Japan: Notifies WTO of Revised Difenoconazole Residue Standards

Feb. 19, 2019 – -On February 6, 2019, Japan notified the World Trade Organization of draft amendments to the maximum residue levels (MRL) for the pesticide Difenoconazole via G/SPS/N/JPN/611. The public comment period for the draft will close on April 7, 2019. Interested U.S. parties are encouraged to share their comments and/or concerns with USDA’s enquiry point (us.spsenquirypoint@fas.usda.gov). For potential inclusion in the U.S. official position, please send your comments by March 24, 2019.

To read the full report, Click Here.

Senate Passes Bipartisan Pesticide Registration Improvement Act Reauthorization

Feb. 18, 2019 – – U.S. Senate Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kan., and Ranking Member Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., along with Sen. Tom Udall, D-N.M., Ranking Member of the Senate Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies, are pleased to announce Senate passage of the Pesticide Registration Improvement Act (PRIA).

“Today’s unanimous Senate passage of bipartisan PRIA legislation provides certainty to farmers, consumers, and many other stakeholders,” said the Senators. “We urge our colleagues in the House to pass this legislation quickly.”

For full article, Click Here.

DWR to Host GSA Forum – Save the Date

Feb. 11, 2019 – -The Department of Water Resources (DWR) will host a free, public Groundwater Sustainability Agency (GSA) Forum for GSA members and stakeholders on March 21, 2019, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., in the Sacramento area. The forum will highlight various GSA efforts to facilitate the exchange of ideas, establish professional networks and foster successful stakeholder engagement.

The GSA Forum will include two panel discussions, each with up to five representatives from different GSAs, focused on how the GSAs have approached communication, coordination, engagement and outreach. A diverse group of GSAs will be represented to showcase various governance structures, stakeholder outreach and engagement strategies. Each panelist will provide a brief presentation, followed by a Q&A session with the audience.

The forum will not be webcast. Boxed lunches will be available for purchase for the networking lunch. The specific venue and agenda will be shared once details are finalized.

The GSA Forum is free to attend, but space is limited so please register.

CA Air Board 2019 Agricultural Tractor and Mobile Equipment Survey

Feb. 11, 2019 – -The California Air Resources Board (CARB), with the support of the California agricultural community, is requesting your participation in a new 2019 agricultural equipment survey.

The 2019 agricultural survey covers all mobile agricultural equipment, including tractors, combines, balers, agricultural use ATVs and forklifts, and many more. The survey is intended for the agricultural sector, including producers in the field, custom operators, and first processing facilities, and covers equipment using any type of fuel or electricity, of any horsepower. The survey is similar to the 2008 survey of agricultural equipment in which you may have participated. Just as with the previous survey, all responses are completely confidential and identifying information will never be seen by CARB or any government body.

CARB contracted with Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo to handle and completely anonymize all survey data, which includes removal of all identifying information. As a new option, Cal Poly will administer a web-based survey. This survey may be completed on a computer or phone in just a few minutes.

Take Survey Here

US Trade Representative Releases 2018 Reports on China’s and Russia’s WTO Compliance

Feb. 11, 2019 – -As required by law, on February 4, 2019, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative released reports assessing China’s and Russia’s implementation of their respective World Trade Organization (WTO) commitments.

The Week, an Indian publication, reported the USTR report alleges that China’s use of export and import substitution subsidies has been ubiquitous throughout the past two decades in sectors as diverse as automobiles, textiles, advanced materials, medical products and agriculture, despite explicit prohibitions in the WTO Agreement.

China has repeatedly committed to review applications of agricultural biotechnology products in a timely, ongoing and science-based manner. “However, the Chinese regulatory authorities continue to review applications slowly and without scientific rationale, while Chinese companies continue to build up their own capabilities in the area of agricultural biotechnology,” it said.

The complete report on China’s WTO compliance can be found here.

Update on the February 6th Assembly Informational Hearing on “Safe and Affordable Drinking”

Feb. 11, 2019 – -The Assembly hosted a Joint Informational Hearing on “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water,” between the Budget Sub 3 Committee on Resources, the Water, Parks, and Wildlife Committee, and the Environmental Safety and Toxic Materials Committee. The purpose of the hearing was to engage all stakeholders on the topic and provide a forum for various approaches on how to create funding for safe and affordable drinking water. There were two panels who presented that included the Secretary of Natural Resources Agency, a Member of the State Water Resources Control Board, and various water entities. Although there were no policy decisions or votes taken, it was a positive first discussion, with a realization that this is a serious issue that needs ongoing conversations with all stakeholders.

Click here, for Agenda.

Click here, for Hearing Video.

Governor Newsom’s Safe and Affordable Drinking Water Trailer Bill Language Released

Feb. 11, 2018 – – The Department of Finance released the first draft of the budget trailer bill language on the topic of “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water.” As anticipated, the language was nearly identical to SB 623 (Monning, 2018) with the inclusion of funds to cleanup Exide. The trailer bill specifically included language on agriculture fees and enforcement protections, a .95 cent tax to water customers, and an allocation of 50 million dollars for Exide cleanup in the City of Vernon. This trailer bill will be the start of the conversation from the administration and will receive multiple hearings by both the Assembly and Senate Budget Committees.

To read the Department of Finance “Safe and Affordable Drinking Water” Draft Language, click here.