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Important Information for 2017 Crop year
Upcoming Requirements for agriculture within the Coalition boundaries
1. Farm Evaluation Plan Surveys for Growers in High Vulnerable Areas - must be completed and turned into the coalition by April 1, 2017 to the Coalition
2. Nitrogen Management Plans - Must be completed on the farm site by June 15, 2017. Those farming in High Vulnerable areas for groundwater leaching of nitrates must have their plans certified. High Vulnerable Areas Map. (this is a large file and may take time to download)
3. Upcoming grower meetings - Click here
4. Sediment and Erosion Control Plans information - Click here
Over the past year several violations have been issued by the Regional Water Quality Control Board for growers in delta area of Contra Costa County, Stanislaus County and up in Northern California for excessive sediment discharge of irrigation runoff into waterways. The Regional Board is actively enforcing water quality standards for sediment discharges.
The regional board has issued a letter for all the growers in the area that drains in and around Brentwood and the Discovery Bay. Click here to see the letter.
Here is a UC Extension pamphlet that contains some good information on sediment control. It discusses pesticides movement in sediment and management practices to prevent sediment from leaving the field. UC Publication
Here is another publication on sediment pond design published by CURES. Sediment Pond Design
Best Management Practices Links - This page has links to many different sites that provide information on how to address many water quality issues and which practices farmers and ranchers can employ to improve water quality.
Despite getting Regional Board approval to remove specific pesticides from seven different waterways, samples collected by the Coalition continue to have detections of pesticides such as Chlorpyrifos (Lorsban). In 2016 there were three detections of chlorpyrifos above the standard and in 2016 there have been a detections of a herbicide above water quality standards (diuron).
The chlorpyrifos detections in 2016 occurred in 3 subwatersheds that are already in a management plan for chlorpyrifos. These subwatersheds include Terminous Tract, Mormon Slough, and French Camp Slough. A review of pesticide applications indicates applications to alfalfa, grapes, walnuts and almonds by both members and non members may have contributed to the detections downstream. The Coalition has conducted multiple years of outreach within all the subwatersheds and members within these subwatersheds have documented various management practices such as retention ponds/holding basins, center grass rows, reducing the amount of irrigation runoff and reducing use of the pesticide of concern.
Herbicides have also been detected in samples from French Camp Slough have had detections of diuron above water quality standards. In addition, the same samples with herbicides were toxic to algae. The herbicides detected in French Camp Slough may have been due to pre-emergent sprays.
Many within the agricultural community might not realize there are certain pesticides that the Regional Water Quality Control Board have listed as Prohibited Discharge Pesticides. Some of these pesticides are commonly used without use restrictions. These products include Carbofuron (Furdan), Malathion, Molinate (Ordram), Methyl parathion (Parathion),and Thiobencarb (Bolero).
It is important for the agriculture community to prevent any runoff from their property that might contain any of these products. Anytime the coalitions detects any one of these pesticides it must report to the regional board and take steps to find out the source of the pesticide. The coalitions will then hold grower meeting to inform growers of proper management practices that need to be implemented to prevent further runoff of these targeted pesticides.