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California Governor Signs Ag Overtime Bill

By Steve Adler California Farm Bureau Federation Now that Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the agricultural overtime bill, Assembly Bill 1066, employment specialists are working to interpret its provisions and help farmers and ranchers prepare for them. The new law will entitle agricultural employees to premium pay after eight hours of work in a day or 40 hours in a ... Read More »

Legislation House Vote Sets Stage For Talks On Drought Relief

Before members of Congress left Washington for the political conventions and August recess, the House of Representatives passed a 2017 appropriations bill that included California drought-relief provisions. California Farm Bureau Federation President Paul Wenger says passage of the appropriations legislation by the House represents an important step toward addressing problems that limit the flexibility of the California water system. By a vote of 231-196, the House passed the 2017 Interior appropriations bill, HR 5538, including the California-related water provisions. The inclusion of the provisions on water could help set the stage for negotiations with the U.S. Senate this fall, says Erin Huston, CFBF federal policy consultant.“This is the first time the House has passed an Interior bill since 2009, which can be seen as a milestone in itself,” Huston says. “This bill provides a potential path for desperately needed federal drought legislation. We are still working under a very limited calendar, but we will continue to urge a federal legislative solution.” Read More »

A Welcome ‘Shot In The Arm’

cotton ginning

The National Cotton Council (NCC) is urging U.S. cotton producers to participate in USDA’s Cotton Ginning Cost-Share program (CGCS), a one-time initiative with a June 20-Aug. 5 sign-up window. What is the CGCS program’s purpose? Using administrative authority it has under the Commodity Credit Corporation Charter, USDA created the CGCS program to expand and maintain the domestic marketing of cotton. USDA ... Read More »

Easing The Regulatory Burden

Concern was expressed over a dramatic increase in regulations and policies put in place by federal agencies, especially EPA.

The National Cotton Council continues to work with Congress and the Administration to ensure farmers are not further burdened by over-reaching regulations. Any concerns conveyed recently to Congress? Those testifying at a recent House Agri-culture Committee subcommittee hearing agreed there were a number of factors driving up production costs, including increased prices for inputs, machinery and new technologies. The witnesses also agreed that another factor was the dramatic increase in the number of regulations and policies put in place by federal agencies, especially EPA. They explained that crop protection businesses that support American agriculture recently have seen serious deviations from the regular order, transparency and scientific integrity of EPA’s risk assessment-based pesticide review process. The witnesses urged Congress and stakeholders to work with government agencies, including EPA, to ensure that no policies are enacted that would prevent farmers and ranchers from economically producing food and fiber. They also emphasized that due to the rising costs and the recent collapse in net farm income, farmers and ranchers will need every tool available to help minimize their production costs. The witnesses’ testimonies are at http://1.usa.gov/1VBYrH6. Read More »

OKFB President Testifies Before U.S. Senate Subcommittee

On April 12, Oklahoma Farm Bureau President Tom Buchanan urged Congress to hold the Environmental Protection Agency accountable for its burdensome regulations and aggressive tactics against U.S. farmers and ranchers. In testifying before the Senate Environment and Public Works Subcommittee on Superfund, Waste Management and Regulatory Oversight, Buchanan explained how Oklahoma’s farmers and ranchers are affected by the EPA’s regulations, especially its Waters of the United States rule. “After carefully studying the proposed rule, we at Farm Bureau concluded that the rule’s vague and broad language would define ‘waters of the United States’ to include countless land areas that are common in and around farm fields and ranches across the countryside. These are areas that don’t look a bit like water,” Buchanan said in his testimony. “They look like land, and they are farmed, but by defining them as ‘waters of the U.S.’ the rule would make it illegal to farm, build a fence, cut trees, build a house, or do most anything else there without first asking permission of the federal government and navigating a costly and complex permitting regime.” Buchanan also highlighted EPA’s misleading advocacy for its own rule, using public relations and social media campaigns to garner support. Read More »

Getting ‘Back To Basics’

In sports, it is inevitable that a player (or a team) will go into a slump. In every case, the recipe for getting out of that slump and back into high performance is to break down the training routine to “focus on the fundamentals.” Only then, when that foundation is re-established, can the player or team begin to move toward ... Read More »

‘California Cotton Is Not Going Away’

By Jodi Raley California cotton producers, ginners, pest control advisers and cotton industry organizations gathered in the halls of the Visalia Convention Center for the California Cotton Growers Association’s 26th Annual Meeting. With 2015 California cotton acreage hitting a historical low, the industry is welcoming an estimated increase of up to 20 percent. Cotton Incorporated and Brooks Brothers, also in ... Read More »