From Field to Forum

Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 21, 2014 on seeds

Adapted from Press Release by the Organic Seed Alliance CCOF invites you to participate in the Organic Seed Alliance (OSA) national seed survey. The survey is designed to assess certified organic crop producers’ perceptions regarding organic seed and to better understand current organic seed usage. This national survey is conducted every five years and is used as the basis of the State of Organic Seed Report, which monitors organic seed availability and use, challenges in sourcing organic seed, and organic plant breeding needs. The survey data may also help shape organic seed and breeding...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, research, seeds


The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is currently working on a project that could assist organic farmers in seed treatment. Conventional farming practices that focus on chemical treatment and fumigation can be harmful to both the environment and humans alike, and many of these methods are prohibited in organic production. OFRF is expanding on the work of prior studies that found suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens from microbes present in solid and liquid organic soil amendments. OFRF seeks to identify which specific subset of microbes is responsible for this pathogen...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides, research


Citrus greening disease, also known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing, threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. It has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad, ravaging citrus in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly, and once a tree is infected it cannot be cured. Citrus greening is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that transmits the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. These psyllids are prolific breeders, with each female laying up to 800...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, July 14, 2014 on

A new position with University of California Cooperative Extension is currently being advertised for a Small Farms Advisor with expertise in organic specialty crop production systems. The position will be based in Woodland, California, and the advisor will serve small-scale vegetable and fruit growers in Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento Counties. The job description states that "the Advisor will be responsible for extending research-based information on all aspects of small farms with particular emphasis on organic agriculture production systems." The Advisor will conduct both extension and...
Written by Sarah Watters on Monday, July 7, 2014 on member news


The Summer 2014 issue of Certified Organic magazine features our take on an organic road trip through Northern California. This time of year is perfect for enjoying the mild temperatures, beautiful natural scenery, and bountiful harvests that Northern California has to offer. With California leading the nation in organic production – more than 20 percent of U.S. organic farms call the Golden State home! – it is only natural that agritourism is growing at a rapid pace statewide. Through agritourism, travelers are exposed to the natural, cultural, historic, and environmental assets of the land...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, July 7, 2014 on advocacy, CCOF, export, international

On June 26, 2014 Jake Lewin, CCOF Certification Services President, was announced as one of the seven additional members to join the Agricultural Technical Advisory Committee (ATAC) for Trade in fruits and vegetables. The ATAC members were appointed by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman, with the intention of ensuring the commercial and economic interests of various agricultural sectors are properly reflected in U.S. trade policies. Vilsack stated that agricultural trade committees are helpful when it comes to issues of trade relations and building...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 30, 2014 on certification process, help and tips, MyCCOF, services


Do you have trouble using MyCCOF or are you unsure where to start? You do not need to struggle any longer. Managing your certification paperwork and process can be made simpler with MyCCOF, our online certification management system. Now is the time to start using your account! Sharpen those pencils and ready yourself to take notes because we created seven brief video tutorials covering: How to get your organic certificate: Find and download copies of all active certificates and client profiles for your operation. Managing your Organic System Plan (OSP): Find and download your current OSP...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 30, 2014 on chapters, member news

CCOF-certified members in Marin, Sonoma, and Napa counties recently coordinated their efforts to revitalize the North Coast Chapter. The original chapter disbanded a couple of years back due to a lack of interest. On June 12, they met to solicit nominations for board members, discuss chapter goals, and mingle with one another. The meeting brought forth an eclectic group of members. Andrea Davis’ Quarter Acre Farm blog post that summarized the meeting stated that “wineries, vegetable farms, a meat processor, a coffee roaster, vineyard managements and even an ice cream producer” were in...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 30, 2014 on


The Ag Census is one of those things that come around every five years, somewhat like the cicadas. But, unlike cicadas, the Ag Census generates a wealth of information on agriculture in the United States. Based on data reported by the nation’s farmers and ranchers, the Census presents over six million pieces of information on topics ranging from inventories of livestock, land use practices, racial and gender characteristics of farm operators, agricultural sales, and acreage of specific crops. Publication of the Census is an opportunity to get your geek on and immerse yourself in data...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 23, 2014 on assistance, funding


The certification cost-share program is back! Thanks to the diligence of the organic community, certification cost-share is fully funded for 2014. This means that all certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is responsible for administering this program in California, though the funds originate with the federal government. Everyone who is registered as organic...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 23, 2014 on Grants, water


The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) recently announced an estimated $10 million in competitive grant funding to provide financial assistance to agricultural operations for implementation of water conservation measures that result in increased water efficiency and reduced greenhouse gas emissions. The CDFA is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) until Tuesday, July 15, 2014. All applicants must access the Application Guidelines for information and program requirements. The CDFA has also hosted an online application using...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 23, 2014 on education, export, international

Learn how to grow your organic business by cutting the red tape of export requirements. CCOF is partnering with the California Centers for International Trade Development to offer comprehensive training in exporting California specialty crops. The course, CalAgX, consists of a series of six half-day sessions and will be held at three locations, Sacramento, Clovis, and Lancaster, starting August 5 and ending September 25 (see schedule). The program is aimed at businesses new to exporting. CCOF Operations and International Programs Specialist Gamai Gregory will be presenting information on...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, June 23, 2014 on member news

CCOF Business Partner Global Organics Group is an international, integrated life sciences company engaged in the development and manufacturing of organic plant nutrition and natural ionic minerals for human and animal health. For more than 34 years Global Organics’ BioFlora division has been committed to environmental sustainability by preserving ecosystems while providing superior plant nutrient systems. Recently, Global Organics was recognized by U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker with the President’s “E” Award for Exports. The prestigious “E” Award is the highest recognition any U.S...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Friday, June 13, 2014 on advocacy, genetic engineering, NOP, NOSB, policy


In an environment where Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives are widely distributed throughout the food chain, it is imperative that organic producers and handlers have strategies and plans to keep them out. A key tenet of "coexistence" is shared responsibility for the exclusion of the methods and products of genetic engineering. The organic part of this shared responsibility is extensive already, but specific new guidance from the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) adopted by the National Organic Program (NOP) would make these practices more transparent to others...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, June 9, 2014 on help and tips

With the increasing cost of organic nitrogen inputs and regulatory restrictions on nitrogen applications in agriculture, it is important to maximize all sources of nitrogen to minimize cost, environmental impact and regulatory headaches. Here is a summary of important strategies to increase nitrogen efficiency: • Test soil, crop, and water to determine nitrogen status before adding nitrogen, of any source. • Use legume cover crops: Inoculate legume seeds at planting with fresh, living Rhizobium of the correct species. Plant immediately. Irrigate as needed to aid establishment and inoculation...

Pages