ODA Proposes Repeal of Central OR Protected District for Brassicas

ODA Proposes Repeal of Central OR Protected District for Brassicas
By Oregonians for Food and Shelter


The Oregon Department of Agriculture filed proposed rules this week to repeal the Central OR Protected District for brassicas – which currently prohibits growing canola in the region and also restricts other cover crop brassicas. This comes in response to a petition to the agency by growers in the region. Notably, ODA outlines a number of reasons why growers benefit from access to brassicas as rotation crops, including benefits to soil health, disease management, weed control, water resilience and crop diversity. They also point out the equity benefits: ensuring that needed crops are available to all farmers contributes to community empowerment and resilience and enhances food security, particularly in rural areas with significant minority populations.


While we question why these same valid arguments were not brought forward by the agency during legislative discussions surrounding the Willamette Valley Protected District, it is essential to highlight this information and the agency’s actions now as we continue to ask for the same access and equity benefits for our Valley producers.


EPA Mitigation Workshop


This week, OFS attended a full-day “mitigation workshop” organized by EPA and USDA. The goal of the workshop was to 1) provide detail to stakeholders on how EPA is responding to feedback on the mitigations proposed in their ESA-related strategies; and 2) hear from agricultural stakeholders from different crops and states on the various conservation practices and programs already in place, and possibilities for these to be considered as mitigations. EPA received a wealth of information about existing programs and practices and we hope this continues to support more realistic and viable decisions from the agency. EPA remains open to additional mitigation options that have not been considered, along with any available data demonstrating the efficacy of those options. Let us know if you’d like to submit information, we can help. Next week, we will continue discussions about mitigations at a workshop targeting more localized solutions led by Dani Lightle, Oregon State University, Gary Bahr, Washington State Department of Agriculture, and Annie Krueger, Compliance Service International.


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