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By Vicky Boyd

The California Department of Food and Agriculture began notifying large-scale producers in February that it planned to start inspections later in April as part of the federal Produce Safety Rule, raising grower concerns. 

Bruce Blodgett, San Joaquin Farm Bureau executive director, said he’d received a couple of calls from members asking about the letter.

“We’re just trying to get more information at this point about what (CDFA’s) intent is,” he said.

By Vicky Boyd 

Under the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program, growers have to complete a nitrogen management plan, akin to a nitrogen budget, by June 15 and keep it on site. 

Photo by Vicky Boyd

 

If you’re tempted to underreport the amount of fertilizer you applied last season as you fill out the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program nitrogen management plan summary report, you may want to think again.

The advice comes from San Joaquin Farm Bureau leaders who have heard from a few growers who don’t want to be shamed for using what they believe is an abnormally high amount of nitrogen.

But by not providing accurate nitrogen-use data, the San Joaquin and Delta Water Quality Coalition may not be able to accurately gauge the threat nitrates from agriculture pose to groundwater quality, said Mike Wackman, coalition executive director.

By Craig W. Anderson 

The new Dairy Margin Coverage (DMC) program – part of the 2018 Farm Bill – may not be fully available until mid-2019 but January’s margin for dairy-income-over-feed-cost triggered the first payment for eligible producers in June.

The DMC replaced the Margin Protection Program (MPP) for dairy and is a voluntary risk-management program that offers protection for dairy farmers when the difference between the all-milk price and the average feed cost – or margin – falls below a certain dollar amount selected by the producer.

By Craig W. Anderson 

Amber McDowell, program assistant for San Joaquin Farm Bureau, is one of 10 members in the 2019 Leadership Farm Bureau class embarking on 250 hours of intensive training on agricultural issues and leadership methods.

“I’ve been with San Joaquin Farm Bureau for 18 months and I love working in ag and meeting with many interesting people,” Amber said, noting her activities such as Ag Day at the State Capital, Media Night, meetings at Farm Centers, meeting with assorted communities to update them on agricultural issues and working on what she called a “website refresher.”