San Luis Obispo County Agriculture News
September 3, 2021
The San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau 99th Annual Meeting of Members is September 18th at Noon
The 99th Annual Meeting of Members is a little over 2 weeks away, and the deadline to RSVP is next Friday, September 10th.

Join us for a Santa Maria-style barbecue lunch with local wines! We'll give an update on the work of our Farm Bureau, elect our 2021-2022 officers and directors, and recognize the Business of the Year, the Heritage Award, and the Farm Bureau Freddie Award winner. Thank you to our event sponsors G3 Enterprises and Farm Credit West.

You can purchase your tickets online here or reserve your ticket by emailing Deputy Executive Director Matthew Graybeal at or calling our office at 805-543-3654 and pay at the door.
This Week In SLO County Agriculture
This Issue Includes: 
  • Community News: SLO County Farm Bureau Hosts NOx Exempt Meeting on September 22nd;
  • COVID-19 News: Paso Robles Daily News - Indoor Mask Mandate Returns To SLO County;
  • State Government News: California Farm Bureau - Save The Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616;
  • California Politics: The Tribune - Recall Election Seeing Strong Turnout In SLO County. Here’s Where It Stands So Far;
  • Federal Government News: American Farm Bureau - Republican, Democratic Lawmakers Unite With Farmers On Stepped-Up Basis;
  • Business Member Spotlight: Sinton Helicopters;
  • Livestock News: CDFA - New Detections Of West Nile Virus In California Horses – Prevention Tips From CDFA;
  • Labor News: AgAlert - Agricultural Visa Positions Rising On Farms In 2021;
  • Wildfire News: The Sacramento Bee - Fund For PG&E Wildfire Victims In California Could Be $2.5 Billion Short, Trustee Warns;
  • Water News: AP News - Years Later, California Voters Still Wait On Water Projects;
  • Produce News: AgNet West - Organic And Specialty Crop Insurance Purchases Increase Substantially;
  • Environmental News: Ag Biz Media - Working Farms In California Look To Relocate Due To Path Of Growth; and
  • Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch.
Community News: SLO County Farm Bureau Hosts NOx Exempt Meeting on September 22nd
SLO County Farm Bureau Hosts NOx Exempt Meeting Sept. 22...

Take advantage of the CARB AG Mileage Extension to ensure your fleet is CARB-compliant. As long as you're operating exclusively in the CARB NOx Exempt Areas of Monterey, San Benito, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara, and Santa Cruz Counties, you...

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John Lindsey: Here's what Hawaiian trade winds can tell ...

Our family visited the Hawaiian Islands earlier this month, and the easterly trade winds blew strong and continuously throughout the day and night. These winds can provide an indication of a neutral or La Niña condition, and here is why. The...

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Save the Date: Morro Bay High School FFA Fundraiser Dinner/Dave Stamey Concert at the Molnar Ranch in Cayucos on October 23rd.
Calling All Teachers!

The Virtual 2021 California Agriculture in the Classroom Conference will be September 24-25, 2021. Register and learn more here.
COVID-19 News: Paso Robles Daily News - Indoor Mask Mandate Returns To SLO County
Have questions about Ivermectin? Experts have answers -...

Ivermectin isn't the first medicine that has garnered the hopes of curious or vaccine-hesitant people as a potential treatment for COVID-19, but it's the one drawing potential patients to farm supply and pet stores across the country.Some stores...

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Indoor Mask Mandate Returns to SLO County

The San Luis Obispo County Public Health Department on Tuesday announced a mask mandate...

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State Government News: California Farm Bureau - Save The Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616
Help us urge Governor Newsom to veto AB 616! The rally will be over at 12:30pm, and we are considering providing transportation to the Capitol if there is substantial interest from SLO County. If you are interested in traveling to Sacramento for this rally, please contact Brent Burchett at
Save the Secret Ballot - Stop AB 616!

The California Senate may soon consider legislation that will strip California farm employees of the right to a secret ballot election supervised by the Agricultural Labor Relations Board to choose representation by a union. Civil rights icon Cesar Chavez fought hard for the right for farm employees to decide the question of union representation, but union advocates now want to water down the protections of the Agricultural Labor Relations Act by allowing union agents to hide behind a claim that AB 616 creates “mail-in balloting” for union elections when in fact union agents will fill in the ballots, pressure employees to sign them, collect them and send them to the ALRB.

California Farm Bureau's Friday Review - September 3rd Edition
California Politics: The Tribune - Recall Election Seeing Strong Turnout In SLO County. Here’s Where It Stands So Far
Democrats continue to widen voter registration lead in...

Democrats continue to widen their voter registration advantage on the Central Coast, based on the latest state numbers comparing the current voter rolls to one and three years back. In San Luis Obispo County, Democrats now outnumber Republicans...

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Recall election seeing strong turnout in SLO County....

With nearly two weeks to go until the governor's statewide recall election, about a quarter of San Luis Obispo County's registered voters have already returned their ballots. California voters on Sept. 14 will decide whether to remove Gov. Gavin...

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Federal Government News: American Farm Bureau - Republican, Democratic Lawmakers Unite With Farmers On Stepped-Up Basis
Congress Can't Solve Immigration, Maybe The States Can

Let the states sort it out. "A moral failing and a national shame." During his 2020 campaign, that was how Joe Biden characterized America's immigration policies in the Trump era. On his first day in office, the new president announced an...

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USDA offers assistance to farmers, livestock producers - ...

Wildfires have become a way of life in California, but that doesn't mean everything has to go up in smoke. Farmers and livestock producers impacted by wildfires and drought are being offered a helping hand by the USDA.

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Taxes: Lawmakers Unite With Farmers on Stepped-Up Basis...

Lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are joining farmers and ranchers in calling for the preservation of stepped-up basis, a tax provision farmers and ranchers rely on to pass their operations down to future generations.

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San Luis Obispo County Farm Service Agency Monthly...

View as a webpage / Share USDA's Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers disaster assistance and low-interest loan programs to assist you in your recovery efforts following wildfires or other qualifying natural disasters.

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Business Member Spotlight:
Sinton Helicopters
Sinton Helicopters is a small town company where service and courtesy are the standard. Whether it’s a scenic tour of the diverse and beautiful central coast of California, or possibly a business flight that you’re looking for, we can accommodate. From the gentle rolling hills to the spectacular fury of the Pacific Ocean, the central coast is California’s last hidden treasure. Let us show you the sights in style.

With almost 40 years of experience in the ag spraying business, Sinton Helicopters has been providing growers with a level of professional quality service that can only be found with a well established applicator who knows the chemicals, the crops and the bottom line. We use the latest Trimble GPS technology to accurately apply the recommended product.

Over 30 years in business here on the Central Coast, Sinton Helicopters is proud to announce Paso Air Tours. We’ve been flying these hills since 1980, and now we would like to share the experience with you. Let us take you on an unforgettable journey.
4720 Wing Way #118 | Paso Robles, CA 93446
(805) 238-4037
Monday - Friday 9:00 A.M. - 5:00 P.M. 
Thank You Farm Bureau Members
New Member
Joel Twisselman

Renewing Business Support Members
Negranti Construction, Farm Credit West

Renewing Members
Albert Kahler, John Porter, Richard Lehnhoff, Stewart Ranch, Pierre Camsuzou, Charles Okui, Talley Farms Inc, Robert Klintworth, Dan Conner, Marguerite Nunn, Ercole Brughelli, Michael Cavaletto, Donna Mehlschau, Karl Wittstrom, Brenda Dana, Wanda Weage, Mark Switzer, Dean Wineman, Mike Dusi, Ann Myhre, Suey Ranch, Raymond Wiebe, Richard Lewis, Laird Foshay, Ernest Dalidio, J Lohr Vineyards, Robert Newdoll, Amanda Ferrari, Edward Perry, Carl Wynne
Livestock News: CDFA - New Detections Of West Nile Virus In California Horses – Prevention Tips From CDFA
New detections of West Nile Virus in California horses - ...

A total of five California horses have tested positive in recent weeks for West Nile Virus, all in the Central Valley. One of the horses is deceased, and only one had been vaccinated. Horse owners are encouraged to have their animals vaccinated...

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RMA Revises Dates for the Pasture Rangeland and Forage...

United States Department of Agriculture WASHINGTON, August 31, 2021 - Agricultural producers now will have until December 1 to make coverage decisions and complete reporting activities for the Pasture, Rangeland, and Forage Pilot Insurance...

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USDA seeks comments on cell-cultured meat labeling

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPR) to solicit comments and information regarding the labeling of meat and poultry products made using...

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Young cattle producers needed for convention internships

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association (NCBA) is offering college students a unique behind-the-scenes experience through its annual convention internship program. The 2022 Cattle Industry Convention and NCBA...

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Hours-of-service Exemption for Livestock Haulers...

The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration Tuesday extended the exemption from hours-of-service requirements for livestock haulers. Advocated by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, the organization says livestock haulers continue to...

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CDFA Gets An ‘Ear Full’ From Ag Community At Public Hearing On Implementation of Prop 12 Proposed Livestock Regulations
Farmers, ranchers and food businesses in California and across the country called in last week  to comment on the impending adoption of regulations to implement Proposition 12, the Farm Animal Confinement Initiative passed by voters in 2018. 
On August 27, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) held a public comment hearing as it prepares to enact Prop 12 in January 2022. To view the Notice of Proposed Action, please visit Animal Health and Food Safety Services Regulations website here. Listen to the four hours of comments at the August 27 public hearing here
California Farm Bureau policy advocate Katie Little’s comments begin at the 10-minute mark. Little explained the negative effect Prop 12 will have on smaller local farms, and that “ultimately only a few large producers will be left, limiting choices for consumers and eliminating jobs in smaller communities.” Little urged CDFA to work closely with California agricultural producers, small business owners and rural communities “to mitigate the negative effects of this proposition.”
No Prop 12 delay as state's pork prices set to rise

California's state agriculture agency is throwing cold water on talk of a two-year delay in implementation of Proposition 12, an animal-confinement measure passed by voters in 2018, as a new university study predicts that pork prices will rise as ...

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Labor News: AgAlert - Agricultural Visa Positions Rising On Farms In 2021
Agricultural Visa Positions Rising On Farms In 2021

The number of certified H-2A visa positions on U.S. farms leveled off somewhat in the third quarter of 2021 after six months of robust growth, according to an American Farm Bureau Federation analysis of U.S. Department of Labor data.

Despite this small dip, three-quarters of the way through fiscal year 2021, the total number of certified H-2A positions is up over 11% from the same period in fiscal year 2020.

The H-2A visa program allows nonimmigrant farm employees to come to the U.S. on a temporary basis to work for one employer for a specific period of time. The employer is responsible for providing housing and transportation for the visa holders and filing all necessary paperwork with the Labor Department.

Farm Bureau members can continue reading this story by clicking here.
Beyond the Furrows: Examining the intricacies of farm...

Before exploring the nitty gritty of farm labor contractors, there's a big picture to acknowledge first. KCBX News asked one farmworker point blank: Why is his work important? This farmworker gave his opinion about vaccines a few weeks ago, and...

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H-2A Program Helps Growers Navigate Labor Shortage

The best outcomes for pear and apple harvest may go to growers who have the best access for H-2A labor. That’s the observation of Matt Dusi, sector manager and food and agribusiness industry advisors for Wells Fargo Commercial Banking.
Farmworkers may be able to vote at home in union elections

When Baldomero Perez, a farmworker who lives in Bakersfield, voted in a union election in 2016, he saw many of his colleagues were fearful when they went to cast their ballots. Farmworker union elections often happen on the grower's property.

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EPA to Sunset Temporary Guidance on Respiratory Protection for Pesticide Handlers 
From California Farm Labor Contractors Association

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced last week that it will terminate its temporary guidance on respiratory protection for agricultural pesticide handlers that was issued during COVID-19, effective August 19.
The agency cites improvements in access to NIOSH-approved respirators, fit-testing supplies, and related services as the basis for its decision. EPA’s action is consistent with federal agency guidance issued by CDC, OSHA, and the Food and Drug Administration, which urges healthcare facilities to stop using crisis capacity strategies and “promptly resume conventional practices,” including the use of only NIOSH-approved respirators where needed. EPA intends to revert to practices employed prior to the public health emergency once the temporary guidance is terminated.

EPA’s memorandum addressing the termination of this guidance can be found on the agency’s website (PDF). Additional COVID-19 enforcement and compliance resources are also available.
September 4 Deadline for H-2A Back Wage Payments  
From California Farm Labor Contractors Association  

On May 14th, 2021, the US Federal District Court issued an order that requires some H-2A employers to pay back wages to their H-2A and U.S. workers in corresponding employment. The order applies to employers that submitted job orders and/or ETA Form 9142 applications between December 21, 2020, and February 23, 2021, and had H-2A employees and U.S. workers in corresponding employment for services performed between January 15, 2021, and February 23, 2021.
Employers must make all back wage payments by September 4th and notify the Department of Labor that the payments have been made. The National Council of Agricultural Employers has circulated an attestation template here that employers can modify and submit to the Department of Labor after the back wages have been paid.
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Our weekly E-News is sent out every Friday to our membership and local leaders. If you're interested in an effective, low-cost advertising campaign ($150 a month) please give us a call or send an email to SLO County Farm Bureau Executive Director Brent Burchett.
Wildfire News: The Sacramento Bee - Fund For PG&E Wildfire Victims In California Could Be $2.5 Billion Short, Trustee Warns
Wildfires are putting water supplies at risk, and...

As wildfires tear across America's West, the immediate risk is to life and property, but they will eventually affect water supplies. That's one reason large corporations are beginning to help fund forest restoration...

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Cal Fire suspends burn permits in Monterey, San Benito...

Due to dry conditions, Cal Fire has suspended all burn permits in Monterey and San Benito counties. The suspension took effect Sept. 1 at 8 a.m. and suspends all permits for outdoor burning...

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Massive Dixie Fire Tops 800,000 Acres; New Evacuations...

The second-largest wildfire in California history, the Dixie Fire burned another 36,000 acres over the past 24 hours and prompted new evacuations in Plumas County Tuesday...

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As California burns, anger and pointed questions for the ...

Ivo Dachev was among the first to lose his home to the Caldor Fire - and wanted to know why the fire wasn't smothered in its infancy in the Eldorado National Forest. "I tell you what, the fire started one to two acres as a brush fire," said the...

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Patients evacuated from South Lake Tahoe hospital as...

All patients have been safely evacuated from Barton Memorial Hospital in South Lake Tahoe due to the Caldor Fire, which flared intensely over the weekend and prompted mandatory evacuations for most of the city around 10 a.m. Monday. Barton began...

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Fund for PG&E wildfire victims in California could be...

Fluctuations in PG&E Corp.'s stock price have left the fund established to pay wildfire victims more than $2 billion short, the man overseeing the payouts said Wednesday. Retired appeals court Justice John Trotter, in a letter to more than...

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Water News: AP News - Years Later, California Voters Still Wait On Water Projects
Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin Joins Growing List of...

Facing depleting groundwater supplies, a group of landowners in the Cuyama Valley Groundwater Basin, which overlies parts of Ventura, Kern, San Luis Obispo, and Santa Barbara Counties, filed a complaint for a comprehensive adjudication of all the ...

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OUR VIEW: Wake-up call: California's water is running out

Mandatory limits on water use are likely to be imposed in the near future on California residents, businesses and farms. Get ready. You can't change the weather, which has deprived the state of its necessary rain and snowfall. But you can change...

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AFBF: Ruling threatens progress made in Clean Water efforts

American Farm Bureau Federation President Zippy Duvall commented on the District of Arizona court ruling to vacate the Navigable Waters Protection Rule. "AFBF is extremely disappointed in the ruling to vacate the...

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Years later, California voters still wait on water projects

In 2014, in the middle of a severe drought that would test California's complex water storage system like never before, voters told the state to borrow $7.5 billion and use part of it to build projects to stockpile more water.

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Produce News: AgNet West - Organic And Specialty Crop Insurance Purchases Increase Substantially
Farm Hands West: United Fresh Produce Association,...

United Fresh Produce Association and the Produce Marketing Association have announced the leadership that will launch the start of the new association beginning in 2022. Bruce Taylor, CEO of Taylor Farms in Salinas, Calif., and a past chair...

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Greenhouse Vegetables Are at a Crossroads; So What's Next?

Any emerging industry will often see a lot of rapid change as it develops. Such is the case with the greenhouse vegetable industry, where even the largest growers in the industry seek to make improvements, whether it's through outside...

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New Webinar Addresses California Avocado Fertility

The California Avocado Commission is hosting a new free webinar - Avocado Fertility; Right Time, Right Source, Right Rate, Right Place - on September 15 from 9:00 - 11:00 a.m. Fertility planning is complicated with old...

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Organic and Specialty Crop Insurance Purchases Increase...

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has noted that interest in crop insurance has been steadily increasing among producers. Organic and specialty crop growers have been purchasing insurance coverage at higher rates in recent years. USDA's...

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Benefits of Cover Crops in Furrows of Strawberries...

Cover crops planted in furrows between strawberry beds can decrease erosion and retain top soil for more sustainable long-term production. Furrow cover crops can also reduce weeds, increase infiltration to groundwater and help...

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Strawberries benefit as good mites devour bad ones
By Bob Johnson, California Farm Bureau's AgAlert

Keeping spider mites under control in strawberry fields is a complex process that includes regular monitoring, carefully timed insecticide applications and strategic releases of natural enemies.

According to a University of California specialist for Central Coast region crops, there are effective predatory mites that keep spider mite populations down. But these helpful critters must be released at the right time to minimize the damage they suffer from chemicals used to control the pest mites.

"Timing insecticide and miticide applications in a manner that is least disruptive to the predatory mites is essential," said Surendra Dara, UC Cooperative Extension entomology and biologicals farm advisor. "Using miticides that are less harmful to predatory mites will improve mite control efficiency."

Farm Bureau members can continue reading this story by clicking here.
Environmental News: Ag Biz Media - Working Farms In California Look To Relocate Due To Path Of Growth
Working farms in California look to relocate due to path ...

Expanding demand for residential development across California has created larger metropolitan areas that are placing farms within the path of growth. The Farmland Information Center 's most recent report on the topic indicates that 465,900 acres ...

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A program that pays farmers not to farm isn't saving the ...

On top of that, the plan, known as the Conservation Reserve Program, takes land out of production for only 10 to 15 years - so those acres could release carbon into the atmosphere if the land is planted again and thus cancel out its environmental ...

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Wisdom From The Farm & Ranch
Sturgill Simpson

Never was a finer breed than the steed that was Shamrock
Plain to see by his conformation that he came from finest stock
Daddy was a black mammoth jack, mamma was a thoroughbred mare
Had four white feet wore a buckskin coat, wore a mohawk in his hair

Stood about nineteen hands, didn't need no kick to go
Old Dood up top, deep in the saddle, hollerin'
"Woah woah woah
Woah woah woah"

Only ever had one rider, anyone else was gettin' bucked
Cross any kind of land, through the rain and snow and muck
Sure footed as a billy goat with thirty-three inch ears
Clog dance on a snake with his front two feet
And give coyotes the rear
Kick so hard it sent them up and out the stratosphere
Make a coyote fly so far it wouldn't land until nеxt year

From the hightop to the hollеr, no places Sham can't go
Old Dood up top, deep in the saddle, hollerin'
"Woah woah woah
Woah woah woah"

Ain't scared to cross that river, jump clear across that creek
Steed don't need no shoes when his hooves is one foot thick
Leather and tack can't hold him back
And he'll bite right through a bit
Rope bridle made of mooring line was the only thing that fit

Hot on the bandit's trail fence postin' through the snow
Old Dood up top, high in the saddle, hollerin'
"Go, boy, go
Go, boy, go
Go, boy, go
Go, boy, go"
Farm Bureau Membership Matters
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 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 some assistance with membership, 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.
Thank You San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau
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