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In brief for Oregon on July 22, 2011


Raspberry program OK'd


Raspberry producers and importers have voted to start a research and promotion program for processed raspberries, the USDA has announced.


The vote was taken in a referendum conducted by the Agricultural Marketing Service in June.


In the referendum, 88 percent of those voting favored implementing the Processed Raspberry Promotion, Research and Information Order. Only producers and importers of more than 20,000 pounds of raspberries for processing in 2010 were eligible to vote.


The new program will be administered under AMS supervision by a 13-member council, including six producers from states producing at least 3 million pounds of raspberries for processing.


Washington state is the leading raspberry producer in the nation, according to USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, followed by California and Oregon.


The program will be funded by a mandatory assessment of 1 cent per pound of raspberries paid by producers and importers who meet or exceed 20,000 pounds per year.


The assessments will be used to help expand, maintain and develop markets for processed raspberries in the U.S. and abroad, according to a USDA press release.


--Mitch Lies




State seeks water plan comments


The Oregon Water Resources Department is seeking public comments on recommended actions it proposes as part of the state's draft Integrated Water Resources Strategy.


The proposed actions address a dozen issues, including water supply and quality, infrastructure and public health issues.


The department is developing the water strategy with other state agencies and tribes to help the state understand and meet future water needs.


"Even though we are known as a water-rich state, Oregon has significant needs in terms of water availability and quality," said Phil Ward, director of the department.


Oregon's first Integrated Water Resources Strategy is scheduled for publication and adoption in 2012.


To comment, go to the department's website -- www.wrd.state.or.us -- and click on "project page."


--Mitch Lies




Pesticide maker settles with EPA


A Harrisburg, Ore., pesticide manufacturer agreed July 12 to pay a $54,080 settlement to the federal Environmental Protection Agency for using outdated labeling.


The EPA found Or-Cal used the outdated labeling on its private label slug and snail bait at least 52 times in 2008 and 2009.


The agency issued a stop sale order in 2009. The order was lifted after the company brought its label into compliance, according to an EPA pesticide official.


Or-Cal manufactures and packages pesticides under its private label and for other companies.


The infractions occurred on the company's private label, said Derrick Terada, an official in EPA's Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act program.


The infractions involved discrepancies in where the product could be used and in the label's first aid statement, Terada said.


The infractions were uncovered during a routine inspection, Terada said.


Terada said it appeared the infractions were unintentional.


"It seemed like an honest mistake," Terada said.


EPA takes into account the level of a violation, intent, toxicity of product, and a company's cooperation and willingness to comply when assessing various penalties, Terada said.


--Mitch Lies



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