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San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News

July 8, 2022


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Local FFA students and California Mid-State Fair staff helped install a SLO County Farm Bureau educational exhibit Thursday in preparation of the Fair July 20-31. The first-time exhibit featuring SLO County's top agricultural crops, was conceived by CMSF staff Tisha Tucker and made possible by donations of plants from Mike Cavaletto, Dean Silcott, and Kim Wilenius at C&M Nursery in Nipomo, Cara Crye and Pam Pickering at Farm Supply, Brycen Ikeda at Central West Produce and Pete Melero at Plantel Nurseries in Santa Maria. The exhibit is located in Farm Alley behind Maynard's Mountain Waterfall and Ponderosa Pavillion. The Daily Schedule is posted here.

SLO County Farm Bureau Submits Comments on Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance Draft EIR

This week, San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau submitted comments to the County on the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Paso Basin Land Use Management Area Planting Ordinance. If approved, the Ordinance will replace the current Ag Offset Ordinance which has been in place since 2013. While this Ordinance is specific to the Paso Basin, it sets precedent for County regulation of routine farming practices like replanting of existing crops in other parts of SLO County.

For more background information, review the June 7 presentation by County Planning & Building Department to the Agricultural Liaison Advisory Board here

Background on the Current Ag Offset Ordinance

• August 2013 –2015: Urgency Ordinance

• October 2015: Ag Offset Ordinance

• Temporary –until Groundwater Sustainability Plan (GSP) adoption (2020)

• Extended to January 1, 2022 (GSP implementation)

• Extended to August 31, 2022 (corresponding with Paso Planting Ordinance)

• July 12, 2022 -Recommendation to extend to January 31, 2023 (corresponding with updated Paso Planting Ordinance timeline)

Timeline for the proposed Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance 

• October 2022 - County publishes final Environmental Impact Report (EIR)

• November 2022 - Ordinance is voted on by Planning Commission 

• December 2022 – Ordinance is voted on by Board of Supervisors

• January 2023 – Effective date of Ordinance if approved

This Week In SLO County Agriculture

In This Week's Issue:

  • Community: Cattlemen and Farmers' Day at Mid-State Fair is on Thursday, July 21
  • County Government: As private camping experiences like Hipcamps grow in popularity and importance, county rules and guidelines lag behind
  • State Government: CDFA partners with UC ANR for organic agriculture technical assistance
  • Federal Government: Almond milk by any other name would taste as creamy
  • Business Member Spotlight: C&N Tractors
  • California Air Resources Board: Training Session, Implementation of the MS Certification Fees Invoicing and Payment Process
  • USDA: Farm Service Agency July Newsletter
  • Ag Economics: Cal Poly professors tackle agricultural supply chain problems 
  • Featured Member Benefit: Jiffy Lube Service Center
  • Orchard Crops: Advances in Pistachio Water Management Workshop
  • Environmental: Dutch police shoot at tractor during night of farm protests
  • Produce: Trials of strawberry varieties show promising yields
  • Labor: Study says California employers fail to keep food, farm workers safe from COVID
  • Wildfire: Fire tracking app launches statewide coverage
  • Livestock: CCA Welcomes Maureen LaGrande to the Team
  • Vineyard & Wine: UC Davis to Build New, $5.25M Greenhouse to Protect U.S. Grapevine Collection
  • Water: Respond to the AFBF Assessing Western Drought Conditions Spring 2022 Survey Today!

July 1 Most-Read

1. Primary election results solidify with latest count 

2. Former Bookkeeper Ginger Lee Mankins Ordered to Pay $1,304,524 in Restitution 

3. California may rescue its last nuclear power plant — and give PG&E millions to do it

4. Open Farm Days Table to Farm Dinner - Sat 7/16 6pm

5. Cuesta College Grazing Workshops 

6. Coastal RCD is Hiring and Environmental Resource Specialist

7. World’s largest carrot growers are draining a California groundwater basin. Now they’re suing

8. Judge allows League of Women Voters to join redistricting lawsuit

9.  After 20 years of winemaking, Cayucos' Aaron Jackson cements his legacy as a fierce promoter and protector of the region

10.  How the Push for Farmworker Housing is Hindered by Persistent Myths

Executive Director Report

Here are a few things we worked on this week:

  • Submitted Farm Bureau’s comment letter for the Paso Basin Land Use Planting Ordinance – Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Report;
  • Participated in a meeting with California Farm Bureau on federal policy issues;
  • Worked with California Mid-State Fair on an educational demonstration of local crops; 
  • Met with Nationwide leadership to discuss cancellations of property insurance across California’s insurance marketplace;
  • Did an interview with Central Coast Journal about SLO County Farm Bureau (issue comes out in August)
  • Gave our weekly agriculture update on the Tom & Becky Show on KJUG 98.1 (Thursdays around 9:05am); and
  • Reviewed the July 12 SLO County Board of Supervisors agenda. 

Upcoming Events:

  • July 16-17: SLO County Open Farm Days
  • July 21 - Cattlemen and Farmers Day at Mid-State Fair
  • July 29-31- State Young Farmers and Ranchers Summer Leaders Meeting
  • July 30 - Junior Livestock Sale at Mid State Fair (volunteers needed from 9am-2pm)

Community: Cattlemen and Farmers' Day at Mid-State Fair is on

Thursday, July 21

Cattlemen & Farmers Day - Thursday, July 21

One of the most special days of the annual Fair, Cattlemen & Farmers Day pays tribute to our local cattlemen, cattlewomen, and agriculturalists. Join us in celebrating the accomplishments of the Industrial Arts program, enjoy a fabulous BBQ steak dinner with a glass of wine or beer, and find out who wins the coveted Cattleman of the Year, Cattlewoman of the Year and Agriculturalist of the Year!

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Announcements July 2022 | Cal Poly Center for Sustainability

Cal Poly -Ag Calendar

1. Introduction to Utility Wildfire Risk Mitigation Webinar, Swanton Pacific Ranch: 7/14

2. Cal Poly Strawberry Center Field Day: 7/28

San Luis Obispo County

3. Night Harvest Light and SWEEP Grants, Vineyard Team: 7/15

4. Open Farm Days: FARMstead ED: 7/15-17

5. Open Garden Day, UC Master Gardeners: 7/16...

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Taste the 'bounty of the county' with the SLO County Farm Trail

Tickets are available now for "Savoring Summer in the Greenhouse," a table-to-farm dinner at Clearwater Color Nursery in Los Osos on Saturday, July 16 from 6-9 p.m. This inaugural feast is part of the 2nd Annual SLO County Farm Trail's Open Farm Days event, and proceeds will benefit Must Charities, the Great AGventure, and FARMstead ED.

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County Government: As private camping experiences like Hipcamps grow in popularity and importance, county rules and guidelines lag behind

Board of Supervisors Meets July 12 at 9:00am,

Three Water-Related Items on the Agenda

The agenda for the meeting can be found here. Additional item documents pertaining to the meeting agenda are found here.

Items of interest to agriculture:

  • Item 8: - Request to: 1) approve funding allocations for the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARPA) Non-Profit grants; and 4) authorize the corresponding budget adjustment in the amount of $3,654,000 from ARPA revenue and appropriations to FC 104 – Administrative Office, by 4/5 vote. All Districts.


  • Item 24 - Request to consider the California Department of Water Resources’ certified Final Environmental Impact Report for the State Water Project Contract Extension Amendment No. 17 (Contract Extension Amendment); and submittal of a resolution making responsible agency findings pursuant to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) to use the FEIR and approving and authorizing the Chairperson to execute the Contract Extension Amendment. All Districts.

The meeting will be available to view live online at this link.

As private camping experiences like Hipcamps grow in popularity and importance, county rules and guidelines lag behind

Kenney Enney's ranch in northern San Luis Obispo County butts up against the heart of Paso Robles' wine country. Vines dominate the arid summer landscape east of San Miguel until the grapes give way to his 850 acres of grain, cattle, and untouched open space.

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SLO County certifies primary election results

San Luis Obispo County's June 7 Primary Election numbers were updated one last time on July 7, 2022, at 9:57 a.m.

"I will be signing the certification of the election results, gathering all of the required documentation that needs to accompany that certification and sending it up to the Secretary of State's Office," said SLO County Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano.

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State Government: CDFA partners with UC ANR for organic agriculture technical assistance

California Farm Bureau's Farm Bureau at Work - 

Legislative & Government Affairs Report from Sacramento

July 8 Highlights (Full Report Here)

Food Safety

  • After over a year of deliberation and discussion, the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the Monterey County Farm Bureau have released a report titled, “California Agricultural Neighbors: Neighbor-to-neighbor best practices to help enhance localized food safety efforts.” These organizations led various stakeholders collaboratively, since January 2021, to discuss opportunities in Salinas Valley to enhance food safety techniques of ag operations adjacent to one another. The full report can be read here. Farm Bureau thanks Monterey County Farm Bureau Executive Director, Norm Groot, for his hard work on this important report.


  • On Wednesday, July 13, the California Farm Bureau will provide testimony to a California Department of Insurance (CDI) Investigative Hearing regarding the FAIR Plan. CDI is holding the investigative hearing to gather information regarding the operations, policies and procedures of the California FAIR Plan Association (FAIR Plan) to inform actions needed for it to evolve to meet the changing needs of California consumers. As the “insurer of last resort” established in 1968 by the Governor and Legislature to serve all Californians, the FAIR Plan’s fundamental mission since its founding is to meet the needs of California homeowners and businesses unable to find insurance in the traditional marketplace. The FAIR Plan is a joint reinsurance association formed by all insurers licensed to write property insurance in California... Read more in the full report linked above.

Newsom signs state budget bills, with gas refunds to 17.5 million California taxpayers

Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday signed into law key elements of a new $307.9-billion state budget, a spending plan centered on gas refunds for 17.5 million taxpayers to soften the sting of high fuel prices and the cost of living.

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CDFA partners with UC ANR for organic agriculture technical assistance

PUBLISHED ON SACRAMENTO - The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing that $1.85 million will be awarded to the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) to increase technical assistance for California's organic farmers.

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Federal Government:  Almond milk by any other name would taste as creamy

California Farm Bureau Federal Policy News  - July 8

  • Rep. Costa Hosts Farm Bill Listening Session in California
  • Drought Survey Closing July 15 - Please Respond Today!
  • Sequoia & Sierra National Forest Plan Meetings Scheduled for Next Week
  • Devil’s Garden Plateau Wild Horse Meeting Scheduled for July 13 
  • FSA Local County Committee Nominations Remain Open Through August 1st
  • BFR Q&A Mondays Start July 11 
  • Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Biden Challenge on “Remain in Mexico” Policy 

PD Editorial: Almond milk by any other name would taste as creamy

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected to declare that nondairy milk alternatives aren't really milk. Henceforth producers would need to call their product something else. Goodbye "almond milk," hello "almond drink," or some better market-tested name. The FDA sent its recommendations to the White House Office of Management and Budget a few weeks ago.

Read More

Inflation, expenses rise sharply as priorities: AP-NORC poll

WASHINGTON (AP) - Concerns about inflation and personal finances have surged while COVID has evaporated as a top issue for Americans, a new poll shows, marking an upheaval in priorities just months before critical midterm elections. Forty percent of U.S.

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SCOTUS Restricts EPA Authority to Mandate Emissions Reductions

In a recent ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court (SCOTUS) has restricted some of the regulating authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency ( EPA). The 6-3 ruling in West Virginia v. Environmental Protection Agency centers on the Major Questions Doctrine. At issue was the Clean Power Plan rule created under the Obama Administration in 2015.

Read More

Business Member Spotlight:

C&N Tractors

C&N Tractors today is one of the largest Kubota dealerships in the nation serving the central coast with two convenient locations. We are the Brouwer sod harvester dealer for the states of California and Arizona. We are one of the largest Gearmore dealers in the state, stocking an excellent selection of their top-flight implements and accessories. We carry STIHL® power products and a complete array of tools in our parts department. We have a fabrication shop for modifications necessary to row crop style tractors used in our central coast area. We have a top-notch service department for both tractor repairs and maintenance as well as small engine repairs.



PHONE: 1-805-237-3855

California Air Resources Board: Training Session, Implementation of the MS Certification Fees Invoicing and Payment Process

Training Session, Implementation of the MS Certification Fees Invoicing and Payment Process

The California Air Resources Board (the Board or CARB) adopted new mobile source certification and compliance fees at the April 22, 2021 public Board hearing. The regulations were finalized by the Office of Administrative Law on January 18, 2022 with an effective date of April 1, 2022.

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Upcoming CARB Mobile Source Training Webinars

Do you own or operate fork lifts in California? CARB is providing a unique training opportunity for fleets to learn about the requirements of the Large Spark Ignition (LSI) Fleet Regulation. The topics covered will include: reporting requirements, labeling requirements, and 2016 program amendments. Owners of off-road vehicles with LSI engines are strongly encouraged to attend.

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Virtual One-Stop Truck Event - August 3, 2022

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) invites you to a virtual One-Stop Truck event. Attendees can access presentations on regulatory compliance, financial assistance, and new technology options.

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USDA: SLO County Farm Service Agency July Newsletter

SLO County Farm Service Agency July Newsletter

Submit Maps for Acreage Reporting Deadline of July 15

If you haven’t already done so, submit maps and report planted acreage to the San Luis Obispo County FSA Office.   JULY 15, 2022, is the acreage reporting deadlines for San Luis Obispo County for the following crops:

  • All Row Crops
  • All Perennial Forage and Grasses
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FSA- Emergency Relief

To help agricultural producers offset the impacts of natural disasters in 2020 and 2021, Congress included emergency relief funding in the Extending Government Funding and Delivering Emergency Assistance Act (P.L. 117-43). This law targets at least $750 million for livestock producers impacted by drought or wildfires.

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Ag Economics: Cal Poly professors tackle agricultural supply chain problems 

2 Free Webinars on Tax Preparation and Resources

Filing taxes for an agricultural operation can be challenging, and many producers may not have the funds to hire accountants or tax professionals to assist. USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) and the National Farm Income Tax Extension Committee are offering two free webinars: Tuesday, July 12, 2 p.m.

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Farmers markets rebound, but pandemic effects linger

Michael and Nancy Neils knew exactly what they wanted-and where to find it-at the certified farmers market at Arden Fair Mall in Sacramento. The Sacramento couple marched from booth to booth at the outdoor market, purchasing $70 in fruits, vegetables and eggs in a mere 15 minutes, while chit-chatting with their favorite farmer vendors.

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Cal Poly professors tackle agricultural supply chain problems | Pacific Coast Business Times

In 2019, Cyrus Ramezani, a professor at the Orfalea School of Business at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, was studying the effects on the agricultural industry of new tariffs on exports to China.

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Pac Biz Times reports: Agriculture supply chain issues studied by Cal Poly professors

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. - In this week's Pacific Coast Business Times, Jorge Mercado reports on issues facing the agriculture industry in California. Cal Poly professors are studying the challenges farmers are facing selling their crops to the overseas market. They say the slowed movement of goods threatens to devastate the agriculture business in the state, but solutions appear to be materializing.

News Channel 12 interviewed Mercado about his reporting.

Falling Commodity Prices Raise Hopes That Inflation Has Peaked

A slide in all manner of raw-materials prices-corn, wheat, copper and more-is stirring hopes that a significant source of inflationary pressure might be starting to ease. Natural-gas prices shot up more than 60% before falling back to close the quarter 3.9% lower. U.S. crude slipped from highs above $120 a barrel to end around $106.

Read More

Fertilizer Stocks Are Coming Back to Earth, Dragged Down by Falling Crop Prices

Falling crop prices are threatening what has been one of the surest bets in the stock market over the past two years. Shares of fertilizer makers, including Mosaic Co. and CF Industries Holdings Inc., have been dragged down in recent weeks by declining prices for corn, wheat and other crops.

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Thank You Farm Bureau Members

Renewing Members

Jerry Ulrich,  Mighty Nimble LLC,  C & N Tractors,  Doug Boyer,  Larry Sage,  Launnie Ginn,  Michael Dennis,  Mar Vista Berry LLC,  Horsefeather Ranch, and  Matt Trevisan

SLO County Farm Bureau Business Support Member List

Featured Member Benefit:

Jiffy Lube Service Center

Jiffy Lube service centers offer services beyond the oil change with locations across California. Through a partnership with Jiffy Lube Fleet Care, Farm Bureau members can get their vehicles serviced for less! Take your vehicle to any one of the convenient locations and receive a 10 percent discount off all products and services except tires and batteries.

  • No Appointment Necessary
  • Convenient hours and open on weekends
  • Available services include: Oil change, lights, tire rotation and more
  • Jiffy Lube Signature Service Oil Change usually takes less than 25 minutes from start to finish
  • FREE fluid top offs between oil changes after your first oil change visit

Visit www.jiffylube.com for the nearest service center location. No appointment is necessary.

Orchard Crops: Advances in Pistachio Water Management Workshop

Advances in Pistachio Water Management Workshop - Pacific Nut Producer Magazine

Join UC Nut Crops Advisor Catherine Mae Culumber, Irrigation Specialists Daniele Zaccaria and Khaled Bali, Irrigation Advisor Blake Sanden, Professional Researcher Elia Scudiero, and other University of California experts in this in-person Water Management Workshop on July 7, 2022 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare, CA to learn about the latest research and advances in ...

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Awards for California Producers Validate High EVOO Standards

Olive oil pro­duc­ers in California cel­e­brated a record year at the 2022 NYIOOC World Olive Oil Competition.

Forty-one farm­ers and millers from the Golden State, which is respon­si­ble for vir­tu­ally all olive oil pro­duc­tion in the United States, com­bined to earn a record-high 88 of the indus­try's most cov­eted qual­ity awards.

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Environmental: Dutch police shoot at tractor during night of farm protests

Legal Ledger Brief: Bipartisan effort to save sequoias

A bipartisan coalition of House of Representatives members has introduced a resolution to save the iconic giant sequoias. The Save our Sequoias (SOS) Act will provide land managers with the emergency tools and resources needed to save the trees and ensure their long-term survival.

Read More

New Resource from ASTA Helps Farmers Find Local Environmental, Conservation and Cover Crop Seed

By Sunny Andersen The American Seed Trade Association recently launched a redesigned, updated guide that allows farmers, landowners and others to easily locate and contact professional seed suppliers for quality environmental, conservation and cover crop seed.

Read More

Trump-Era Changes to Endangered Species Act Tossed by Court

A federal judge in California threw out Trump-era changes to the Endangered Species Act, including one that allowed economic factors to be considered on whether to list a species as threatened or endangered. The ruling Tuesday by U.S. District Judge Jon S.

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Dutch police shoot at tractor during night of farm protests

PUBLISHED ON AMSTERDAM (AP) - Dutch police shot at a tractor during a heated night of farm protests and detained three demonstrators, the latest incident in a string of protests against government plans to cut pollutant emissions that many farmers fear would hurt their livelihoods.

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Produce: Trials of strawberry varieties show promising yields

Trials of strawberry varieties show promising yields

By Bob Johnson, Ag Alert-CA Farm Bureau Federation

The next generation of strawberries is growing in test plots at a sprawling Naturipe field between Castroville and Prunedale. Five numbered experimental cultivars in the trial are outyielding Monterey, the popular strawberry variety planted statewide this year on more than 10,000 acres, according to the California Strawberry Commission acreage survey.

During the 2020 season, Monterey berries in the Elkhorn Berry Farms Meridian ranch yielded a little more than 10,500 marketable trays per acre, while the experimental varieties produced 15,000 to 16,000 trays. Production of Monterey increased to more than 14,000 trays last year, but the experimental varieties also increased their yields, from 16,000 to 19,000 trays. The next generation of strawberry varieties also have superior resistance to soil-borne diseases such as fusarium and verticillium that have challenged growers since fumigation with methyl bromide was regulated out of existence.

Naturipe ranch manager Nazario Mozqueda liked what he saw in the plots of experimental varieties growing next to the Monterey plant. "This has fewer runners and more berries than Monterey," Mozqueda said as he looked at one of the numbered varieties growing in test plots in the field between Castroville and Prunedale. In June, he joined researchers in discussing strawberry breeding efforts during the first University of California strawberry field day in Monterey County since the start of the pandemic. Five numbered varieties in the trial have yielded between 15% and 51% more than Monterey strawberries in two years of trials at the Prunedale area field. They also demonstrated superior resistance to important diseases. Still, only a few of them are slated for early release.

"We're only going to go forward with a couple of these," said Glenn Cole, field manager for the UC Davis strawberry breeding program. "We're getting this out as fast as we can." This revival of strawberry breeding research came thanks to a $4.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture specialty crops research grant under the 2017 Farm Bill. The grant was intended to help manage diseases that have increased with the loss of methyl bromide. "The loss of methyl bromide as a chemical for controlling soil-borne pathogens, as well as increasing resistance of pathogens to fungicides, is severely limiting the effectiveness of chemical measures for managing disease pressure in strawberry," said Steve Knapp, director of the UC strawberry breeding program, in announcing the grant. Knapp said the "long-term goal is to increase the economic sustainability of strawberry fruit and nursery stock production under increasing pathogen pressure." "The elimination of methyl bromide fumigation," he said, "has threatened the economic outlook for strawberry growers and created an urgent need for the development and deployment of cultivars resistant to soil-borne and above-ground pathogens that cause losses in both fumigated and nonfumigated production systems."

The grant has also allowed the UC system to train 110 strawberry researchers while improving breeding materials. "Training the next generation is an important part of what we do," Knapp said. Current strawberry breeding research is focused on disease resistance, but also aims to make the crop viable in other ways. "One of the first traits we focused on was resistance to fusarium, which is a problem now," Cole said, adding researchers did their first sets of cross breedings in 2016. Fusarium is one of the diseases that has become more troublesome in strawberries since fumigation with methyl bromide was phased out because it is an ozone depleter. Resistant varieties are essential because once fusarium is in the ground, fungicides do not help, and the pathogens remain viable for many years. The five experimental varieties are all rated as resistant or moderately resistant to fusarium, while Monterey is susceptible to the disease. "Probably 95% of the plants in the trial are fusarium resistant," Cole said. "We are also working on verticillium and macrophomina resistance." Fusarium causes wilting and stunting that is particularly severe in plants carrying a heavy fruit load.

The search continues for genetic sources of resistance to macrophomina charcoal rot, the second soil-borne disease that has spread without methyl bromide. But breeders are also looking to come up with generally better berries. "There's more than just diseases; there's also yield, taste and plant architecture," Cole said. One of the numbered varieties—16C108P060—had 48% better yields than Monterey in 2020 and 14% better in 2021. This promising variety has improved resistance to fusarium, verticillium, phytophthora and macrophomina. It has superior firmness and good brix levels, though not quite as high as Monterey. "It has broad adaptability and good yield performance in Santa Maria, Watsonville and Oxnard," the breeders wrote in a summary. Although all five experimental varieties showed promise, especially in the areas of disease resistance and yield, only a few of them will make it through to commercial release.

(Bob Johnson is a reporter in Monterey County. He may be contacted at bjohn11135@gmail.com.)

California Agricultural Neighbors report outlines collaborative actions for enhanced food safety in Salinas Valley

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the Monterey County Farm Bureau are joining together to announce the release of "California Agricultural Neighbors: neighbor-to-neighbor best practices to help enhance localized food safety efforts."

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Cal Poly Strawberry Center Annual Field Day 2022

Cal Poly Strawberry Ctr. & Calif. Strawberry Comm. presents Cal Poly Strawberry Center Annual Field Day 2022 - Thursday, July 28, 2022 at Cal Poly Strawberry Center, San Luis Obispo, CA. Find event and ticket information.

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Video Update: The Why Behind Food Safety

Nearly ten years ago the California LGMA partnered with STOP Foodborne Illness to create a motivational training video for leafy greens producers. The video features the stories of two young women, Rylee Gustafson and Lauren Bush, who became seriously ill with E. coli after eating contaminated spinach in 2006.

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Labor: Study says California employers fail to keep food, farm workers safe from COVID

Agriculture Cal/OSHA COVID -19 News

CDPH Issues New "Close Contact" Order, Cal/OSHA Updates FAQ on “Close Contact” Definition: California Department of Public Health’s June 8 order concerning the definition of “close contact” will change the application of the concept for employers complying with the May 2022 version of the COVID-19 ETS. This version of the ETS specifies that CDPH orders will establish how employers will be required to assess who has experienced a close contact for the purpose of contact tracing, workplace exclusion, and provision of testing.  

Cal/OSHA Releases Proposed "Permanent" COVID-19 Standard Text: On June 16, Cal/OSHA released a draft of a “permanent” (with a two-year sunset) COVID-19 regulation (effective through the end of 2023. It appears to closely track the May 2022 COVID-19 ETS, except that it incorporates by reference the definition of “close contact” released by CDPH on June 8, and it appears to eschew exclusion pay entirely.  

You can read more on FELS' website at COVID-19 News & Resources for Farm Employers. 

Ag Employment News

SCOTUS Denies Review of AB 5 Challenge: On June 30, the U.S. Supreme Court denied a petition to review the applicability of California’s AB 5 “ABC” test to owner-operator trucking in California. The preliminary injunction that had prevented enforcement of AB 5 in this situation will be lifted within seven days. Denial of the petition and the lifting of the injunction jeopardizes the owner-operator model of truck freight transportation in California, likely compounding shortages of freight transportation as California ag exports are snarled in ports and port operators and longshore unions are embroiled in contract negotiations that could result in a west coast ports strike this summer. 

You can read more here on FELS' website. 

Study says California employers fail to keep food, farm workers safe from COVID

Although farm and food production workers were considered essential workers during the pandemic, many of California's food employers endangered those workers, violating Cal/OSHA's COVID-19 guidelines more often than most industries, a new report said.

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Cal/OSHA Reminds Employers to Protect Workers from Unhealthy Air due to Wildfire Smoke

Sacramento-Cal/OSHA is reminding employers that California's protection from wildfire smoke standard requires them to take steps to protect their workers from unhealthy air due to wildfire smoke. Harmful air quality from wildfire smoke is impacting Amador County and can occur anywhere in the state on short notice.

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Drug & Alcohol/​ Reasonable Suspicion Training (English):

7/​12/​22, 9 am-11 am

Targeted audience: Supervisors, managers and HR personnel. Operations with at least 1 commercial vehicle are required to have at least 1 employee trained in drug and alcohol suspicion awareness.

Course content: 1 hour of alcohol awareness, 1 hour of drug awareness. We’ll review the steps to take if a driver is suspected of being under the influence, documentation of the observations and how to confront the driver.

Wildfire: Fire tracking app launches statewide coverage

Fire tracking app launches statewide coverage

Californians have a new tool to track wildfires as head into the height of fire season. Watch Duty allows people to track fire behavior in real-time. The app's coverage zone recently expanded from a handful of Bay Area counties to the entire state.

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Wildfire update: Electra Fire slows as crews hold acreage, containment overnight

The Electra Fire maintained its acreage and containment overnight Thursday, as crews took advantage of cool weather to tamp down hot spots at the blaze near Jackson. The fire, which is burning along the Amador-Calaveras county line, is 4,112 acres and 40% contained as of Thursday morning, Cal Fire said.

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Livestock: CCA Welcomes Maureen LaGrande to the Team

CCA Welcomes SLO County Farm Bureau Member Maureen LaGrande to the Team

The California Cattlemen's Association (CCA) is please to welcome Maureen LaGrande to the staff as our associate director of communications. Maureen grew up in the small town of Sites

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Feds want a 'range rider' to protect California cattle from wolves, but no killing allowed

Ever daydreamed about listening to wolves howl on the open range with a herd of cows and your horses as your only companions? Then the U.S. Department of Agriculture has just the job for you in northeastern California. On Friday, the federal agency's Wildlife Services branch posted an advertisement for a "Range Rider" position.

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Proposition 12 update from CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is pleased to provide an update on Proposition 12, written by Dr. Elizabeth Cox, Animal Care Program Manager and the lead for Proposition 12 enforcement in California. Dr. Cox recently visited ten sow farms across the U.S.

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Vineyard & Wine: UC Davis to Build New, $5.25M Greenhouse to Protect U.S. Grapevine Collection

UC Davis to Build New, $5.25M Greenhouse to Protect U.S. Grapevine Collection

New greenhouse will be insect-proof, to protect against red blotch and other grapevine diseases FPS provides U.S. grape industry with high-quality, virus-tested grapevine plant material Additional greenhouse planned to increase capacity A new, $5.25 million greenhouse is being built on the University of California, Davis, campus to safeguard an important grapevine collection from red blotch disease and other pathogens.

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PD/GWSS Assessment & Referendum

CDFA Home PDCP PD/GWSS Board PD/GWSS Assessment & Referendum In 2001, an annual, value-based assessment on winegrapes was established to fund PD/GWSS research and related activities. The PD/GWSS Board was also established at that time.

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Wine History Project | June 2022 Newsletter

Each month we post biographies of legendary growers, winemakers, innovators, movers and shakers. We highlight tools and equipment from our historic collections. We write the history of American wine and review books and films for your enjoyment.

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➔ July Seminar

Join us online for a virtual seminar on Phylloxera, nematodes, and other vineyard pests. This seminar qualifies for 2 hours of DPR CEUs in the "other" category. As always, this seminar is free for members and $30 for guests.

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Water: Respond to the AFBF Assessing Western Drought Conditions Spring 2022 Survey Today!

The Drought's Impact on Farmers Out West

Fourth-generation cotton and alfalfa grower Nancy Caywood of Arizona chats with Farm Bureau President Zippy Duvall about the impact of the drought out west, her farm's conservation story and her ag literacy efforts. We're in the San Carlos Irrigation District and our dam has no water.

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Feedback Requested - Respond to the AFBF Assessing Western Drought Conditions Spring 2022 Survey Today!

To help showcase the impacts of persistent drought conditions on farmers and ranchers, the American Farm Bureau Federation is currently conducting their Spring 2022 drought survey for states with at least some area categorized under D3 or D4 drought per the U.S. Drought Monitor Map. Data collected through the survey will be cumulated and featured in an AFBF Market Intel report, returned to state farm bureaus for use, and assist staff in amplifying the impacts of drought on California agriculture. For reference, a prior Market Intel using the October 2021 survey data can be viewed here. The survey is divided into three sections: crops, livestock, and general water access. Each question refers to a general issue farmers and ranchers may be experiencing as a result of the drought. All questions are optional and can be left blank if not relevant. 

Please respond by July 15! 

FEATURE: Knocking Out Yellow Starthistle Can Boost Groundwater Supplies

Written exclusively for Maven's Notebook by Robin Meadows The litany of harms from yellow starthistle, California's most aggressive invasive weed with as many as 15 million acres infested, ranges from crowding out native plants to becoming so spiny livestock stop eating it. New research adds sucking the land dry to that list.

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California is missing an entire year of rainfall since mid-2019, new figures show

California's water issues may be complicated. But the rainfall shortage driving the state's current drought comes down to basic math. "In most places we are missing an entire year of rain over the past three years," said Jan Null, a meteorologist with Golden Gate Weather Services in Half Moon Bay.

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The Southwest is bone dry. Now, a key water source is at risk.

Despite the oppressive dryness that has plagued the region for more than 20 years, California has, in large part, avoided reductions to its usage of the Colorado River. But now that reservoir levels have fallen drastically, the Golden State may be forced to use less water, a prospect that would only further strain a state that is already asking residents in some regions to stop watering lawns and take shorter showers.

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Farm Bureau Membership Matters

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We cannot support your freedom to farm and ranch without your membership.

Join SLO County Farm Bureau now or renew your membership online. Go to slofarmbureau.org to join, or download the membership form PDF.

Have your renewal notice available to speed up the process; you will need to enter your membership number, name and ZIP code. Renewal dues may be paid online or over the phone by credit card.

We're here to help! Call us if you need us to lookup your member number or we can process your membership for you, at 805-543-3654.

All California county Farm Bureau memberships are processed through the California Farm Bureau Federation, but please reach out to our SLO County office if you need your membership number or have questions.

Join or Renew Your San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau Membership

Thank You Platinum Members

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