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Agricultural Commissioner's Office
Frequently Asked Questions
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WE ARE NAPA COUNTY
Agricultural Commissioner Sealer of Weights and Measures
Ag Commissioner's Frequently Asked Questions
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Do I need a certificate, permit or license before I can purchase a pesticide for use on my own property?
Generally, if you purchase pesticides labeled for “home use” you would not need a certificate, permit or license. However, if you are growing an agricultural crop or commodity (including pasture and rangeland) then you will be required to obtain an Operator Identification Number or Restricted Materials Permit from our office before you purchase and use pesticides. If you are purchasing and applying a California restricted material, you will also need to obtain a Private Applicators Certificate (PAC). A PAC is obtained by taking and passing an examination at our office.
Do I need to submit a Pesticide Use Report? When are Use Reports due in your office?
Any pesticide or chemical with an EPA registration number that is applied to an agricultural crop or commodity (including pasture and range land) must be reported. Use reports can be obtained at any County Agricultural Department or on our website. Completed use reports are due in our office on the 10th of the month following application. They can be faxed, mailed, submitted in person or electronically.
How often must training occur?
All employees who handle pesticides must be trained on an annual basis, prior to the handling of any pesticide by a California certified commercial applicator or a California certified private applicator. The training must be documented annually and cover specific topics which are listed in Title 3 California Code of Regulations, Section 6724. The program used to train the employee must be put in writing. This written training program must describe the materials and information that was used to train the employee. Fieldworkers must be trained every five years, at a bare minimum. Although there are currently no requirements for a written training program for Fieldworkers, a training record form is available online and at our office.
If I have concerns about nearby pesticide use, what can I do?
If you would like to review or copy any pesticide use data, please read our Access to Public Information Policy. You must also fill out and submit a Request to Inspect Public Records. If you have any questions about this process, or need to submit your request, please call our office at (707) 253-4357.
How do insect traps benefit our county?
The traps are placed in specific trees and plants and target specific insect pests such as fruit flies and the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter. They are the best means of early detection of these pests. Through early detection, our office and the California Department of Food and Agriculture have a better chance of containing and eliminating the pest before an infestation becomes too large to eradicate.
What if I do not want to have a trap on my property?
If we have placed a trap on your property and you do not wish to participate in this program, please contact our office at (707) 253-4357 and ask to speak to the trapping program coordinator. Explain that you wish to have the trap removed, and the trap will be removed as soon as possible.
Why is the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter a threat to Napa County?
The Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter (GWSS) damages a variety of plants and spreads lethal diseases to crops such as almonds and grapes. It can stress the plants it feeds on, sucking xylem fluids from plants and trees such as crape myrtle, magnolia, oak, hydrangeas, citrus, apples, eucalyptus, flowers and many others. GWSS spreads Pierce's Disease, a bacterial disease that kills grapevines and for which there is no known remedy or cure.
For more information visit the
UC IPM Glassy-winged Sharpshooter
Why is Napa County so concerned about the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter when it is only a threat to vineyards?
The County of Napa has developed a reputation over time as one of the premier wine growing regions of the world. This has attracted foreign and domestic corporate entities to the region as well as individual winemakers, grape growers and others who desire the unique combination of climate and soils in which to practice their wine-producing craft. The competition within the local market for plantable acreage has created a situation where land values have risen to extreme levels. There are few, if any, commodities that could replace in large scale, the vineyard plantings and maintain the economic returns and conditions landowners require to maintain debt-service and ultimately, land ownership. The result of the GWSS/PD scenario would be the wholesale loss of agricultural lands to the "ultimate harvest"--residential and commercial development.
With existing Pierce's Disease infections causing an estimated $25 - $42 million annual loss to vineyard owners today, with the relatively inefficient Blue-Green Sharpshooter as the main vector, it is clear, and has been articulated by many experts that the Glassy-winged Sharpshooter should be prevented from introduction to Napa County at any cost, since the results to the Napa wine industry and to the entire economy of Napa County would be disastrous. In addition, the integration and interdependence of the wine industry and hospitality industry, the other major economic contributor to the local economy, creates a situation where the hospitality industry would suffer greatly if something catastrophic were to happen to the local wine industry.
What is Napa County doing to stop the spread of the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter?
We are doing everything we can to prevent an infestation from occurring. In a cooperative program with participating retailers, nurseries and landscapers, we inspect all incoming plant material to stop the insect from being transported into Napa County on plant shipments. We also run a county-wide urban and rural GWSS trapping program. The traps, made of sticky yellow cardboard, are located in front yards and vineyards throughout Napa County.
What can I do to prevent Glassy-winged Sharpshooter from entering Napa County?
You can help by buying plants from local nurseries, retailers and landscapers that are complying with the County's inspection program. Look for their Certificate of Compliance from the County Agricultural Commissioner that indicates that they offer plants that have been inspected for the Glassy-Winged Sharpshooter.
Where can I find information about ant control and ant bait stations?
You can find more information about the control of Argentine Ants in vineyards in
Argentine ant management: Liquid bait program for vineyards
. The document, written by Monica L. Cooper and Kent Danne, includes instructions for assembly of a UC-designed ant bait station.
For more information view the
UC Cooperative Extension Construction of Ant Bait Station
Where can I send my plant or soil sample to be tested for disease and/or deficiencies?
Please note that the laboratories provided in these listings are for informational purposes only and do not constitute any sort of endorsement or recommendation by the Napa County Agricultural Commissioner's Office or the University of California Cooperative Extension.
Commercial Laboratories for Home Gardeners
Analytical Testing Agricultural for Laboratories
Laboratory Testing Resources
Selected Commercial Laboratories in Northern and Central California
Where do I go to have a plant or weed identified?
You can bring in a specimen to the UC Cooperative Extension's Master Gardeners for identification. The Agricultural Commissioner's staff can also help identify landscape plants or unwanted weeds.
Napa County Master Gardeners are available:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday
9:00 am - 12 noon
1710 Soscol Avenue, Suite 4
Napa, CA 94559
Where do I go to have an insect identified?
First, check the
University of California's Integrated Pest Management
web site. It is a valuable tool for the identification and management of a wide variety of pests. If you need further assistance, bring a specimen to our office for identification by our staff. If we cannot identify the insect, we can send to the CDFA lab for identification.
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