An annual report released today meant to alarm consumers about pesticide residues and produce was swiftly and summarily refuted by the Alliance for Food and Farming (AFF).  The list, known as the “dirty dozen,” purports to list the produce with highest residual pesticide amounts; however, the AFF issued a press release referencing findings of sound science and asked concerned consumers and the media to review several of the peer reviewed studies and government reports on the subject before coming to any conclusions regarding the list.

The State Water Board (SWB) will hold public meetings from May 5-8 to discuss groundwater issues as it relates to farming practices.  Specifically, the “Agriculture Expert Panel” will review how agriculture, farm management practices, irrigation and fertilizer use impacts groundwater.  The Panel consists of eight experts to assess existing agricultural nitrate programs and to develop recommendations that ensure ongoing efforts are protective of groundwater supply quality.  The SWB contracted with the Irrigation Training and Research Center to assemble the expert panel. The results of the Expert Panel will likely have a substantial impact on the next Ag Order.  As a result, participation in these public meetings is highly recommended.

 

Gail Delihant

Western Growers, joined by a coalition of California-based agricultural associations, filed an amicus (“friend of the court”) brief in California’s Fifth District Court of Appeal in support of Gerawan Farming Inc.’s petition for a writ of review.  The writ raises statutory and constitutional challenges to the Mandatory Mediation and Conciliation (“MMC”) statute, and asks the court to vacate the Agricultural Labor Relations Board’s (“ALRB”) orders which compelled Gerawan into MMC and which would impose a contract on Gerawan (and its workers) with UFW.

 

Jason Resnick

It is probably no surprise to most companies, but insurance rates continue to increase although the rate of increase is slowing in a few lines of business.  According to a report by Willis North America -- a major national insurance brokerage -- rates in property insurance are holding steady with slight increases and in some cases, slight dips in rates.  This is largely due to the fact there have been fewer large catastrophic weather events during the last couple of years, resulting in fewer claims for insurance carriers reducing the need to increase rates.  Policyholders can expect rates to decrease from five to ten percent.

Greg Nelson

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