I erroneously referred to requirements in some recently passed legislation related to direct marketing as "regulations". So I am posting an edited version of the blog. It also includes some additional information.
Recently Passed Legislation Related to Direct Marketing and Food Safety
California's Legislature recently passed several bills related to direct marketing and food safety. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has recently implemented some new requirements related to these bills. While these requirements could increase growers' costs, they also have the potential to foster more favorable market conditions for smaller farms engaged in direct marketing.
Some of the major provisions in these bills and their requirements are summarized below. It would be helpful for producers who direct market to review CDFA's Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines, http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/sffsg.html since they are referenced in all three pieces of legislation. Note that they are guidelines, rather than requirements. CDFA intends to revise them to be consistent with the federal Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) requirements, after the FDA has finalized the FSMA regulations (which I have heard could occur around October, 2015.)
Please note that this is NOT a complete listing of the requirements associated with AB 224, AB 1871 and AB 1990. I have added bold and italicized fonts to emphasize specific phrases. If you have any questions or concerns about these new regulations, please email me, Shermain Hardesty, Leader of the UC Small Farm Program, firstname.lastname@example.org.
AB 224 CSA Programs (Gordon—signed September 28, 2013)
- Authorized CDFA to adopt regulations establishing a registration program for CSA producers, including those supplying multi-farm CSAs
- $75 annual fee, $25 for each amendment
- Registration form is in the CSA section of: http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/cfm.html
- The form requires producers to certify the following: “…to the best of my knowledge and belief, this report is true and complete. I further certify that I am knowledgeable and intend to produce in accordance with good agricultural practices as published by the department. See
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/cfm.html for a copy of guidelines. I am aware I must also comply with any other local, state or federal laws.”
- Required CDFA to post Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines for crops on its website as mentioned above
- Required CDFA to post Food Safety Guidelines for processed potentially hazardous foods. Such foods fall under the jurisdiction of the California Department of Public Health and local health agencies, rather than CDFA. Thus, this will require inter-departmental coordination and could require significant time because the food safety requirements for such foods vary considerably
- Imposed specific requirements related to the labeling and maintenance of consumer boxes and containers that are used in CSA programs to deliver farm products in order to facilitate traceback
- Label the consumer box or container used to deliver farm products to the consumer with the name and address of the farm delivering the box or container
- Maintain the consumer boxes or containers in a condition that prevents contamination
- Inform consumers, either by including a printed list in the consumer box or container or by delivering a list electronically to the consumer, of the farm of origin of each item in the consumer box or container
- Maintain records that document the contents and origin of all of the items included in each consumer box or container, in accordance with department regulations
- Comply with all labeling and identification requirements for shell eggs and processed foods imposed pursuant to the provisions of the Health and Safety Code, including, but not limited to, the farm's name, physical address, and telephone number
- Specified that a registered California direct marketing producer is an approved source, subject to compliance with specified provisions of the law, and that any whole uncut fruit or vegetable or unrefrigerated shell egg grown or produced in compliance with all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations, and food safety guidelines shall be deemed to be from an approved source
AB 1871 Certified Farmers Markets (Dickinson—signed September 26, 2014)
- Raised fee paid by Certified Farmers Markets for their vendors from 60 cents to $2 daily. Only farmers used to pay the fee, but now extended to all vendors, including food and crafts sellers in non-agricultural sections
- Required farmers to register with County Ag Dept. and pay a fee annually
- When farmers get their Certified Producers Certification for selling at Certified Farmers Markets, required them to attest that they are “knowledgeable of and intend to produce in accordance with 'good agricultural practices' (GAPs)--as outlined in CDFA's Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines mentioned above. CDFA will soon be adding a supplemental page to meet this requirement to either its online fill-in form or at the Ag Commissioner's office when producers pick up their certificates
- Required farmers selling at certified farmers markets to post a conspicuous sign or banner at their stand that identifies the farm/ranch by name, the county where the farm/ranch produces the products being offered for sale is located, and a statement that “We Grow What We Sell” or “We Raised What We Are Selling” or similar phrases that clearly represent that the farm or ranch is only selling agricultural products that they themselves have grown or raised on California land that they possess or control. Product sales by different farms at the same vendor stand shall separate the products from each farm or ranch and correspondingly post the required sign or banner in direct relationship with the sales display of the products produced by each farm.
- Authorized use of the term “California grown” and similar terms for marketing, advertising, or promotional purposes only to identify food or agricultural products that have been produced in the state or harvested in its surface or coastal waters, and made the fraudulent use of the term or a deliberately misleading or unwarranted use of the term a misdemeanor
AB 1990 Community Food Producers (Gordon—signed September 26, 2014)
- Defined “community food producers” as an approved source that includes, but is not limited to, community gardens, personal gardens, school gardens, and culinary gardens
- Unless a local jurisdiction adopts an ordinance regulating community food production or agricultural production that prohibits the activity, AB 1990 permits a community food producer or gleaner to sell or provide whole uncut fruits or vegetables, or unrefrigerated shell eggs, directly to the public, to a permitted restaurant, or a cottage food operation if the community food producer meets all of the following requirements in addition to any requirements imposed by an ordinance adopted by a local jurisdiction:
(2) Agricultural products shall be labeled with the name and address of the community food producer.
(3) Conspicuous signage shall be provided in lieu of a product label if the agricultural product is being sold by the community food producer on the site of production. The signage shall include, but not be limited to, the name and address of the community food producer.
(4) Best management practices as described in CDFA's Small Farm Food Safety Guidelines (as mentioned above), but not limited to, safe production, processing, and handling of both nonpotentially hazardous and potentially hazardous foods (see http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/i_&_c/sffsg.html)
(5) Egg production shall be limited to 15 dozen eggs per month.
- Permits a local city or county health enforcement office may require a community food producer or gleaner to register with the city or county and to provide specified information, including, but not limited to, their name, address, and telephone number
Please note that this is NOT a complete listing of the requirements associated with AB 224, AB 1871 or AB 1990.
Great news! Local shearer, Matt Gilbert has gotten approval for his new woolen mill. He expects to start processing wool in Ukiah by this fall. See the attached Ukiah Daily Journal article.
Extending research information is an important part of Cooperative Extension. As communication technology is advancing every day, using modern channels of communication are important for successfully reaching out to growers, PCAs, and other key players of the agriculture industry. Electronic newsletters - Strawberries and Vegetables and Pest News, traditional newsletter – Central Coast Agriculture Highlights, Facebook posts, Twitter feeds - @calstrawberries and @calveggies, and Tumblr posts, and online repository of meeting handouts and presentations are some of the tools that play a critical role in making important information about my strawberry and vegetable extension program readily available to the agricultural industry. Popularity of smartphones has made all these sources handy, both literally and figuratively. Smartphone applications are becoming popular in agriculture to provide information, monitor various aspects, and for decision making. However, there are no such applications to help California strawberry and vegetable growers. In an effort to provide easy access to pest and disease information on various crops, IPMinfo was developed and is currently available for free download for iPhones on App Store. The first version was released in December, 2014 and an updated version was released in April, 2015.
IPMinfo is the first IPM information app from University of California and currently has information on strawberry pests and diseases. It provides one-touch access about the biology, symptoms of damage, and management options of pests and diseases to agricultural professionals.
To download the app on iPhones, go to the App Store and search for IPMinfo. Main features of the app are described below:
Home: Takes the user to the crop issues – Pests and Diseases. Pests include aphids, cyclamen mite, greenhouse whitefly, lygus bug, spider mite, and western flower thrips. Diseases include angular leaf spot, anthracnose, botrytis fruit rot, charcoal rot, common leaf spot, fusarium wilt, leaf blotch and petiole blight, leather rot, mucor fruit rot, pytophthora crown rot, powdery mildew, red stele, rhizopus fruit rot, verticillium wilt, and viral decline. Each pest has information on its biology, damage symptoms, and management options and associated photos. Links provided on the management section will take the user to UC IPM website that has more detailed information especially about various control options. Tapping on the picture will enlarge and allows the user to zoom in. Disease section has information on symptoms and management options along with pictures.
List of bacterial, fungal, and viral diseases of strawberries
Discover: Brief introduction to the app and what it does.
About Us: General information about the app, photo credits, and an option to send me an email.
Pest News: Provides a list of articles on my eNewsletter, Pest News. Tapping on the title of the article will take you to the newsletter through the app.
Berries-Veggies: Provides a list of articles on my eNewsletter, Strawberries and Vegetables. Tapping on the title of the article will take you to the newsletter through the app.
Having an app for like IPMinfo facilitates an easy access, especially when out in the field or not at the computer, to a quick summary of various pests and diseases, pictures to help identify the issue, and links to provide additional information./span>
Identifying nontarget crop and ornamental plant damage from herbicides has become much easier with the launch of a new online photo repository by the Statewide IPM Program, University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Herbicides applied to manage weeds may move from the site where it was applied in the air or by attaching to soil particles and traveling as herbicide-contaminated soil. When an herbicide contacts a nontarget plant, a plant it was not intended to contact, it can cause slight to serious injury. Herbicide injury also occurs when the sprayer is not properly cleaned after a previous herbicide application. Herbicide residue can be found in the spray tank, spray lines, pumps, filters and nozzles so a sprayer must be thoroughly cleaned after an application. Dry herbicide particles can be redissolved months later and cause herbicide damage to plants. Economic damage includes reduced yield, poor fruit quality, distorted ornamental or nursery plants, and occasionally plant death.
Accurately diagnosing plants that may have herbicide injuries is difficult. In many cases, herbicide symptoms look very similar to symptoms caused by diseases, nutrient deficiencies, environmental stress and soil compaction. Plant disease symptoms such as mottled foliage, brown spots or stem death and plant pests such as insects or nematodes cause foliage to yellow and reduce plant growth similar to herbicide injury.
Dr. Kassim Al-Khatib, weed science professor at UC Davis and director of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM), has gathered nearly a thousand photos of herbicide-damaged plants, drawn from his own and others' research. The images are cataloged to show damage that can occur from 81 herbicides in more than 14 specific herbicide modes of action, applied in the field to demonstrate the symptoms or when known herbicide spray has drifted onto the plant.
Each image is characterized with the name of the plant, mode of action of the herbicide, and notes the specific symptoms of damage. Together these photos provide a comprehensive archive of damage to over 120 different crops and ornamental plants by known herbicides, which users can easily compare with what they see in the field.
Also included in the repository is information about the modes of action of various herbicides and an index of example herbicide trade names and active ingredients. Users can learn how unintended injury from herbicide occurs from misapplication and carryover from previous crops in addition to drift and herbicide-contaminated tanks.
The repository can be found at http://herbicidesymptoms.ipm.ucanr.edu. Increased knowledge about what causes herbicide damage and how it occurs can lead to fewer cases of herbicide injury occurring through drift or herbicide-contaminated tanks. Using the repository can increase the skill to correctly identify plant damage. Correctly identifying damage as herbicide injury and not from a plant pest or nutrient deficiency can prevent unnecessary applications of pesticides or fertilizers. Fewer applications can lessen the risk of harm of pesticides and fertilizers to people and the environment.
Soil application of the entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum protects strawberry plants from spider mite damage
Entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana is known to endophytically colonize various plants and provide protection against arthropod pests. Information of such endophytic interaction of another entomopathogenic fungus Metarhizium brunneum (=M. anisopliae) is limited.
A greenhouse study was conducted in 2010 to evaluate the endophytic potential of B. bassiana (commercial isolate GHA and a California isolate SfBb1) and M. brunneum (commercial isolate F52 and a California isolate GmMa1). Strawberry plants were grown in pots and fungal inocula were applied to the potting medium, vermiculite. When roots and aerial parts were periodically sampled, surface sterilized, and plated on selective media, B. bassiana grew from roots, petioles, pedicels, leaf lamina, sepals, and calyxes whereas M. brunneum was never detected from those tissues. It was initially thought that M. brunneum did not colonize strawberry plants.
However, there was an accidental infestation of twospotted spider mite, Tetranychus urticae on strawberry plants meant for another repetition of the endophyte study with M. brunneum isolates. Among those plants, 32 were treated with M. brunneum isolates and 20 were untreated control plants. Treatments were administered by applying 100 ml of conidial suspension at 1X10^10 conidia/ml concentration around the base of each potted plant. Each isolate had 16 strawberry plants. Mite counts were not taken as the plants were initially intended for endophyte evaluation and leaves could not be destructively sampled. But the proportion of plants damaged by mite infestations were recorded 10 and 14 days after fungal inoculation.
Plants treated with M. brunneum isolates appeared to withstand spider mite infestations better than untreated controls. Since M. brunneum could not be detected in the plant tissue in the previous attempt, it was not clear at that time how the fungus helped strawberry plants to withstand mite damage.
A recent study using scanning electronic microcopy showed that M. brunneum endophytically colonized cowpea plants. It is possible that M. brunneum colonized strawberry plants, but could not be detected using selective medium technique. Another study demonstrated that B. bassiana and M. brunneum promoted the growth of cabbage plants and improved the biomass. In the current study, M. brunneum probably improved the moisture absorption in strawberry plants through mycorrhizal interaction and helped withstand the spider mite infestations which are usually worse in plants under water stress. Fungal toxins in strawberry plants might have also impacted spider mites in a manner similar to the effect of endophytic B. bassiana on green peach aphid, Myzus persicae, in a different study. Observations from the current study indicate the potential of M. brunneum as an endophyte in protecting plants from arthropod damage. Additional studies are required to further investigate this interaction.
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Dale Spurgeon, USDA-ARS for providing laboratory and greenhouse resources for this study.
Dara, S. K. and S. R. Dara. 2015. Entomopathogenic fungus Beauveria bassiana endophytically colonizes strawberry plants. UCANR eNewsletter Strawberries and Vegetables, February 17, 2015.
Dara, S. K., S. S. Dara, and S. S. Dara. 2014. Entomopathogenic fungi as plant growth enhancers. 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology and International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control, August 3-7, Mainz, Germany, pp. 103-104.
Golo, P. S., W. Arruda, F. R. S. Paixão, F. M. Alves, E.K.K. Fernandes, D. W. Roberts, and V.R.E.P. Bittencourt. 2014. Interactions between cowpea plants vs. Metarhizium spp. entomopathogenic fungi. 47th Annual Meeting of the Society for Invertebrate Pathology and International Congress on Invertebrate Pathology and Microbial Control, August 3-7, Mainz, Germany, pp. 104.
Vega, F. E., F. Posada, M. C. Aime, M. Pava-Ripoll, F. Infante, and S. A. Rehner. 2008. Entomopathogenic fungal endophytes. Biol. Con. 46:72-82.