Program Helps Track Beehives in California Groves

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A new program was created so growers know when beehives are on or near their fields, but some out-of-state beekeepers have not been participating in the mandatory program.  California legislators have acted to correct this problem. Beekeepers will soon risk fines and penalties if they do not register with the state and file the appropriate notifications for the location and movement … Read More

Guide to California’s 2019 Minimum Wage

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) has published a guide to the new minimum wage increases for agricultural employees that take effect Jan. 1, 2019, in California. Note that the rule for exemption from overtime has changed for agricultural workers. To maintain the exemption from overtime compensation, an exempt employee’s weekly salary must be no less than two times the applicable minimum … Read More

California Citrus Research Board Chooses Interim President

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

The California Citrus Research Board (CRB) has announced that Franco Bernardi will serve as the organization’s interim president. Beginning Oct. 15, Bernardi will lead daily staff operations and management. He replaces Gary Schulz, whose contract as president was not renewed by the CRB last month. Bernardi’s leadership will guide the CRB during the next several months as it celebrates its … Read More

New Regulations Costly to California Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Economics

New regulations will cost California citrus growers an average of $701 per acre per year, or $203 million annually statewide, according to a new study commissioned by the Citrus Research Board (CRB). “Compliance with environmental regulations not associated with groundwater sustainability is estimated to increase costs by $17.7 million, or $67 per acre of citrus,” predicts Bruce A. Babcock, a … Read More

HLB-Detector Dogs Coming to California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

The use of canines or “sniffer dogs” is again being investigated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for early detection of HLB-infected trees. Through the HLB Multi-Agency Coordination (MAC) program, USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has invested millions of dollars in the research and training of detector canines for finding HLB-positive trees. A recent full-day meeting in … Read More

Study Shows Economic Impact of Citrus in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

The total economic impact of California’s citrus industry is $7.117 billion according to a new study commissioned by the Citrus Research Board (CRB). “In updating our economic analysis, we selected a well-known expert, Bruce Babcock, Ph.D., a professor in the School of Public Policy at the University of California, Riverside, to conduct the research. His findings quantified the significant impact … Read More

University of California Scientists Identify New Citrus Disease

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A new disease of citrus has been found in the Central Valley of California. According to a report published in the University of California’s (UC) Topics in Subtropics newsletter, several growers and nurserymen in various orchards in the Central Valley first noticed the disease in 2013. Symptoms include leaf chlorosis, crown thinning, gumming, dieback, and in severe cases, death of … Read More

Researchers Find How HLB Bypasses Citrus Immune System

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

invasive

Researchers at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) claim they have made an important step in understanding the molecular mechanism of huanglongbing (HLB). They believe they have found the mechanism by which the disease evades detection and destruction by the natural immune system of citrus trees. HLB, or citrus greening disease, has devastated groves in Asia, South America and the … Read More

California Citrus Mutual on Chinese Tariff Announcement

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Industry News Release

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) President Joel Nelsen issued the following statement regarding the Chinese government’s announcement that it will impose a 15 percent tariff increase on U.S. fruits and vegetables, including California citrus, as a retaliatory counter to President Donald Trump’s new tariffs on steel and aluminum. “The decision by the Chinese government to levy exorbitant tariff increases on U.S. … Read More

California Judge Stops CDFA Pest Control Spraying

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

A California Superior Court judge has ordered the state’s Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to temporarily stop spraying pesticides for agricultural pest control. The judge decided in favor of a lawsuit filed by 11 environmental activist groups and the city of Berkeley. Private citizens will still be able to use chemical insecticides on their property, but the order requires … Read More

HLB Conference to Be Held in California

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

citrus greening

The sixth International Research Conference on Huanglongbing (IRCHLB VI) will be held in California. The conference has been scheduled for March 12-16, 2019, at the Riverside Convention Center in Riverside. This is the first time the conference will be held in California. Sponsored by the California Citrus Research Board (CRB) with the support of California’s citrus industry partners, the gathering … Read More

California Watershed Order Revised

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner

The California State Water Resources Control Board (SWRCB) recently adopted significant revisions to the Eastern San Joaquin River Watershed Agricultural Order. The order will impact all irrigated regulatory programs statewide, including those that do not currently operate with a coalition system as in the Central Valley. Two years ago, the SWRCB released the first draft of revisions to the order … Read More

California Amends HLB Quarantine Zones

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

  On Jan. 1, 2018, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) implemented an emergency regional quarantine to more effectively protect California citrus from huanglongbing (HLB) disease. The quarantine created seven zones: 1) counties where HLB has not been detected and are not next to citrus-producing counties or the Mexican border; 2, 3 and 4) counties widely infested with ACP … Read More

California Citrus Mutual Opposes Water Board Proposal

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Water

California Citrus Mutual (CCM) joined with several other associations to oppose major changes proposed by the State Water Resources Control Board set to be adopted for the East San Joaquin Water Quality Coalition. The affected agricultural community and water quality coalitions expect the board to adopt the proposed revisions without substantial modifications at its Jan. 23 meeting. CCM and other … Read More

California Ag Chief Prepared to Battle HLB

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, HLB Management

citrus greening

In an interview at the Citrus Research Board’s (CRB) annual conference last month, Karen Ross, secretary of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), said the present status of huanglongbing (HLB) disease is similar to another disease that challenged the California citrus industry years ago. Pierce’s disease was a potentially devastating threat long before HLB. “One of the things … Read More

Freeze Alerts by Phone for California Citrus Growers

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Weather

Freeze alerts by phone will be available this winter for California citrus growers. California Citrus Mutual (CCM) is implementing a new system to help Central Valley growers stay updated on freeze alerts. Growers can sign up for text notifications to be alerted when the CCM Central Valley Weather Watch forecast is updated. This will include updates during critical nights. To … Read More

California Agencies Moving to Further Restrict Chlorpyrifos

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

Chlorpyrifos is being targeted again by environmental agencies. According to a press release from California Citrus Mutual (CCM), the California Environmental Protection Agency announced in mid-August that both California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment are pursuing new restrictions on chlorpyrifos. CCM says that chlorpyrifos is one of the most important and widely … Read More

California Navel Crop Declines Again

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Crop Forecast

In a press release dated September 14, California Citrus Mutual (CCM) announced that the state’s current navel orange crop is down about 7 million cartons. This is approximately 10 percent of total production and is the second year in a row crop production has fallen. The 2017-18 California Navel Orange Objective Measurement Survey released on September 12 forecasts the 2017-18 … Read More

Argentinian Lemon Import Lawsuit Update

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, lemons

Last month, the U.S. Department of Justice asked for dismissal of the lawsuit by California lemon growers challenging a new import rule allowing Argentinian lemons into the United States. The U.S. Citrus Science Council (USCSC), representing approximately 750 family citrus farmers, filed the lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) in federal district court in Fresno, California, earlier this … Read More

California Department of Pesticide Regulation to Study Chlorpyrifos

Len WilcoxCalifornia Corner, Regulation

A new effort is underway in California to further regulate chlorpyrifos. On August 18, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) issued a directive for interim mitigation measures to address health risks from the pesticide. This action marks the start of a public and scientific review of DPR’s revised draft risk assessment that could lead to increased restrictions statewide. At … Read More