Ag Today

California recommends restrictions for popular pesticide [Associated Press]

California regulators recommended new restrictions Thursday on a widely used pesticide blamed for harming the brains of babies. The Department of Pesticide Regulation issued temporary guidelines for chlorpyrifos that include banning it from crop dusting, discontinuing its use on most crops and increasing perimeters around where it’s applied. The DowDuPont pesticide currently used on about 60 different crops — including grapes, almonds and oranges — has increasingly come under fire from regulators, lawmakers and courts.


California judge orders next Monsanto weed-killer cancer trial for March [Reuters]

A California judge on Thursday granted an expedited trial in the case of a California couple suffering from cancer who sued Bayer AG’s Monsanto unit, alleging the company’s glyphosate-containing weed killer Roundup caused their disease….Petrou’s ruling clears the way for the second California jury trial over glyphosate, the world’s most widely used weed killer. The trial of California residents Alva and Alberta Pilliod is scheduled to begin on March 18, 2019, according to a court filing.


Dozens of farmers continue to harvest despite proximity of fires [KNBC, Los Angeles]

Farmworkers in Oxnard and Camarillo have continued on, despite the devastating effects of the fires in Southern California. Even though the fires loom close, and toxicity is left in the wake of the Woolsey Fire that devastated Los Angeles and Ventura counties, dozens of farmers continued their work in the fields….With masks and protective glasses, the field workers continued with their work….Members of the organization Mixteco, an indigenous community, gave the masks to the workers in the field.


Agriculture representatives air concerns with proposed employee housing ordinance during H-2A meeting [Santa Maria Times]

Several agriculture industry representatives expressed concern about a proposed ordinance that would govern employee housing in low- and medium-density residential dwellings Thursday during the final community meeting to discuss the H-2A farmworker program in Santa Maria….Labor contractor Carlos Castaneda said he felt the process was being rushed. “We rely heavily on this program and this program is the only lifeblood we have left,” he said….Kaylee Ellis, of the Grower-Shipper Association of Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties, also expressed concern that the city was moving too quickly with its ordinance.


Farmers threaten legal action over DCP [Imperial Valley Press]

A group of farmers could be threatening a new lawsuit against the Imperial Irrigation District over its participation in the drought contingency plan meant to bolster water supplies at Lake Mead and help restore the Colorado River, according to IID officials. At the core of the threat, district officials said Wednesday night, is what IID General Manager Kevin Kelley termed the “elephant in the room” — who holds the water in trust for all water users: the IID or the farmers/landowners? This threat, Kelley said, addresses similar points with the lawsuit grower Mike Abatti filed against the district over its Equitable Distribution Plan. That case is now being appealed by the IID.


Local agricultural community ponders change in Legislature [Lodi News-Sentinel]

Following a string of legislative defeats in recent years, the local agricultural industry is bracing for what could come next after Democrats strengthened their control of the California Legislature and added key congressional seats during last week’s election….“Without the proper representation for farmers there are many things that hang in the balance; the increase in minimum wage, the reduction in hours for the workweek, and overtime hours, it hurts our local community,” said Bruce Blodgett, executive director of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau. Local farmer Brad Goehring, who owns and operates Goehring Vineyards, echoed the sentiment expressed by Blodgett, adding that the issue is less about Republicans or Democrats and more about urban legislators and rural legislators.