July 2010- Endangered Species

The biological opinion, often called the "BiOp", has become a dirty word in the agricultural community...though there might be some light at the end of the tunnel.

The BiOp is a technical analysis that evaluates potential impacts to "Endangered Species" and establishes regulatory restrictions on a variety of issues ranging from how much water can be taken out of the delta to pesticide use near waterways. The problem arises when bureaucrats in D.C. ignore real world data in favor of theoretical analysis written at their desks in Washington, D.C. The result is challenging when such BiOp’s impose significant restrictions on farmers that are not scientifically valid. However, a recent ruling by a federal judge in California just may be a signal that the tide is starting to turn. Hank Giclas, Western Growers senior vice president of science, technology and strategic planning, said we are definitely at a crossroads and what is currently occurring and what happens in the coming months with regard to pesticide re-registrations is critical and will shape the future for agriculture across this country. It will either be a workable situation for farmers or escalating problems and continued woes.

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