Blog posts by biodiversity

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, water

The California State Board of Food and Agriculture is hosting a series of public forums to allow farmers, ranchers and other stakeholders opportunities to provide input on the California’s Water Future. Public Forums on California’s Water Future Redding – Tuesday, August 6, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Sheraton Redding Hotel at the Sundial Bridge 820 Sundial Bridge Drive Redding, CA 96001 Fresno – Thursday, September 5, 2019, 1:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Fresno County Farm Bureau 1274 W. Hedges Ave Fresno, CA 93728 State agencies are asking Californians to help shape a roadmap for meeting future...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 22, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, marketing, survey

Undergraduate student at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo Kindra Fulton is conducting a research project on behalf of the College of Agriculture. The project focuses on promoting California grown specialty crops at trade shows. Fulton was born and raised in Salinas, California with deep ties in and a passion for the agriculture industry.  Fulton has created a five-minute survey and is searching for respondents. The survey is most applicable to individuals in the specialty crop industry who have the knowledge to answer specific questions about their company’s use of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research


Bonterra

As the buzz continues to grow about soil’s dynamic relationship with climate resilience, more and more organic growers are curious about how their farming practices can fit into the widespread push for climate solutions. Bonterra Organic Vineyards, based in Mendocino County, is one of them. In 2017-18, the acclaimed California vintner teamed up with Pacific Agroecology of Davis, California to study how their vineyard management practices affect organic carbon storage in soil and plants. Ultimately, the study measured carbon storage in Bonterra’s regeneratively farmed, organic, and Biodynamic...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 1, 2019 on biodiversity, education, general organic, help and tips

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the University of California, Davis Soil Resource Laboratory today announced the release of the iOS and Android SoilWeb app, version 2.0. The app now has a cleaner and more modern interface with GPS-location-based links to access detailed digital soil survey data (SSURGO) published by the NRCS for most of the United States. The newly updated SoilWeb smartphone application is available as a free download on Google Play and the Apple App Store. “SoilWeb reached a new milestone this year when it was integrated with Google Maps and designed...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, general organic, policy, research

Invoking the challenges American farmers have faced from increased weather extremes, Brise Tencer, the Executive Director of the Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF), presented testimony last week to the U.S. House of Representative’s Subcommittee on Biotechnology, Horticulture, and Research during its hearing on Increasing Resiliency, Mitigating Risk: Examining the Research and Extension Needs of Producers. Tencer, who previously served as policy director at CCOF, cited OFRF studies that characterize organic farmers’ research needs. She explained how organic farming practices sequester...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, funding, general organic

National Program The USDA is accepting applications for up to $12.5 million in grant funding for the adoption of innovative conservation projects on agricultural lands. The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) administers the Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program, which funds projects in areas including soil health, irrigation efficiency, wildlife and pollinator habitat, water and air quality, greenhouse gas markets, on-farm energy use, and conservation finance.  NRCS will accept applications through July 29, 2019, for up to $2 million in funding per project. Applicants must...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic

Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous year, according to the 2019 Organic Industry Survey released Friday by the Organic Trade Association. New records were made in both the organic food market and the organic non-food market. Organic food...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 22, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, funding, general organic, research

USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California is now accepting proposals for its Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) program. Up to $500,000 is available for one- to three-year grants. The maximum award amount for any project will not exceed $75,000 in fiscal year 2019. Proposals are due by June 10, 2019.  CIG is a voluntary program to stimulate the development and adoption of innovative conservation approaches and technologies in conjunction with agricultural production. The proposed projects should augment existing NRCS technical tools (planning, assessment, and/or...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, April 1, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety


biodiversity

Dung beetles and soil bacteria on farms could help suppress E. coli and other harmful pathogens, according to research. The study published in the Journal of Applied Ecology found improved food safety may be enhanced by on‐farm biodiversity and the current view that farm simplification helps may undervalue natural resistance to human-pathogen survival. Growers are often encouraged to remove hedgerows, ponds, and other natural habitats to prevent wildlife from moving onto their farm fields and potentially spreading foodborne pathogens. Results suggested dung beetles and soil bacteria may...
Written by Adrian Fischer on Monday, March 18, 2019 on biodiversity, chapters, events

The San Luis Obispo Kompogas facility converts municipal organic solid waste into high grade compost, liquid soil amendment, and carbon neutral biogas. Through a controlled 14-day multistage process at a thermophilic temperature of 131 degrees, food waste is converted into compost for agricultural use and carbon-neutral biogas for electricity production. The facility does all this indoors with no runoff while recovering energy in the process. At full capacity, the plant is designed to generate 6.2 million kW/h annually, which is more than enough to power the facility and send excess...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 12, 2019 on biodiversity, events, pests and pesticides


Oak Titmouse.N.Uyeda

Oak Titmouse photo by Norman Uyeda Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce four upcoming field days as part of our All Things Avian Series.  Farmers, expand your tool box by adding birds as pest control allies on your farm. Learn how to take advantage of a multitude of beneficial birds that provide pest control services year-round, and to manage the few birds that may become pests later.  Farmer to Farmer Field Days in Northern CaliforniaMarch 19 – Chamberlain Farms, Woodland, CA, 8:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.March 21 – Tres Sabores Vineyard (CCOF-certified), St. Helena, CA...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 25, 2019 on biodiversity, food safety, general organic, research

The FDA’s Produce Safety Rule, mandated by the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), is now taking effect for California farmers. A new survey, funded by the USDA, promises to give a clearer picture of what this means for the industry. Farmers have voiced concerns over the costs and challenges of complying with the Rule since it was first announced. However, there is still too little hard evidence on the true distribution and severity of these challenges. Both farmers and government agencies need concrete statistics on where California farmers stand with respect to the Rule and how much they’...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic


Monarch

California agricultural producers can voluntarily help the monarch butterfly on their farms and ranches through a variety of conservation practices offered by the USDA.  “With the monarch butterfly’s western population in peril, we’re encouraging California producers to make simple tweaks on their farms that can go a long way for this iconic species,” said Carlos Suarez, state conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California. “NRCS offers more than three dozen conservation practices that enable producers to help monarchs and other pollinators as well as...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research, survey


Herbicides in Irrigation Water

Protecting our CCOF-certified organic farm from external herbicide contamination has been an ongoing challenge. For over forty years, the Nevada Irrigation District (NID), our local water purveyor, has used herbicides to manage the unlined ditches that bring our irrigation water.We believe the time has come to stop the application of elemental copper- and glyphosate-based herbicides to raw water canals statewide. To this end, we ask to draw on the experience of California’s certified organic farmers to learn more about other irrigation districts throughout the state. Does your water purveyor...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, education, funding, general organic

California farmers and ranchers interested in receiving a grant to implement new soil-building practices on their land can receive free application support from technical assistance providers.Resource Conservation Districts and nonprofit organizations throughout the state have signed up to help potential applicants. Some of these technical assistance providers are holding informational workshops on how to apply. See the full list of providers and workshops.There are two different funding opportunities under Healthy Soils:The Healthy Soils Incentives program provides funding to implement...

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