Prepare for California Wildfire Smoke Rules

Tacy Callies California 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 …

Lemons Hit Hard by COVID-19 Losses

Len Wilcox California 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 …

Report Calls for Water Reforms to Avert Crisis

Tacy Callies California 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, …

California Lawsuit Over Water for Farmers

Tacy Callies California 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 …

New HLB Find in California

Len Wilcox California 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 …

How to Donate Citrus to California Food Banks

Len Wilcox California 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 …

field hearings

California Citrus Market: A Wild Ride

Len Wilcox California Corner, Market

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 …

California Agricultural Commissioners Declare Bloom

Len Wilcox California 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 …

town hall

California Citrus Mutual Recommends Letters for Essential Business Workers

Len Wilcox California Corner

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 …

Seeking California Citrus Growers With Roof Rat Problems

Len Wilcox California 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 …

Citrus Day Updates Growers on UC Research

Len Wilcox California Corner, Citrus

Over 200 people from the citrus industry and University of California (UC) Riverside gathered on Jan. 29 for Citrus Day. Growers and scientists alike were informed about the current status of huanglongbing (HLB) disease and the tiny insect that spreads it, the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). The consensus of the speakers was that while HLB is a serious threat to …

florida

HLB Quarantine Area Expands in California

Len Wilcox California 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 …

CDFA’s Year in Review

Len Wilcox California 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 …

disaster

House Passes Ag Immigration Reform

Len Wilcox California Corner, Immigration, Legislative

On Dec. 11, the House of Representatives voted to approve the Farm Workforce Modernization Act (HR 5038) by a vote of 260-165. The bill reforms the process by which temporary foreign workers migrate to the United States to work in agriculture. The bill has support from members of both sides of the aisle as well as from farmworker and grower …

California Growers Face New Contractor Rules

Len Wilcox California 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 …

UF Researchers Study Drone Use in Citrus

Len Wilcox All In For Citrus Podcast, California Corner, Technology

In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Yiannis Ampatzidis, University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) associate professor of agricultural and biological engineering, discusses new studies in drone technology applications for agriculture. Citrus growers can currently use drones to find out how many trees live in their groves, and they soon may be able to detect …

hlb

California and Florida Collaborate on HLB Research

Len Wilcox California Corner, HLB Management, Research

University of California, Riverside (UCR) professor Georgios Vidalakis recently provided an update on the state of California citrus for researchers in Florida. Vidalakis is a noted professor and Extension specialist in UCR’s Microbiology and Plant Pathology Department. Among other honors, he was recently named Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection. Vidalakis pointed out that California has benefited greatly from …

Martin Named New California CRB President

Len Wilcox California Corner, Industry News Release

Marcy L. Martin was named the new president of the Citrus Research Board (CRB). The appointment was announced by CRB Chairman Dan Dreyer, who said that Martin was selected after a nearly year-long national search for the best candidate to lead the organization. Martin joins the CRB with more than 25 years of experience with California commodity organizations. She most …

Citrus Research Facility Opening Set

Len Wilcox California 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 …

California Sets Wildfire Smoke Rule

Len Wilcox California 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 …