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Agriculture and Business Coalition Challenge Cal/OSHA Emergency Standards to Protect Nation’s Food Supply

A coalition of agricultural and business employers has filed a lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court challenging the COVID-19 related emergency temporary standards (ETS) recently approved by the California Occupational Safety and Health Standards Board (Board). The complaint alleges, among other things, that the Board lacks statutory authority to impose many of the sweeping measures of the ETS on California …

White Strawberry One of Two New Varieties Ready for Harvest Season

Enjoy the following article featuring two new strawberry varieties out of the University of Florida that may prove to be of value to West Coast growers in the near future. A white strawberry? Not red? Yes, you “read” that right. And it smells a little like a pineapple. It’s also novel in that it’s the first white strawberry to go …

The Health Benefits of Fermented Vegetables

Dr. Ilenys Perez-Diaz (IP) is a Microbiologist with the Food Science and Market Quality and Handling Research Unit in Raleigh, NC. Her work involves research into microbes present during the fermentation and acidification of vegetables, and had some interesting things to share with the USDA-ARS in their Under the Microscope (UM) Q&A blog. UM – As a microbiologist, how does your work …

GSA Expands Farm Worker COVID-Prevention Training Program to Yuma

Replicating another of its Salinas Valley programs, the Grower Shipper Association of Central California (GSA) has established a COVID-19 training prevention program for food facility and farm employees in the Yuma in cooperation with the Regional Center for Border Health clinic. The program brings health professionals directly to work sites to provide multi-lingual information on virus prevention practices while on the …

California Horticulture Sales Reach $2.63 Billion in 2019

On Tuesday, December 8, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released the 2019 Census of Horticultural Specialties report, the only source of detailed production and sales data for floriculture, nursery, and specialty crops for the entire United States. The data show that horticulture operations in California sold a total of $2.63 billion in floriculture, nursery and …

USDA Announces National Watermelon Promotion Board Appointments

The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced the appointment of nine members to serve on the National Watermelon Promotion Board. The appointees will serve three-year terms from Jan. 1, 2021, to Dec. 31, 2023. Members newly appointed or reappointed are: District 1 Producer: Kyler Bishop, Punta Gorda, Florida District 1 Producer: Chad Chastain, Punta Gorda, Florida District 1 Handler: Stephen …

The Essential Pieces of Protecting Ag Workers, Preventing COVID-19 Spread

Christopher Valadez — As president of the Grower Shipper Association of Central California (GSA), I talk to farmers, farming companies, farm labor contractors and farm workers about the challenges faced when protecting essential employees from COVID-19 exposure. These conversations and hearing the needs firsthand formed the impetus for many of the programs established by GSA over the last few months to …

Broccoli Rotations Lower Pathogen Populations and Reduce Disease Incidence of Verticillium Wilt

In 1999, several UC researchers published foundational research in a paper titled, “Evaluation of broccoli residue incorporation into field soil for Verticillium wilt control in cauliflower.” Since this publication more than 20 years ago, many studies have further investigated this concept and many coastal growers, especially organic producers, have adopted broccoli rotations as a strategy for Verticillium wilt control. Today, …

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