Soren Bjorn, president of Driscoll’s of the Americas, said a new nitrate regulation in the Salinas Valley will be harder for organic producers to meet than for conventional farmers.

“That is an element of sustainability that we definitely have to look at it,” he said. “In our case, technology becomes critical to that.”

He added that capturing and cleaning up water will be easier, however, for berry production than for vegetable crops.

Bjorn was taking part in a roundtable discussion with the heads of Western Growers, Taylor Farms and JV Smith Companies. The conversation ranged from single-use plastics to GMOs and the market potential for indoor farming.

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At the same time, the Central Coast Water Board hosted the first of three full days of workshops to further debate the many technical provisions being proposed in Ag Order 4.0.

Board members continue to wring their hands over how far they can push growers to change well-established practices to further reduce nitrate contamination in groundwater.