Science & Technology

In response to an increasing interest in solar energy systems from our members, Western Growers Science and Technology staff have assembled a list of subject matter experts who understand the marketplace and work directly with solar vendors that have been independently vetted for projects in the agricultural sector.  These experts work with credible solar vendors and can provide reliable information on financing and leasing arrangements.

Sonia Salas

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that $1.5 million in funding will be made available to expand bio-control efforts to fight Huanglongbing (HLB), also known as citrus greening.  Agriculture Secretary Vilsack created a Huanglongbing multi-agency coordination group (HLB MAC Group) in December.  This is the first funding for these efforts made available by the group.   The HLB MAC Group serves to coordinate and prioritize Federal research with industry's efforts to complement and fill research gaps, reduce unnecessary duplication, speed progress, and more quickly provide practical tools for citrus growers to use.  It also fosters greater coordination among federal and state agencies in responding to citrus greening.

Jeff Janas

The Center for Produce Safety (CPS) will hold its 5th Annual Produce Research Symposium in Newport Beach, California on June 24-25.  Attendees can expect to see representatives from every spectrum of the food safety chain, from industry to research scientists. The results from CPS funded projects will be presented – with a focus on irrigation water and disinfection methods to reduce the risk of produce contamination, addressing Salmonella and E. coli as potential contaminants.


Hank Giclas

The United States Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) released its 2012 Ag Census last week, highlighting a variety of important agriculture stats not only for the country, but for the country’s top producing agriculture state – California.   Statistics show that California is the top state using renewable energy producing systems in agriculture with 5,845 farms engaging renewable energy systems.  NASS also showed that solar energy production was the most common renewable energy producing system being used.


Matt McInerney

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has announced import fee increases in order to recoup the cost of fee inspections conducted at U.S. ports of entry.  APHIS, which is part of the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), proposed the rule on April 25, 2014.  The proposal provides a 60-day comment period that will take into consideration all submitted comments.


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