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Posts By: Dennis Nuxoll

114th Congress: Nassif Meets New Members & Keynotes NCAE Annual Meeting

Now that the freshmen members of Congress have unpacked their boxes, settled into their offices and learned how to navigate the corridors of Capitol Hill, Western Growers’ Tom Nassif went back to Washington this week to meet with a few of them, as well as some congressional stalwarts.  Talking points include concerns about a reliable ...

Controversial Clean Water Act Rule Withdrawn by Federal Agencies

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers (Corp) withdrew a controversial rule intended to clarify the definition of Waters of the United States (WOTUS) in the Clean Water Act. Ag groups — including Western Growers – have argued the interpretive rule, which became effective in March of 2014, ...

Does your Farming Operation Use Crop Insurance? Then You Have a June 1 Deadline

In the last farm bill, Congress required that producers enact certain minimal environmental standards if they farmed on highly erodible land or wetlands. These requirements are referred to as “conservation compliance,” and while not everyone has to implement practices on their land, everyone has to fill-out a certification form. Producers who want to receive the ...

Members of WG Board Convene in Washington, DC

Western Growers annual Washington, D.C., fly-in is underway with members of the board of directors convening to address issues critical to the agriculture industry with federal lawmakers and administration officials.  Immigration, water, trade, food safety and environmental concerns top the list of issues being discussed both on and off Capitol Hill.  Board members started the ...

Western Ag Concerns Taken to Federal Leaders by WG Members

Western Growers board members from Arizona and California, along with fellow ag leaders from Colorado and New Mexico, concluded meetings held this week in Washington, D.C., with several members of Congress and the Obama Administration. Discussions touched every topic of concern to specialty crop producers and included the upcoming reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act; ...

LAST CHANCE — Submit Conservation Compliance Application before June 1 Deadline

In the last farm bill, Congress required that producers enact certain minimal environmental standards if they farmed on highly erodible land or wetlands. These requirements are referred to as “conservation compliance,” and while not everyone has to implement practices on their land, everyone has to fill-out a certification form. Producers who want to receive the ...

WG Analysis of the Final WOTUS Rule

Last week the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) issued final rule changes on the “Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule.” The rule triggers federal jurisdiction under the Clean Water Act.Public reaction to the rule over the last year has been heated. Some accused the EPA of extending its power ...

Western Water Bill Introduced In U.S. House Today

Today, in the U.S. House of Representatives, the Western Water and American Food Security Act of 2015 was introduced by Congressman David Valadao (R-CA) and who said it would modernize water policies in California and throughout the entire Western United States. He writes on his website that the bill aims to make more water available ...

Implications of New Tax Bill on Agriculture

As you are well aware, the House and Senate have passed a tax bill that dramatically changes tax rates across the country. This bill is extremely complex and will likely impact your farm. The most important thing you can do is reach out to your tax professional and have them walk you through the new ...

Update on Votes on Immigration and Farm Bill

The House voted today on conservative immigration legislation, which included President Trump’s four pillar approach to reform. After much back and forth, mainly due to the family separation crisis on the border, the partisan bill failed to garner support of the entire Republican conference and ultimately fell short by a vote of 193-231. The House ...

Applications for Farm Labor Housing Grants due on August 27

The Farm Labor Housing Direct Loans and Grants program now allows for funding for non-citizen temporary worker housing, including housing for H-2A program participants. The deadline to submit pre-applications is August 27, 2018. Previously, the program had been limited to housing for permanent residents and U.S. citizens. Now, not-for-profit entities can utilize the loan program ...

Comments Needed for Proposed Changes to ESA

On July 25, 2018, the U.S. Interior and Commerce Departments announced proposed regulatory changes to the Endangered Species Act (ESA). They will be accepting public comments on the proposed regulations until September 24, 2018. The ESA has not seen major updates in over 30 years and now is the time to engage in this important ...

Costa, Denham Fight for Farmers in Farm Bill Conference Meeting

U.S. Representatives Jim Costa and Jeff Denham called for policies that protect and support Central Valley agriculture and jobs during the opening meeting of the 2018 Farm Bill Conference Committee yesterday. Costa and Denham brought San Joaquin Valley concerns front and center, focusing on trade, specialty crops, farming sustainability and nutrition programs. “California is the ...

Denham’s Water Storage Legislation Passes House

Last week, Representative Jeff Denham’s legislation to authorize financing of new water storage projects passed the U.S. House of Representatives as part of the comprehensive America’s Water Infrastructure Act of 2018 (WRDA). The language in this legislation, which comes from Denham’s New WATER Act, leverages non-federal investments to provide funding for expanding water storage.…

Water Resources Development Act Passes Senate

The Water Resources Development Act of 2018 passed the Senate today with a 99-1 vote. That follows the House passage of the same bill, on a 408-2 vote. As we reported earlier, the WRDA bill contains language that authorizes a pilot project to help finance development of water infrastructure. Language in this legislation will enable ...

USDA Appoints WG Members to Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee

On Friday, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue appointed numerous Western Growers members to the recently reestablished Fruit and Vegetable Industry Advisory Committee (FVIAC). Secretary Perdue appointed a total of 25 individuals to the FVIAC. Of the 25, the following are Western Growers’ members: John Chandler, Chandler Farms L.P., Selma, Calif. (former WG Future Volunteer ...

Senate Adopts 2018 Farm Bill Conference Report

Today, the Senate adopted the 2018 Farm Bill conference report, 87-13. The measure now heads to the House. The bill is expected to clear the House in time for President Trump’s signature by the end of the week. Western Growers applauds the committee leaders, conferees and staff for their diligence in producing a strong, bi-partisan ...

Impacts of Government Shutdown on H-2A Program

As you may have seen in recent news reports, Washington took an unexpected turn in the last 24 hours, signaling a potential impasse and partial government shutdown. If the federal government fails to agree to a spending bill, we will be facing a partial government shutdown as soon as tomorrow morning. This potential shutdown is ...

USDA Extends MFP Deadline in Light of Shutdown

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended the application deadline for Market Facilitation Program (MFP) payments due to the partial federal shutdown that has closed many Farm Service Agency (FSA) offices across the country. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue announced on Tuesday that the initial January 15, 2019, deadline will be extended “for a ...

FSA Sets New Deadlines for Farm Program Sign-up

The Farm Service Agency (FSA) tweeted new deadlines for signing up for farm programs to adjust for the disruption caused by the government shutdown Below are the program extension dates from FSA: Market Facilitation Program Deadline to apply extended to Feb. 14, 2019 Marketing Assistance Loans If loan matured in December 2018, settlement date extended ...