The Agricultural Commissioner is dedicated to worker health and safety, the protection of environmental resources, and the promotion of the agricultural sector of Monterey County.
The Agricultural Commissioner's Office's Services
are Available During COVID-19 "Shelter in Place" Emergency Order
Para obtener detalles de nuestros horarios e información de contacto, haga clic en el enlace correspondiente
are Available During COVID-19 "Shelter in Place" Emergency Order
For details of our hours and contact information,
please click on the appropriate link.
Advisory for Agricultural Worker Protection During COVID-19
Crisis on the Central Coast of California (updated)
Asesoramiento para la Protecion de los Trabajadores Agricolas Durante la Crisis de Covid-19 (updated)
Advisory Videos for Farmworkers (Español, Mixteco, Triqui, y Mixteco)
USDA and DOL Announce Information Sharing to Assist H-2A Employers
U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced a partnership between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to help facilitate (continue)
Beekeepers, PCAs and Growers/Applicators
Maintenance Gardeners & Pesticide Safety Brochure
The brochure summarizes what a pesticide is and emphasizes that the label is the law, and it must be followed. It also contains licensing requirements. If you are a Maintenance Gardener Pest Control Business, licensed by CDPR, you must register your business in the counties where you intend to work. The brochure briefly describes Best Pre-application, Application, and Post-Application Practices as well as Best Pesticide Storage and Disposal Practices.
If you need additional information, please stop by our office, and a Pesticide Use Enforcement Inspector will be happy to answer your questions.
Industrial Hemp in Monterey County
Monterey County currently has a one-year pilot program that permits cultivation and processing of industrial hemp on a limited basis. Monterey County Ordinance No. 5314 establishes a new combined zoning district in Chapter 21.49, “HMP” District, of the inland zoning ordinance where the cultivation of industrial hemp is a use allowed subject to certain regulations. The ordinance also amended the Sectional District Zoning Maps for areas in the North County Area Plan and South County Area Plan boundaries that have a base zoning designation of Farmlands “F” and that were previously cultivated.
Within the HMP district, industrial hemp cultivation is allowed subject to approval of a registration by the Agricultural Commissioner consistent with the California Hemp Law in Division 24 of the California Code of Regulations. Limitations established in the industrial hemp pilot program include:
- Approval of no more than 30 registrations by the Agricultural Commissioner;
- Location of industrial hemp cultivation sites within the HMP zoning district;
- Only allowed on previously cultivated sites;
- A maximum cultivated area per registration of 100 acres; and
- Compliance with state law (includes registration application process, testing requirements, destruction of plants that do not pass tests and criminal history reporting).
Hemp processing facilities are treated in the same manner as any other agricultural processing facility in the Farmland zoning district pursuant to the Monterey County Code. If a processing facility has been previously permitted on a site within the HMP District, it is allowed to process hemp under the Ag Commissioner’s registration. However, if no permitted facility exists or one exists outside the HMP District, the appropriate land use entitlements would need to be obtained prior to construction or use, just like a traditional agricultural processing facility.
This pilot program includes a sunset date of August 31, 2020. Registrations for industrial hemp cultivation needed to be submitted to the Agricultural Commissioner on or before August 31, 2019. In accordance with state law, an approved registration is valid for one year. This pilot program is currently being amended in order to provide for new or extend registration beyond August 31, 2020. The Monterey County Planning Commission will be hearing a proposal to extend the program time period and include parcels which were split by buffer zones to communities. If passed and approved by the Board of Supervisors, the program will continue for another three years and more proposals may be made in the future to expand the program.
Asian Citrus Psyllid Detected in Monterey County
Monterey County had its first detection of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) on June 7, 2016, in a residential area of Northeast Salinas. This resulted in voluntary treatment of hosts within 400 meters of the find, and the establishment of a five-mile quarantine area. Any find triggers a delimitation trapping survey, treatments within 400 meters of the find, and possibly an expansion of the quarantine area.
A second find of a single psyllid was confirmed in November 2016 from a trap in the Toro Park area. This resulted in the expansion of the quarantine area and a new delimitation survey. The quarantine expansion area has few hosts and no commercial citrus or nurseries.
A third find of a single psyllid was confirmed in June 2017 from a trap in Spreckels. This again resulted in an expansion of the quarantine area.
A fourth find of a single psyllid was confirmed in December 2018 on a citrus tree located at 129 Buena Vista Park in Soledad. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) initiated a 50-meter survey around that find site and immediately found several more properties that had ACP. Due to new ACP finds, the surveys expanded to the west to include the Santa Elena Mobile Home Park where multiple ACP life stages of adults and nymphs were found.
The Notice of Treatment for the Asian Citrus Psyllid in Soledad 1 was obtained, and the public meeting was held at the local High School on January 22, 2019. Residents of affected properties were invited to the public meeting where officials from CDFA, Department of Pesticide Regulations (DPR), Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment, and the County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office were available to address resident’s questions and concerns. Residents were notified in writing at least 48 hours in advance of any treatments in accordance with the Food and Agricultural Code sections 5771-5779 and 5421-5436.
The Soledad 2 area was triggered after a find at 1828 Monterey Street was confirmed on January 9, 2019. A new 400-meter treatment area was put in place. This area slightly overlapped the Soledad 1 area.
The Notice of Treatment for the Soledad area was then amended to include the newly expanded treatment area. The second public meeting was held on February 28, 2019. Treatments began on March 4, 2019.
In addition to treating citrus hosts in the Soledad ACP infested area, the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office will be adopting a program to release Tamarixia radiata, an Asian Citrus Psyllid parasitoid.
Asian citrus psyllid is a threat to California's citrus industry. It transmits a disease called Citrus Greening or Huanglongbing (HLB) that is fatal to citrus trees. HLB causes asymmetrical yellowing and splotching of leaves. Affected trees produce bitter, inedible, misshapen fruit and eventually die. The ACP is a small insect about the size of an aphid. It feeds on citrus stems and leaves, especially tender new growth.
HLB disease has been found in Southern California. It can be spread through the movement of citrus trees, fruit or infected budwood. Homeowners should plant only certified disease-free citrus from a reputable nursery and not move plant material around. Inspect your citrus often and report any suspicious insects or symptoms to the Agricultural Commissioner or call the CDFA hotline at (800) 491-1899.
A map of the ACP quarantine area is available here: Map
USDA APHIS-WS IWDM Program & Agreement Renewal
Final EIR now available
(see appendices below)
Draft EIR Available for Review - USDA APHIS-WS IWDM Program & Agreement Renewal
The public review period for this document begins on August 17, 2017, and ends on October 3, 2017. This review period is established for the purpose of receiving written comments on the accuracy and adequacy of the Draft EIR together with other information relative to the environmental effects of the project. You may click on sections of the document shown below.
- DEIR Notice of Availability
- Monterey USDA DEIR (August 2017)
- DEIR Appendix A - NOP-IS & Comments
- DEIR Appendix B - Background
- DEIR Appendix C - Biological Resources
2017 Ranch Map Atlas Product Updates
Hard Copy/Paper Atlases - available now:
The 2017 Ranch Map paper atlases are available at the Agricultural Commissioner’s office in Salinas.
- 89 Page (with TRS grid) - $35.00 + tax
- 34 Page (with TRS grid) - $25.00 + tax
- 34 Page (without TRS grid) - $25.00 + tax
Digital Atlases and Maps - available now on:
- The Agricultural Commissioner's website Ranch Map page.
Access the atlas map pages and indexes online.
- Ranch Map Atlas web-CD ($10 + tax).
- Ranch Map Wall Map web-CD ($10 + tax). These web-CDs are available in our Salinas office. By using either of these resources you can access the maps directly from an interactive CD.
- The Agricultural Commissioner's website Map Gallery page.
This gallery has several online viewers containing the new 2017 ranch map data.
A Business of Details - Exporting a California Specialty Crop
Companies that are new to exporting and companies that have previously considered and abandoned an exporting plan can use A Business of Details to get up to speed on terminology, processes, common pitfalls and strategies for success. This training video follows a shipment of Romaine Lettuce from a packing facility in Salinas, CA to its destination in Taiwan.
For Your Information
Pesticides & Schools
|On April 24, 2019, the Agricultural Commissioner's Office held a press conference and provided an update on the expansion of the pilot fumigant notification project to seven schools. Press Release|
- USDA Secretary Vilsack explains the value of rural America and our ag communities.
- Memorandum on Pesticides, Schools. The Agricultural Commissioner releases a memorandum on issues related to pesticide use near schools.
- El Nino Preparedness. Ready or not, here comes the weather! Check out this link to the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County’s Hillslope Farming Runoff Management Practices Guide for some help with getting ready. For more information or to contact the RCD, visit www.rcdmonterey.org.
Accelerated erosion is a violation of Monterey County Code.
Keep your valuable soil and be a good neighbor – Be Prepared!
Issues Identified with CEHTP's April 2014 Report
Analysis of state report that raises ongoing concerns about agricultural pesticide use near Monterey County schools identifies flaws and limitations of the report. Read the ag commissioner's analysis here: High Resolution (60 MB) or Low Resolution (4 MB)
In the News
Project launched to rid Salinas River of nasty weed
A five-year project to rid the Salinas River of invasive, cane-like Arundo plants was launched Wednesday that will initially cover some 200 acres of river area between Gonzales and the Monterey County line to the south. It’s a massive undertaking with a total of 1,400 acres in need of removal, making the Salinas River the second-largest Arundo infestation in California. This project, a partnership between the Resource Conservation District of Monterey County and the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, is funded by a $1.1 million grant from the California Wildlife Conservation Board. read more...