H-2A Program Updates

Tacy CalliesLabor, Regulation

When the U.S. government announced its decision to suspend visa processing in Mexico on March 18 to combat the spread of COVID-19, growers around the country immediately expressed concerns that the action could have a major impact on agriculture and the U.S. food supply. The concern, of course, was due to the vital role that foreign workers play in the … Read More

New Rule for Florida Citrus Handlers

Ernie NeffRegulation

Citrus handlers in Florida must register with the Citrus Administrative Committee (CAC) in order to ship regulated citrus outside the production area beginning in the 2019-20 fiscal year. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) issued a final rule requiring the registration. The rule applies to the federal marketing order for oranges, grapefruit, tangerines and pummelos grown in Florida. The rule … Read More

California Citrus Movement Rules Amended

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program, an agency of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), has revised the rules governing shipment of citrus within the state. The rules are in place to protect commercial citrus groves from the threat of huanglongbing (HLB) disease. Effective July 31, 2020, bulk citrus fruit may be shipped directly to a packinghouse … Read More

New California Face Mask Rules and Availability

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, COVID-19, Regulation

In addition to California Division of Occupational Safety and Health face mask regulations, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) has issued new mandates regarding face mask use in certain settings. WHEN TO WEAR A MASKFace masks are required whether or not members of the public are present in workplaces. The CDPH guidance also specifies that individuals engaged in work, … Read More

Who Needs Grower Compliance Agreements?

Ernie NeffRegulation


Several growers recently asked the Highlands County Citrus Growers Association (HCCGA) if they need to sign a Grower/Caretaker Compliance Agreement (CA) they received from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS). HCCGA Executive Director Ray Royce’s answer is essentially yes. He says state law requires all citrus growers and caretakers of 40 or more trees to sign a … Read More

New Lighting Rules for California Agriculture

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

New nighttime lighting requirements have been set by the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) and take effect on July 1, 2020. The new standard, “Outdoor Agricultural Operations During Hours of Darkness,” was heavily modified from the original proposal based on information provided by the agricultural industry throughout the course of the rulemaking process. It applies to all … Read More

What to Do About Lack of Respirators for Pesticide Applicators

Ernie NeffPesticides, Regulation

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a statement recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the availability of respirators required when applying agricultural pesticides. The statement offered guidance advising agricultural handler employers and pesticide handlers on what to do in the face of the equipment shortage. The agency noted that cooperative Extension pesticide safety educators and agricultural organizations were … 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

Citrus Involved in Re-Open Florida Task Force

Ernie NeffCOVID-19, Regulation

Two citrus industry representatives participated last week in a Re-Open Florida Task Force working group created by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. Florida Department of Citrus Executive Director Shannon Shepp and Matt Joyner of Florida Citrus Mutual served on a panel representing agriculture, finance, government, healthcare, management and professional services. It is one of several working groups that will inform the … Read More

USDA Relaxes Country of Origin Labeling Rules

Tacy CalliesRegulation

field hearings

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is exercising enforcement discretion for a temporary period to provide flexibilities to the Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) requirements. USDA is allowing the redistribution of food products intended for food-service markets to be sold in retail establishments. COOL is a labeling law that requires retailers to notify their customers with information regarding where certain foods originated. … Read More

Pesticide License Renewal Update for Florida

Tacy CalliesPesticides, Regulation

University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) citrus Extension agents reported that the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has extended Emergency Order 2020-002, which includes pesticide license renewal and expiration information. Emergency Order 2020-007, signed by Florida Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried on April 20, extends the expiration period for another 60 days. “Please remember that … Read More

Hauling Limits Lifted for Citrus

Ernie NeffCOVID-19, Regulation

citrus crop forecast

Citrus has been added to the list of agricultural commodities for which truck size and weight restrictions have been lifted in the face of COVID-19. A Florida Department of Transportation enforcement bulletin issued April 13 stated that citrus and the other commodities for which restrictions were lifted had been identified by Florida’s agriculture commissioner and approved by Florida’s secretary of … 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

Citrus Shipping Costs and Concerns

Tacy CalliesEconomics, Regulation

By Tara Wade On Dec. 16, 2019, all commercial motor vehicles (CMVs) are mandated to carry electronic logging devices (ELDs). These ELDs will replace paper logs and attach to trucks’ engines. They easily record idle time, driving time, miles driven, vehicle movement, and on- and off-duty time — making it easier for law enforcement to check if drivers are compliant … Read More

UF Researcher Seeks Biological Control of ACP

Tacy CalliesPests, Regulation


In the latest All In For Citrus podcast, Ozgur Batuman talks about his research into biological control of the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP). Batuman is an assistant professor at the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) Southwest Florida Research and Education Center. ACP control is necessary for management of citrus greening disease, or huanglongbing (HLB). Batuman’s … 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

California Citrus Mutual Opposes Chlorpyrifos Ban

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) has issued a statement opposing the upcoming statewide ban of chlorpyrifos. The California Environmental Protection Agency (CalEPA) announced that the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is now working to rescind the approved use of the pesticide, which will effectively ban the pesticide from any use in California. The process could take up to two years. CalEPA … Read More

Fried Attends Lunch Meeting with Ag Leaders

Tacy CalliesLegislative, Regulation


At a lunch meeting in Tallahassee, Florida, with representatives of many of the state’s agricultural organizations, Florida Agriculture Commissioner-Elect Nikki Fried told the group she plans to be a “champion for this industry” in her new role. Several major issues facing Florida agriculture were discussed during the lunch meeting, which was the first meeting of its kind with Fried since … Read More

Understanding the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs Rule

Tacy CalliesRegulation

By Travis K. Chapin, Keith R. Schneider, Renée Goodrich Schneider and Michelle D. Danyluk On Nov. 27, 2015, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) published the Foreign Supplier Verification Programs (FSVP) for Importers of Food for Humans and Animals rule in the Code of Federal Regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). The final rule requires that importers … Read More

Fresh Fruit Growers Must Comply with FSMA Regulations

Ernie NeffFSMA, Regulation


Travis Chapin, state specialized Extension agent with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS), discusses deadlines and some requirements for fresh fruit growers to comply with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA). “The compliance date for the largest farms, those with over $500,000 in annual produce sales, is January 26, 2018,” Chapin says. Growers with … Read More