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Taylor: FDA will make food rules more farmer friendly

Growers, you were heard. But what's next?

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Feedback wanted on Washington’s consolidation plan

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Four Washington tree fruit industry organizations will consolidate next summer, and the question now is how best to do it, Robert Kershaw told members of the Washington State Horticultural Association at their annual meeting.

“People keep

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Understanding how the Affordable Care Act affects growers

Ag employers and employees face a mandate to offer and have health insurance.

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Good Point: A troubling case

The enforcers of federal law are apparently trying to send a stern message: as a produce farmer,if you send adulterated food to market, you may be charged with a crime.

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Northwest seeks food safety answers

The Center for Produce Safety is seeking scientists to address food safety knowledge gaps in the Northwest.

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Northwest seeks food safety answers

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The states of Washington, ­Oregon, and Idaho are working with the Center for Produce Safety to fund research that will help Pacific Northwest growers comply with new federal food safety ­regulations.

The U.S. Food and Drug

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Arsenic and fruit juice

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The fruit juice industry is keeping quiet these days, not relishing a public debate over how much arsenic should be allowed in juices, particularly apple and grape juice.

Arsenic is a scary word. In 2011, Consumer

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Good Point: The EEOC is targeting Pacific Northwest growers

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Growers should be on alert for claims made by employees to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a federal agency that enforces laws against workplace discrimination based on gender, race, national origin, disability, and religion.

The commission

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Looking for common ground

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More food safety regulations are going to be a tough pill to swallow for tree fruit growers, but U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials say it’s for their own good.

The FDA is charged with implementing

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Water regulations worry growers

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Of the many new requirements that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is proposing as it implements the Food Safety Modernization Act, those relating to water are of particular concern to orchardists in the Pacific

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Pesticide residues on apples studied

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In response to industry concerns about complying with Maximum Residue Levels for pesticides in export markets, the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission has been conducting residue studies to help apple and cherry growers make more

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UC Davis hosts produce safety workshop

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The University of California, Davis, is offering a workshop on produce safety, November 5-7. The interactive workshop will focus on microbial produce safety systems from preharvest to postharvest. Participants will learn about the

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Forum on immigration reform

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The North Central Washington Immigration Reform Roundtable will present a forum on immigration reform at Wenatchee Valley College on September 26. Participants will include: Jon Wys, Okanogan County Farm Bureau president; Wenatchee attorney

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Deadline approaching for Affordable Care Act

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The Washington Farm Labor Association reminds all agricultural employers, regardless of the number of their workers, that October 1 begins the new requirement of providing workers with written notice of healthcare coverage options.

Under the Fair

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New safety program looks for feedback in Pasco

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A new program to educate and improve agricultural safety for workers will be announced at a public forum August 7 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Pasco, Washington, Red Lion Hotel.

The forum will allow

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Good Stuff

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Closer receives registration
Dow AgroSciences has received federal registration of its sulfoxaflor insecticide, sold under the brand name Closer, which is designed to control sap-feeding insects, such as aphids, in tree fruits and other crops. It

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Performance report

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After a year of work, the team of researchers developing Solid-Set Canopy Delivery Systems has issued its first report—and the results look promising.

Control of codling moth and mildew was “not quite as good” as airblast

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Surround might deter stinkbugs

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The brown marmorated stinkbug is a challenge to control for any fruit grower, and organic growers have the fewest strategies of all.

That’s why Win Cowgill and colleagues at Rutgers Cooperative Extension in New Jersey decided

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AVAs get smaller

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In wine marketing, an appellation or American ­Viticultural Area (AVA) is a way to differentiate your wine from others and define its sense of place. Washington State has 13 designated AVAs, and more are likely

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B.C. growers hope for compensation

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A review of the Columbia River Treaty, which the United States and Canada entered in 1964, has British Columbia growers hoping for compensation for the impact it’s had on their industry.

While the treaty has been

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Leading by example

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Servando Rodriguez manages the production of 400 acres of apples and cherries and 450 acres of wine grapes for Sagemoor Farms.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

For an immigrant who ended his formal education at the age of

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The NOSB’s ‘lose-lose’ decision

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A decision by the National Organic Standards Board not to extend use of a key antibiotic to control fireblight in organic fruit production represents a loss for both producers and consumers, says Harold Austin, an

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Food safety mistakes

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This creative, portable handwashing facility meets GlobalGAP requirements. Water is clearly labeled.
PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN PHEASANT

For growers just getting started in the food safety certification arena, preparing for your first food safety audit can be

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Great expectations

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Milinda Dwyer

Mega retailer Costco Wholesale has high expectations when it comes to food safety and requires more from its suppliers than most, says Milinda Dwyer, Costco food safety representative.

Dwyer, based in the company’s headquarters in

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SWD challenges growers

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Unlike the common drosophila flies, spotted wing drosophila will attack cherries before they are ripe.
PHOTO BY PETER SHEARER, OSU

After feeling little pressure from the spotted wing drosophila in 2011, Washington State cherry growers battled the

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Last Bite

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1  True or false? The Z-Trap is a device for killing Zetzellia mali?

2  How many gallons of fuel does it take to transport a carload of apples by rail from Washington State to New York City?

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Meet Washington State’s new agriculture director

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Bud Hover’s road to directorship of the Washington State Department of Agriculture began in 1938 when his mother and her family loaded their belongings on a truck and left North Dakota, headed west at 35

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Your management program matters

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LEFT: Above left: Adult A. mali are affected by most of the tested reduced-risk pesticides. RIGHT: The parasitic wasp Aphelinus mali attacks woolly apple aphids and leaves black, swollen aphid mummies behind.
PHOTO BY ELIZABETH BEERS,

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Choose your poison carefully

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A barn owl nesting box at Omeg Orchards. Notice the metal underneath the box that’s used to prevent raccoons from climbing the pole to reach the next.
PHOTO BY MELISSA HANSEN

As growers put barn owls and

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Food Safety

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● The May 16 deadline looms for public comments on two of the proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act. Given the complexity of these proposals, and the fact that not all the contemplated FSMA

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An urgent plea for immigration reform

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Devout Christians will tell you God works in mysterious ways.

So, perhaps it was divine intervention that two teenagers from the Yakima Valley in Washington State happened to appear in court on the same day, the

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Last Bite: FruiTrivia

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1. An experimental Solid Set Canopy Delivery System is designed for:
a.    Applying pesticides
b.    Evaporative cooling
c.     Dispensing pheromones
d.    Irrigation
e.    Frost control

2. The name of the DBR fruit harvesting system stands for:
a.     Drive-By Reaper
b.    Dwan

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What Tier 4 standards mean

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Fuel requirements. New engines will require ultra-low sulfur diesel that has no more than 15 parts per million of sulfur. (This fuel has been used since 2006 in on-highway vehicles.)

New engine technology. Changes likely to

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Ladder falls top accident list

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Farming is a dangerous occupation, which makes accident prevention even more important.

Farming is one of the four most dangerous of U.S. occupations, resulting in more on-the-job deaths and injuries than all other types of work,

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Start working on health care now

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Health care reform will add to employers’ costs and complicate their business when regulations take effect next year. But, attorney Sheldon Blumling says agricultural employers need to face reality and start working now on analyzing

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Are you over 50?

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To find out if you will be required to provide a health benefits plan for your employees starting January 1, you need to ­calculate if you have 50 or more full-time equivalent employees.

The calculation method

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New off-road emission standards coming

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Clean diesel technology has been making its way off the highways and into farms and fields and other off-road uses since the 1990s. For growers, this has translated into more expensive and sophisticated tractors and

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How integrated mite control works

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One of the keys to integrated mite control was that the western predatory mite Typhlodromus occidentalis could effectively control spider mites under certain conditions. In the picture, a “typh” attacks the larger European red mite.
PHOTO

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Calculating the value of biological control

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Washington State University entomologist Dr. Stan Hoyt developed integrated mite control in the late 1960s (see “How integrated mite control works”).

Over the last four decades, integrated mite control has saved Washington fruit growers millions of

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Return from Barcelona

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● This past Sunday I arrived back from Barcelona, Spain. There, I had attended the 2013 Global Food Safety Conference, the main annual gathering for GFSI, the Global Food Safety Initiative. About 780 delegates from

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One last Guthion spray

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Fruit growers in Michigan can use existing stocks of the insecticide azinphos-methyl (Guthion) one more time before it is phased out at the end of September this year. When should they use it?

Michigan State University

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Speak out

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Proposed regulations to implement the Food Safety Modernization Act could bring dramatic changes to the growing, harvest, and packing of tree fruit. Although state, regional, and national trade groups are coordinating responses to the draft

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Certification not unique to produce

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Agriculture, with its various food safety and sustainable production standards now required by many retailers, is not the only industry subject to standards. Hundreds of national and international standards exist relating to all types of

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Food Safety Committee guides research

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The Pacific Northwest Food SafetyCommittee, an industry advisory group representing tree fruit growers, packers, and researchers, was organized in 2007 to guide the Northwest tree fruit industry and Northwest Horticultural Council on food safety issues.

Since

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Why the National Organic Standards Board made its decision

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In 2011, when the National Organic Standards Board made a formal recommendation to the National Organic Program to permit oxytetracyline for fireblight control in apples and pears only until October 21, 2014, the board stated

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Behind the scenes at the NOSB

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Harold Austin

In April, the National Organic Standards Board will decide whether organic apple and pear growers in the United States will be allowed to use the antibiotic oxytetracycline beyond the next two seasons. Tetracycline antibiotics

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National Organic Standards Board members

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Producers:

Carmela Beck, organic program manager, Driscoll’s Strawberry Associates, Inc., Watsonville, California.
Colehour Bondera, owner, Kanalani Ohana Farm, Honaunau, Hawaii.
Dr. Wendy Fulwider, animal husbandry specialist for Organic Valley/CROPP Cooperative, La Farge, Wisconsin, which is the nation’s largest

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How the NOSB makes decisions

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The National Organic Standards Board is a federal advisory committee that makes the decisions on which inputs can be used in organic agriculture. Generally, natural products are allowed in organic agriculture while synthetic products are

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Who’s on the NOSB

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The National Organic Standards Board has 15 members who serve five-year terms, though the terms are not equally staggered.

The membership is comprised of four farmers, three environmentalists or resource conservationists, three consumer or public interest

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Fireblight, antibiotics, and the NOSB

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Antibiotics have long been key disease control materials for fireblight, one of the few uses of antibiotics in plant agriculture. These materials are natural compounds produced by naturally occurring soil microorganisms. For the past several

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