Good Fruit Grower

July 2016

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Page 20 of 39 Good Fruit Grower JULY 2016 21 for sampling Ronald Bond of the University of California-Davis, shows a proper method for obtaining an accurate water sample during an irrigation water testing workshop in Selah, Washington, in May. Bond said samples should not be taken by skimming the surface or sides of an irrigation canal. Instead, dip the container mouth down into the water and sweep in a half-moon arc to obtain a representative sample. FSMA: The two rules G rowers are covered by the Produce Safety Rule, which lays out standards for the growing, harvesting, packing and holding of produce. Some fresh fruit packers might fall under the Produce Safety Rule if most of the fruit they pack comes from company-owned orchards, though the location of the orchards is also a factor. However, if most of the fruit comes from outside growers, the packer will likely fall under the Preventive Controls for Human Food Rule instead. Packers who handle fruit from their own orchards and from other growers will need to determine which rule applies to them. This also applies to storage facilities. Very small growers — those with less than $250,000 in annual produce sales — will have four years from Jan. 26, 2016 to comply with most provisions in the rule. Growers with $250,000 to $500,000 in sales will have three years to comply, and all others will have two years. However, growers will be given an additional two years to meet the water quality standards because of concerns about the difficulty that growers may have in meeting these new requirements. The biggest misconception about water sampling under the rule is that it's intended to ensure food safety, Partyka said. It's not. FSMA compliance for this agricultural rule is meant to ensure growers determine and understand the variability of their water quality, which requires monitoring. Things are messy in the outdoors, Partyka said, and there's plenty of variability to be found in an orchard or vineyard and near your water source. If it's raining hard in the mountains or upstream, there could be high runoff and higher turbidity in surface water. At certain times of year, animals are more active, resulting in greater potential for contaminants. A neighbor could be pulling out an orchard, driving wildlife closer to your property or water source or creating runoff. The water quality requirements under the rule require

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