “Make sure you’ve … Read More

Lemons Hit Hard by Covid-19 Losses

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, lemons

Lemon growers are seeing good production this year, but the market for choice lemons has been ruined by COVID-19 food-service industry losses. “We’ve seen 20 to 25 percent decrease in fruit movement, and that’s mainly attributable to the decline in the food-service industry,” according to Ventura County lemon grower Will Pidduck. Ironically, it is otherwise a good year for lemons … Read More

Report Calls for Water Reforms to Avert Crisis

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Water

California citrus growers may soon face even more water hardships, according to a report by University of California, Berkeley economists David Sunding and David Roland-Holst. The report shows that the lack of responsible, balanced water reforms will lead to the loss of up to 20 percent of today’s working farms. According to data released by California State Assemblyman Jim Patterson, … Read More

California Lawsuit Over Water for Farmers

Tacy CalliesCalifornia Corner, Water

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has filed a lawsuit to stop the federal government from increasing water deliveries to California farmers, including growers in the citrus regions of Central and Southern California. The increased deliveries are needed to comply with new state requirements to improve groundwater recharge efforts. The increased deliveries came about by changes in biological opinions. Biological opinions are … Read More

New HLB Find in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

A new finding of huanglongbing (HLB) has been reported in a residential citrus tree in the city of San Bernardino, California. This is the first confirmed find of the citrus disease in the city and follows the recent detections of several HLB-positive trees located in Colton, Montclair and Ontario. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is working with … Read More

How to Donate Citrus to California Food Banks

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19

In California as well as nationally, food banks are experiencing a significant increase in demand due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The California Association of Food Banks (CAFB) Farm to Family (F2F) program accepts donations of fresh produce year-round. CAFB will coordinate the distribution to 41 food banks across the state, which then supply local community food banks and other … Read More

California Citrus Market: A Wild Ride

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Market

field hearings

It’s been a wild up-and-down season for California citrus, and pandemic shopping waves are making the market even less predictable than usual. California Citrus Mutual President Casey Creamer spoke about this year’s market. “We’re getting some unpredictable orders and sales,” he said. “And I don’t quite know how this market’s going to shape up, but down in the field, everybody … Read More

California Agricultural Commissioners Declare Bloom

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

California agricultural commissioners declared the citrus bloom is now underway in Tulare, Fresno and Kern counties. This establishes the beginning of a time when the use of insecticides is greatly restricted in citrus groves. These restrictions enable bees to work the citrus blossoms while reducing the potential of serious pesticide damage to the bees. Kern County Agricultural Commissioner Glenn Fankhauser … Read More

California Citrus Mutual Recommends Letters for Essential Business Workers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

town hall

As part of the state effort to control the Covid-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced a statewide stay-at-home order that went into effect immediately. The order does not apply to workers in essential businesses, which includes agriculture. In some parts of the state, the order is being aggressively enforced by local law enforcement. Reports are circulating that some … Read More

Seeking California Citrus Growers With Roof Rat Problems

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Pests

Researchers from the University of California (UC) Cooperative Extension and UC Davis are beginning a two-year study to develop an effective management program for removing roof rats from orchards. The researchers are looking for growers who will allow the UC to work in their orchards to test methods for monitoring roof rat activity. Roof rats can run rampant and cause … Read More

HLB Quarantine Area Expands in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A quarantine expansion has been declared following the detection of the citrus disease huanglongbing (HLB), or citrus greening, in two residential citrus trees in Colton, California. This is the first time the disease has been confirmed in Colton. This detection came on the heels of the first detection in San Bernardino County in November 2019. The California Department of Food … Read More

CDFA’s Year in Review

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Pests

The mission of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is to promote and protect the food supply, enhance trade and protect the environment. The agency annually provides information on the steps it takes to fulfill its mission goals. In such a diverse and highly populated state, the challenges are great. Much of the growing regions are geographic islands … Read More

California Growers Face New Contractor Rules

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Labor

Citrus growers in California need to reevaluate their working relationships with independent contractors to ensure they follow new state regulations that redefine who is an independent contractor. Signed by California Gov. Newsom last fall, the new rules state that any worker is an employee unless the hiring entity can demonstrate that the worker is an independent contractor. The law becomes … Read More

Citrus Research Facility Opening Set

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Research

Sept. 26 will be the official opening day for a new bio-safety citrus research facility at the University of California, Riverside (UCR). A ribbon-cutting ceremony and other activities are scheduled to highlight the day. Members of the California Citrus Research Foundation, California Citrus Mutual (CCM) and the Citrus Research Board will be in attendance. The facility was funded by California … Read More

California Sets Wildfire Smoke Rule

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

A new regulation from California’s Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) will affect citrus field work during wildfire season. The Cal/OSHA Standards Board has approved an emergency regulation designed to protect workers exposed to wildfire smoke. The emergency regulation will be in effect for one year and will expire on July 29, 2020. The agency is working to develop … Read More

What to Do if ICE Comes Knocking

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Immigration

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) wants citrus growers and packers to be aware that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has ramped up immigration enforcement around the country. It is important to understand what to do if ICE comes to your place of business. The ICE ramp-up began in mid-July with raids in the street and compliance actions in businesses. In … Read More

Citrus Exports to China and Hong Kong Down Significantly

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Export

Exports of citrus from the United States to China and Hong Kong are down significantly, according to a news release from California Citrus Mutual (CCM). The association has been monitoring exports to China and Hong Kong since the trade dispute started in the spring of 2018. The data is from reports filed by the International Trade Commission, a federal agency … Read More

HLB Voluntary Controls for California Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee of the Citrus Research Board (CRB) has endorsed a list of voluntary actions growers can undertake if HLB-infected trees are found in their vicinity. The voluntary actions go beyond the required regulatory response. Beth Grafton-Cardwell, entomologist with University of California Riverside, explained the recommendations during a recent interview with AgNet West multimedia journalist … Read More