After a series of public roundtable events, California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) has several chlorpyrifos questions as to how the industry is going to be moving forward. The Chlorpyrifos Alternatives Work Group released its preliminary recommendations that put forth a five-year action plan for navigating the impact that the cancellation of chlorpyrifos is going to have. One of the points in the outline highlights current alternatives for chlorpyrifos that are available and where alternatives will need to be developed.
“What are going to be the compounding impacts of those alternatives? Will we have to do multiple applications? asked Taylor Roschen, Director of Commodities and Land Use with CFBF’s Government Affairs Division. “How effective will those alternatives actually be in managing our pest pressures?”
Some of the chlorpyrifos questions that were raised through the public roundtables were where additional funding would be needed and where it would be coming from. “What kind of funds are we talking about? General funds? Is it the mill assessment? Is it some sort of special fund that’s available and who can access that to manage their issue? Is it going to be third parties that aren’t farmers on the ground who are financially struggling?” said Roschen.
Some of the suggestions for mitigating the impact that the absence of chlorpyrifos will have on agriculture included addressing the regulatory timeline for new products to get to the market and increasing funding for research. A critical component for furthering research is the personnel to support that effort. Roschen highlighted a need for more University of California (UC) farm advisors and noted that CFBF is pushing for an additional $20 million for the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.
“Our farm advisors are trusted, knowledgeable members of both the academic and the agricultural community,” Roschen noted. “If the state is encouraging growers to look towards regenerative agriculture, to be sustainable, to use [Integrated Pest Management] practices, to apply the research that the UC’s and CSU’s have found, farm advisors are how that’s translated to the grower.”