Agricultural & Environmental Protection
- Pesticide Use Enforcement
- Pest Detection
- Pest Exclusion
- Pest Eradication
- Nursery Inspection
- Direct Marketing
- Seed Inspection
- Retail Egg Inspection
- Crop Report
Pesticide Use Enforcement
California has one of the strongest pesticide regulation programs in the country. Although pesticide laws and regulations are established at the state and federal levels, the County Agricultural Commissioner is responsible for their local implementation. The legal definition of a pesticide includes:
- Plant Growth Regulators
It includes laundry bleach as well as Roundup® herbicide.
The Pesticide Use Enforcement program ensures that pesticides are used in an appropriate and responsible manner that protects the environment, the public and applicators. County inspectors enforce laws and regulations pertaining to the use of all pesticides in agricultural, structural, right-of-way, landscape maintenance, and home use settings. Inspectors conduct field inspections of applications and pesticide storage as well as the records of pesticide dealers and employers with employees handling pesticides for compliance.
The Agricultural Commissioner has the authority to levy administrative civil fines for pesticide-related violations. Inspectors issue permits for the use of pesticides that are restricted, visit farms to ensure pesticides do not endanger workers, the public and nearby sensitive habitats and investigate complaints and reports of illnesses due to pesticides.
Pest Detection is a proactive program that seeks to identify exotic, invasive insects like:
- Asian Citrus Psyllid
- Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter
- Gypsy Moth
- Japanese Beetle
- Mediterranean Fruit Fly
These pests have a wide host ranges and are difficult and costly to manage once established. Early detection is essential for quick and efficient eradication. Public participation is critical to the success of this program, since staff relies on the goodwill of property owners who allow traps to be placed on their properties. The Agriculture Department deploys over 1,300 traps annually between spring and fall.
The Pest Exclusion program is the first line of defense against the introduction of new insect pests and diseases into Placer County and California. Agricultural Inspectors examine incoming plant material to verify compliance with state and federal quarantines at major shipping terminals in the county, including United States Postal Service, FedEx and retail and wholesale nurseries.
In cooperation with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, Agricultural Inspectors actively conduct surveys for invasive pest species. Pest eradication efforts in Placer County are currently focused on noxious weeks such as spotted knapweed, Scotch thistle and yellow starthistle.
Both wholesale and retail plant nurseries are required to be licensed by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. Wholesale, not retail, nurseries are inspected for compliance with applicable State laws and regulations pertaining to Nursery Stock for pest cleanliness, labeling, quality and variety certification standards. Nurseries receiving plant material from out of state of from a quarantine area within California are required to notify the County Agriculture Department and have the plants inspected prior to offering them for sale.
A certified farmers' market is a location approved by the County Agricultural Commissioner where certified farmers offer for sale agricultural products they grow themselves or products from another certified farmer. Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture inspect farms and other properties to verify what is raised or grown there. After satisfactorily meeting the requirements of the inspection, the farmer is certified for specific products.
Farmers who want to claim they are selling organic produce must become registered and/or certified as organic producers. Certification is done through a private, third-party certifying agency. Organic producers are required to register with the Agricultural Commissioner annually and maintain specific records of their organic production.
Staff inspects seed products for proper identification of seeds and sample for quality (noxious weed seed contamination). Seed may be ordered "off-sale" if found to be in violation of State laws or regulations.
Retail Egg Inspection
Staff inspects fresh eggs offered to sale at the retail level for quality assurance. Eggs may be ordered "off-sale" if found to be in violation of State laws or regulations.