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BeSure! This Growing Season

 Spring is in the air and the growing season is upon us! This year, BeSure! is back with its second annual national campaign. 

Stakeholders today appreciate how neonicotinoid seed treatments, foliar sprays, soil drenches and granules increase yields and boost revenues, but they are also committed to the importance of protecting bees and other wildlife. This spring, growers and applicators can follow a few simple guidelines to BeSure! they’re using pesticides safely. (For a downloadable / printable version of the tips below, visitGrowingMatters.org/BeSure.) 

For Growers:

  1. Follow directions on the label for appropriate storage, use and disposal practices.
  2. When planting treated seed, use advanced seed flow lubricants that minimize dust.
  3. When planting treated seed, eliminate flowering plants and weeds in and around the field prior to planting. For foliar applications, ensure that sprays are directed away from any flowering plants, follow established buffer zones and calibrate equipment to minimize spray drift.
  4. Before making an application, be aware of any honey bees and hives near the field and communicate with neighboring beekeepers prior to treatment.
  5. Remove and properly dispose of all treated seed. Keep all treated seed out of commodity grain channels.

For Applicators:

  1. Comply with all regulations when using registered pesticide products and ensure proper employee training prior to application.
  2. Apply best management practices when using treated seed, soil drenches or foliar sprays to minimize dust or spray drift. Establish written protocols using best practices to ensure high-quality seed treatment, foliar or field application.
  3. Adopt stewardship documentation for the full life cycle of seed treatment products.
  4. Properly discard any unused product, rinse water or seed treatment by following the label disposal instructions to minimize any potential environmental impact.
  5. Ensure that all required and pertinent neonicotinoid treatment information, consistent with the product label, is conveyed to customers. 

To learn more about best management practices to protect both crops and pollinators while handling neonicotinoid products, visit BeSure!, powered by the Growing Matters coalition and in conjunction with the American Seed Trade Association (ASTA), the National Pesticide Safety Education Center (NPSEC), the National Corn Growers Association, the American Soybean Association, CropLife America and the Agricultural Retailers Association.

 

What To Do If H2-A Denials or Delays Occur

There are at least a few2 reasons why the possibility of H2-A contracts are not fulfilled on time, partially or at all.  The reasons vary from the lack of follow-ups, visa denials, improper paperwork, and more.   According to our friends in the industry that handle thousands upon thousands of H2-A workers and petitions annually, the typical time frame from the submission of petitions to the arrival time of workers is ‘normally’ two weeks.  If that time frame is delayed, what should you do.

Delays can be for a variety of reasons, while we wait for the arrival of needed workers to do the work at hand.  If a delay or lack of response occurs, we suggest that you follow the steps below:

  • SEND AN EMAIL to the NWA so that we can collect & document the issue.  We will disguise all names and details and only use the over-arching issue with Washington to try to improve the process.
  • IMMEDIATELY CONTACT YOUR U.S. House Representative ‘every time’ you have an issue with the H2-A program.  Your elected representative has direct contacts; they will open up a case to look into a solution for you; and they can help.       
  • Any issues with USCIS or other sources related to the U.S. Government:  log on to this LINK and report the issue to USDA.  USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue has set up the website to learn about issues related to worker needs, and to get involved to solve the issues.  
  • Additionally, you can send an email to [email protected]
 

So Many Thanks to Offer

Words cannot express how grateful and blessed that we are from all of the support that was offered during the most recent national convention hosted by Disney at the Yacht & Beach Clubs Resort in Central Florida.  From start to finish the convention exceeded our expectations, with visits from the main Disney Cast (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald Duck and Cinderella), our military honorees (Major Ed Pulido, Kris Morgan & his service dog Andi, and Russell Previck), Jeremy James – our master of ceremonies, and the performance by repercussion was a show-stopper!  

Each and every year, our show - our success is due to the generosity of our sponsors that allow us to hold a convention such as we do.  Please …. When you come across them during the season, please extend a hand and thank them for their support.  They give us the ability to keep your registration fees at a produce industry low while we create a show (it’s not just a convention anymore) that attracts the largest attendance numbers that we have ever seen.  In fact, the convention at Disney World set an all-time attendance record of 611!    

Thanks to our exhibitors who enjoyed one of the best positions that we have ever had for the exhibit center.  Congratulations to all of the award winners and honorees.  And many thanks to the contributors to our philanthropy efforts with the Moffitt Cancer Center (Tampa, Florida) and the $100,000 military donation to the Warriors for Freedom and Folds of Honor Foundations.   

Certainly important to this effort, many thanks to our team of staff and volunteers for your excellent work.  It takes a small village to pull off all that we do to create a show that brings hundreds of people together each year.  Monica, Kelli, Tami, Eleanor, Kerri, Katie, Lori, Michelle, Linda, Rob, Rusty, Pam, our President (John Gee), our auctioneers (Ray & Jonah), Barbara, committee Chairs (John Lapide, Hami and Jordan), and more that I know chipped in – helped out – and deserve our thanks.  And finally, thank all of you that make the trip to attend our annual family reunion and make it as great as it was.  Enjoy the pictures HERE.  See you next February at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.    

 

Proof of Employment helps H2-A workers

With the recent and on-going developments resulting from the coronoavirus pandemic, the Mexican Consulate has only been allowing ‘returning workers’ into the country with approved worker visas.   However, with numerous law enforcement agencies watching border locations and states closer than normal due to the virus and the implications that have been the results, some workers have been approached or apprehended.  The way to minimize or eliminate that from occurring is to provide each worker with Proof of Employment.There have been a few reported cases of approved workers being stopped and questioned by U.S. authorities.  It is highly recommended that each worker (including green card holders) be provided PROOF OF EMPLOYMENT as farmworkers from the labor contractor or the employer.  Click below to access the recommended versions in English and Spanish languages. 

Also, a similar situation may be reasonably expected from truck drivers crossing the border.  Click below to access the recommended version in English and Spanish languages.

 

 NEW Public Charge Rule about to take effect 

The Trump administration's "public charge" rule,which allows the government to deny green cards or visas to legal immigrants who are deemed likely to use public assistance programs like food stamps, will go into force at the end of next month following this week's Supreme Court decision on the issue.  The public charge regulations will be enforced in every state but Illinois, where a federal appeals court has upheld a state-wide injunction.

Under the controversial policy, the government's ability to refuse green cards or visas for legal immigrants determined to be a "public charge," or dependent on public assistance, would be expanded. Those using or likely to use Medicaid, food stamps and other safety net programs would face greater scrutiny from immigration officials. The policy was finalized in August and originally slated to take effect in October.

 
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