Ag News: Rain and Cold in California and Organic Fraud Protection
**Rainfall the next few weeks will make a big difference in how California cattle ranchers manage their herds through the spring.
Ranchers say rainfall so far this winter has been adequate to keep pastures green, providing enough grass for their cattle.
But cool weather has meant the grass hasn't grown as fast as ranchers would like, and in some cases, ranchers say they're buying hay just in case.
**Government and private sector efforts are both needed to prevent organic fraud.
The USDA’s National Organic Program’s Jennifer Tucker tells thepacker.com, pending USDA regulations to strengthen fraud prevention, which should be available for a 60-day public comment period by the end of March, allows fewer organic handlers to be exempt from certification.
She says it also improves import oversight through electronic import certificates.
Customs and Border Protection will be launching a pilot program for the certificates in April.
**The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit struck down three biofuel waivers that were improperly issued by the EPA to small oil refineries.
The ruling is the result of a May 2018 challenge brought against the agency by the National Farmers Union, the Renewable Fuels Association, the National Corn Growers Association, and the American Coalition for Ethanol.
The groups alleged that EPA had not properly complied with the Renewable Fuel Standard when allocating the waivers.