Click Here to print!
Volume 42, No. 22 – June 6, 2019
Navels – Pricing for Navels saw a bump of $0.25-$0.50 from the previous week across all sizes. Small Navels continue to be in tight supply, but will now face competition from small-sized Valencias entering the market. The wet weather caused minor delays in harvesting, thus diminishing utilization from the remaining fruit. District 1 is now roughly 95% harvested, with regular Navels expected to finish mid-June and Late Navels expected to conclude early July.
Lemons – The Lemon market is unchanged from the previous week. Both demand and supply have been fairly light. Imported lemons will start to pick up as the summer months commence. Overall, pricing on small sizes continues to be tight, with “okay” quality. District 1 still has fruit on the trees and harvesting has slowed down due to the recent rain. District 2 is around 65-68% harvested, and oversized fruit is still a concern.
From May 19th- May 25th, the following countries have exported the following volumes into the US market: Mexico: 15 loads, Spain: 2 loads, Argentina: 1 Load, Italy: 1 (1 load= 40,000 lbs).
House Appropriations Member Congresswoman Barbara Lee Visits Central Valley
Congresswoman Barbara Lee visited the Central Valley this week for an agriculture tour and roundtable meeting facilitated by local Congressman TJ Cox. Congresswoman Lee is the only California representative on the powerful House Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture which directs funding for important programs at USDA including the Citrus Health Response Program, HLB Multi-Agency Coordination Group, and various other marketing and research initiatives.
The representatives spent time with CCM member Grant Parnagian in the field to learn more about the industry’s efforts to stop HLB from spreading into commercial citrus groves. They also talked about irrigation practices, employee benefits and working conditions, and broadly the fine balance of managing costs, farming practices, and utilization. The group also toured Fowler Packing for a tour of the packing house and the company’s on-site health clinic.
“We are very appreciative to Congressman Cox for hosting Congresswoman Lee in the Central Valley,” says CCM President Casey Creamer. “It’s critical that the Congresswoman appreciate just how important programs like CHRP and MAC are to the future of the California citrus industry and why continued funding is necessary. It was a great opportunity to showcase the impact of these programs as well as to educate both members more broadly about the citrus industry.
“Thanks in large part to both Congressman Cox and Congresswoman Lee, the 2020 House Ag Committee Bill maintains funding levels, and in some areas increases funding, for vital specialty crop programs. We look forward to continuing our relationship with these members and working with them as the appropriations process moves forward this year.”
In the afternoon, Congressman Cox facilitated a roundtable meeting at Kings County Farm Bureau with a number of growers, dairymen, and agricultural association representatives to discuss issues such as pest and disease prevention programs and water infrastructure and deliveries.
International Trade Commission Visits Citrus
California Citrus Mutual hosted Sabina Neumann, an economist with the International Trade Commission. Sabina’s extensive economic portfolio includes the produce industry. The International Trade Commission is a non-partisan agency that evaluates trade activities on varied business sectors in the United States. The visit with Kings River Packing and Orange Cove-Sanger Citrus included information about cost components, export challenges, and domestic factors that affect the per acre return for California citrus producers.
Much of the discussion evolved around offshore competitors dominating the retail scene in the October to December timeframe thus delaying harvest schedules to the point that there is fruit on the ground in significant quantities was the norm this season. The ability of offshore producers to enter the market at a lower price and still maintain a significant margin was also a focal point of the discussion.
The visit to the grove and packinghouse facilities by the ITC was part of CCM’s multipronged strategy to address increasing imports and the effect that is having on the citrus industry.
Val Dolcini Named Acting DPR Director
Val Dolcini, who is currently serving as Deputy Secretary for Agriculture at CalEPA, will add Acting Director of the Department of Pesticide Regulation beginning June 3rd. Teresa Marks, who has served as Acting Director since Brian Leahy’s departure has announced her retirement effective May 31st. The change in leadership was abrupt, but not totally unexpected as Ms. Marks had pulled her name from consideration for the permanent Director position at DPR.
CCM President Casey Creamer met with Ms. Marks and senior DPR staff on Friday of last week to discuss the recent decision to cancel chlorpyrifos and their continuing evaluation of neonicotinoids. During that meeting there was no indication of a pending retirement.
In a recent meeting with the new Acting Director Val Dolcini, he indicated that the department was currently reviewing resumes for the permanent Director position. CCM is currently working with Val Dolcini on setting up a visit to HLB impacted areas so that there is a better understanding of how the decisions coming from DPR impacts our fight to keep HLB out of commercial groves.
Kevin Ball Joins Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee as Coastal District Representative
The Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC) announces the addition of Kevin Ball as the new grower representative for the coastal district position. Kevin Ball will advise the committee on the latest citrus grower activities occurring in the coastal area.
The CPDPC advises the Secretary and the agricultural industry about efforts to combat serious pests and diseases, like the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing, that threaten the state’s citrus crop.
Ball brings decades of experience in the agricultural industry, most recently as vice president of orchard operations at Agland Services for the past 15 years. At the company he supervises the daily operations of 20 ranches in the Camarillo, Somis, Moorpark and Ventura areas while consulting on ranches throughout Ventura and Southern Santa Barbara counties.
As a former executive committee board member at the California Avocado Society, Ball is also well versed in organizing, planning and implementing grower outreach programs and managing budgets for seminars, research, and grower outreach. Beginning his career as a grower, Ball is experienced in the field, running irrigations, spraying weeds, maintaining equipment and more.
Coastal area citrus growers may contact Kevin Ball with concerns/inquiries:
Vice President of Orchard Operations, Partner, Agland Services
On Tuesday, April 30th the EPA released their Proposed Interim Registration Review Decision for glyphosate, an important step in the registration review process. The EPA responses contain several key comments, including:
“The EPA conducted an independent evaluation of the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate and has determined that glyphosate is “not likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” The agency’s cancer classification is based on a thorough weight-of-evidence review of all relevant data and is in accordance with the agency’s 2005 Guidelines for Carcinogen Risk Assessment.”
“EPA’s cancer evaluation is more robust than IARC’s evaluation. IARC’s evaluation only considers data that have been published or accepted for publication in the openly available scientific literature. As a result, IARC only considered a subset of the studies included in the EPA’s evaluation.”
“The Agency’s cancer evaluation for glyphosate is also more transparent. EPA’s draft cancer evaluation was presented to a FIFRA SAP for external peer review. EPA solicited public comment on the carcinogenic potential of glyphosate as part of the SAP process, which is well-documented with an agenda, transcript, meeting notes, and final SAP report. EPA responded to the SAP report, addressed panel recommendations, and made revisions to its cancer assessment that were transparent and provided to the public. EPA also solicited public comment on its full human health and ecological risk assessment for glyphosate in February 2018. In contrast, IARC meetings are not accessible to the public. Its deliberations are closed, its process does not allow for public comments to be submitted for consideration, there are no materials provided in advance of the meeting, and IARC’s reports are final without an external peer review.”
“The EPA has not identified any new information received during the public comment period which ended on April 30, 2018 that would result in changes to the conclusion of its cancer assessment. The agency’s cancer conclusion is consistent with other regulatory authorities and international organizations, including the Canadian Pest Management Regulatory Agency, the Australian Pesticide and Veterinary medicines Authority, the European Food Safety Authority, the European Chemicals Agency, the German Federal Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the Joint FAO/WHO Meeting on Pesticides Residues, the New Zealand Environmental Protection Authority, and the Food Safety Commission of Japan.”
In addition to the posting of the proposed decision, the EPA also issued strong comments in an interview with the Des Moines Register and in an official press release. The press release includes comments from EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler and U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue.
A 60-day public comment period will follow as a next step and then EPA will respond to the comments and issue the Interim Review Decision. That decision will not become final until EPA conducts an Endangered Species Act assessment. There is no set timeline for the final decision.
Tuesday’s comments by the EPA are important and consistent with the findings of regulatory authorities around the world for more than 40 years. Bayer’s official statement can be found online here.
CRB Citrus Grower Educational Seminar Series
The Citrus Research Board (CRB) will once again be holding their annual Citrus Growers Educational Seminar Series June 25th – 27th. This free seminar series will take place in Palm Desert, Santa Paula, and Exeter beginning at 8:00 am and concluding with lunch at 12 noon.
Topics will include:
- Regional Farm Advisor Citrus Report and Update
- CRB Update and IRCHLB Recap from CRB’s Melinda Klein
- CCM Update from President Casey Creamer
- Canine HLB EDT Project Panel Update
- ACP Barrier and Border Treatment Work
- Update on Laws and Regulations from the local Ag Commissioner for each location
- CPDPC Voluntary Action Program
- Lemon Drop Project Update
- Rootstocks and New Varieties Update
- High Density Planting, Root Health, Nutrition and ACP
Registration for the seminar series is not required, but RSVPs are appreciated. For more details and to register online click here.
CCM Student Scholarship Applications Due May 31st
Each year CCM awards three scholarships to students who are pursuing an education and future in the agricultural industry. The deadline to apply for all three scholarships is May 31, 2019. Applications can be found on the CCM website.
CCM High School Scholarship
CCM awards one scholarship per year to a qualified high school senior pursuing a continued education in an agriculture-related field. An eligible candidate must be a dependent of a CCM member or of an employee of a CCM member. Applicants are required to submit in writing: evidence of leadership skills, extracurricular activity, work history and a separate one-page essay stating future goals and pursuits and a copy of current transcripts.
Click here to download the application.
Charles Coggins College Scholarship
Named for UC Riverside plant physiologist whose research on citrus considerably extended the fruits’ fresh market season, the Charles Coggins College Scholarship is awarded annually to a college student studying in the field of agriculture.
Applicants must be enrolled in college, a dependent of a CCM member or a member’s employee and currently pursuing a degree in agriculture, plant science or related field. Applicants must also submit in writing evidence of leadership skills, extracurricular activities, an interest in agriculture, and work history. A separate one-page essay stating future goals and pursuits is also required as well as an official, sealed transcript. Financial need will not be considered in selecting the scholarship recipient.
Click here to download the application.
Harrison B. Smith Memorial Scholarship for Cal Poly Students
In 2014, the Smith Family, who are longtime citrus growers and CCM members, provided a generous donation to the scholarship fund. The Harrison B. Smith Memorial Scholarship is awarded annually to one Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo student majoring in agriculture.
Applicants must submit in writing evidence of leadership skills, extracurricular activities, demonstrated agricultural interest, work history, and a separate one-page essay stating future goals and pursuits. An official, sealed transcript must be submitted with the application. Financial need will not be considered in selecting the scholarship recipient.
Click here to download the application.