What We Do
The Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures is responsible for administering laws and regulations pertaining to plant quarantine, pesticide use, weights and measures, and agricultural statistics. The department operates under the authority of the State of California and is mandated to enforce provisions of the California Food and Agricultural Code, California Business and Professions Code and the California Code of Regulations.
What We Did In 2014
The Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures had a busy year in 2014. It not only increased oversight of agricultural pesticides used near public schools and licensed daycare facilities, but it also helped state and federal partner agencies implement swift responses to harmful agricultural pests that made their way into San Luis Obispo County.
Protecting SLO County Children, Students and Others
In an effort to protect children, students and others throughout the county, the Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures focused additional resources to the oversight and surveillance of pesticides applications on agricultural crops grown within a quarter mile of public schools and licensed daycare facilities.
The department’s Pesticide Use Enforcement inspectors ensured that all safeguards were in place to protect students and others at various locations. They also increased monitoring to better determine the level of compliance by pesticide applicators and to better understand how pesticides were being used near schools and licensed daycare facilities.
Quick Response in Pest Prevention
The department also worked to preserve what many in the community love most about SLO County: the abundance and variety of crops grown here, beautiful native habitats, and healthy urban landscapes.
Department staff discovered exotic and harmful agricultural pests through early detection and responded quickly to prevent any harmful effects. More than 14,000 plant shipments were held for inspection by department staff, who inspected, intercepted, quarantined, excluded and destroyed the plant shipments and found that some were infested with harmful pests originating from other areas of the Unites States and the world.
Finding exotic pests while populations are small, localized and more readily controllable is vital to protecting our local agriculture industry, native plants, landscapes and the environment. So the department was pleased when county residents agreed to host insect traps on private property to determine whether destructive insect pests were present. Staff inspected residential insect traps more than 49,000 times in 2014, with mostly negative results.
A small, isolated population of the Asian Citrus Psyllid, an insect that can carry a disease that affects citrus trees, was detected and controlled. Fortunately, the citrus disease was not found anywhere in SLO County, thanks to the hard work of Department of Agriculture/Weights and Measures staff.
For more details on the County’s Department of Agriculture/Weights & Measures, download its individual Annual Report.