January 2014: New Seed Variety Issue

A federal report called attention to land subsidence in the San Joaquin Valley as a result of excessive pumping of groundwater.  It is true that groundwater is being used to irrigate farms at an unsustainable rate.  It is also true that something needs to change.  However, the prevailing and one-sided commentary from government officials and environmental organizations can be summed up as, “Farmers should use less water.”

In 1952, three men working in the wholesale produce business in Pittsburgh — Fred Siger, Ubby Cohen and Anthony Corso — opened up their own terminal market operation.  “The company’s foundation was built on two main items,” said Alan Siger, son of Fred and current chairman of the board, “potatoes and western fruits and vegetables.”

Tim Linden

With all of the changes going on with the Affordable Care Act, I’ve been hearing confusing information about when the large employer mandate goes into effect.  Is it 2014 or 2015?

Jonathan Alexander

There is a sense of urgency today at Western Growers as we begin to understand the scale of several attacks on proven and effective crop protection tools of the utmost importance to specialty crop agriculture.  New legislation at the federal, state and even local levels, increased media coverage fueled by activists, and precautionary approaches at key regulatory junctures and decision points threaten both the short and long term viability of fumigants and neo-nicotinoids.

Rep. Brenda Barton was first elected to the Arizona House of Representatives in 2010 to represent Arizona’s Sixth Legislative District and has quickly moved up in leadership.  She is currently the Chairman of the House Committee for Agriculture and Water.

Jeff Janas

“We’ve found a great location in Santa Maria for the new Cedar Health and Wellness Center,” says Benkowski, “in a medical plaza on South Miller Street.  It is convenient and cost-effective for any WGAT policy holder including members of the management staff.  WGAT is in the business of providing appropriate access to healthcare in every way and within the budgets of employers and employees.”

Wendy Fink-Weber

Consistent with the trend that emerged over the past two years, a significant number of employment and labor bills made it through the California Legislature and were signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown this past year.  Most notably, the state minimum wage will increase for the first time since 2008.  Below is a summary of some of the bills, with all scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

Hybrid Broccoli Paraiso

Good for bunching, crown cut and florets.  Matures 75 days after transplanting (95-98 days after direct sowing).  Plant has a good upright habit, consistently produces heads with good dome and fine, dark green beads.  Outstanding performance in high density cultivation, best performance when planted in coastal California for spring to summer harvesting.  Excellent post-harvest shelf-life.

Western Growers


Cucumber GVS 609 F1 Hybrid Beit Alpha Parthenocarpic variety

A Beit Alpha Persian 100% female (gynoecious) hybrid.  It is a cucumber for green houses, plastic tunnels well adapted to spring, summer, and early fall planting.  GVS 609 is early, producing high yields in a concentrated period.  The fruits are dark green in color, cylindrical in shape, firm and very tasty.  Fruit size averages 16-18 cm.  Disease Resistance: CMVR, MMVR, PMR, DMR, ZYMV.

Western Growers

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