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Sustainable Alternatives to Pesticides

Soil fumigants are a class of pesticides used to control soil-borne pests, such as nematodes and pathogens, and are commonly applied in the fall after harvest or in the spring as a pre-plant soil preparation in a number of major California specialty crops. However, many conventional and widely used soil fumigants, such as chloropicrin and 1,3-dichloropropene, have been identified as toxic and/or possibly carcinogenic.

Research Highlight

My name is Sofia Ledesema and I am one of the UC Davis Undergraduate Public Health Scholars who was funded this summer to conduct research under the mentorship of Dr. Kent Pinkerton at the Western Center for Agricultural Health and Safety (WCAHS). With the support of Dr. Pinkerton and Dr. Heather J. Hether from the UC Davis Communications Department, I created a study that focused on the readability of health communications for farmworkers.

Research Highlight

All-terrain vehicles (ATV) are widely used in agricultural work to apply fertilizers and chemicals, inspect livestock and crops, supervise and transport workers, and carry and tow equipment. Unfortunately, they also account for a significant percentage of work-related accidents.

Research Highlight

Agricultural work has previously been identified as an occupational risk factor for Valley fever, but little research has been conducted to identify specific high-risk tasks or crops.

Hazard Controls for COVID-19

Whether you are a farmer, FLC, or farm supervisor, just as you would consider the potential for safety hazards when introducing new equipment or processes into your operation, you should utilize a similar approach now with COVID-19.

California Night Work Regulation Approved

In 2013, a lighting standard was proposed to improve field lighting and worker visibility for California agricultural field operations taking place between sunset and sunrise. After 6 years of stakeholder meetings and fiscal reviews, the Office of Administrative Law has approved the regulation, which will go into effect on July 1, 2020.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the Time of COVID-19

In response to PPE shortages due to the COVID-19 crisis, the CDC, NIOSH Agricultural Centers, and state agencies have developed guidance to assist employers and workers in conserving existing supplies and identifying alternate protection when necessary.

Disinfection and Sanitation for COVID-19 at the Worksite

The CDC recommends that farm owners and operators develop sanitation protocols and procedures for daily cleaning and sanitation of worksites, including shared spaces, tools, equipment, and vehicles used by farmworkers, following CDC guidance on cleaning methods. 

What to Do If an Employee Has COVID-19

To protect the health of your workers and reduce the risk of infection at your worksite, it is important to talk to your employees and keep an eye on them in case they start to show symptoms at work.

COVID-19 Farmworker Survey Collaboration

The California Institute for Rural Studies (CIRS) is leading a broad coalition of researchers and farmworker advocates to collect data on how COVID-19 is affecting farmworkers.

Extreme Weather Events

Over the past decade, California has become more prone to weather extremes, including increased frequency and severity of heat waves, droughts, and wildfires.

How have these weather extremes affected the work, health, and safety of agricultural employers and farmworkers? How are they preparing for the future?