Want to keep up with the latest news for growers? Check back every Thursday for a quick recap of recent happenings in the fruit and vegetable industry.

USDA NASS to Release Results of the 2014 and 2015 Organic Certifier Survey
The National Agricultural Statistics Service’s Agricultural Statistics Board released results of the 2014 and 2015 Organic Certifier Survey. NASS collected data on acreage and livestock data for years 2014 and 2015 from USDA-accredited organic certifying agents in the United States. Information published includes the number of certified organic operations along with the number of acres certified for various crops, and the reported livestock and poultry certified as organic.

EPA Requires Stronger Standards for Applying the Riskiest Pesticides
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing standards for applicators who apply restricted-use pesticides that are not available for purchase by the general public and require special handling. The action will reduce the likelihood of harm from the misapplication because the pesticides may only be applied by a certified applicator or someone working under their direct supervision. EPA’s stricter standards would require all people who are certified to apply restricted use pesticides to be at least 18 years of age. These certifications must be renewed every five years.