Blog posts by biodiversity

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Written by Rebekah Weber on Tuesday, May 26, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, general organic, policy, roadmap


I sat down with Farm to Table Talk host Rodger Wasson to discuss why organic matters with him. We dove right into CCOF’s Roadmap to an Organic California, a first-of-its-kind research project that investigates how organic is a solution to California’s toughest challenges. From the climate crisis to economic and health inequities, I walked Wasson through organic’s role in addressing these issues, and more. Let’s consider climate change, for example. We know that organic farms combat climate change because they build healthy soils that store carbon and reduce levels of greenhouse gases in the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 16, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, water

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is announcing one vacancy on the Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP). The panel advises the secretary on the implementation of the Healthy Soils Program and the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program, and also assists federal, state, and local government agencies, as appropriate or necessary, on issues relating to the impact of agricultural practices on air, water, and wildlife habitat.  According to statute, the Secretary of CDFA shall appoint five of the nine EFA SAP members. Members of the panel shall...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, January 13, 2020 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic

Join UCSC Farm Garden Manager Christof Bernau for a webinar on organic seedling production and greenhouse efficiencies for small farms.  This session will focus on the management of environmental conditions to optimize germination and development of high-quality transplants, with an emphasis on system efficiencies that can improve seedling quality and your bottom line. From sowing, germination, and seedling development to hardening off and holding strategies, all seedling life stages will be explored.   The session will begin with an examination of a typical seedling life cycle and an...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, January 6, 2020 on biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, drought, education, events, general organic, help and tips

Join the CCOF Foundation and the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) on January 14 from 2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time for a webinar that reviews techniques for managing soil and irrigation during times of drought. Find out how to use your water resource most efficiently and hear about managing soil for best water absorption and storage. This webinar is very timely in the context of both the California Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) and preparing for climate change and drought conditions. The webinar will cover the important considerations of irrigation scheduling...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 18, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic


Morales Conservation Tillage

Healthy soils are key to organic farming and reducing soil disturbance is a cornerstone to improving soil health. No-till methods have spread to vegetable production on some small farms, but how can larger acreage be farmed to minimize soil disturbance?  A workshop on December 6 in Watsonville will highlight the conservation low-tillage methods and equipment developed by Israel Morales, voted Organic Farmer of the Year by the Organic Trade Association. Not only does reduced tillage improve soil health, it also saves time between crops, reduces fuel costs, and saves on labor.   The workshop...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 28, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, grants, water

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting applications for the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP), a competitive grant program that incentivizes farmers to invest in irrigation water and energy efficiency. Agricultural operations can apply for up to $100,000 for projects that involve improvements to irrigation systems, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and save water. Projects funded through SWEEP commonly include elements such as soil, plant, or weather sensors; micro-irrigation systems; pump retrofits or replacements; renewable energy; and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on biodiversity, events, general organic

Who: The Sierra Fund warmly invites community members and the interested public to join us alongside multidisciplinary technical experts and creatives for an evening of art at the nexus of science as we work to address legacy impacts of the California Gold Rush.   What: Evening art reception to launch the fifth biannual Reclaiming the Sierra (RTS) Conference being convened by The Sierra Fund. RTS 2019: Headwater Mercury Source Reduction is a conference to catalyze action around a regional strategy to abate the impacts of mercury from the Sierra to the sea.    Why: The 19th century Gold Rush...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on biodiversity, general organic, grants, pests and pesticides

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is now accepting grant applications for its Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program (BIFS) and its Proactive Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Solutions Program, administered by the Office of Pesticide Consultation and Analysis. Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Program Grants The goal of BIFS is to fund on-farm demonstration and evaluation of innovative biologically-based farming systems that employ IPM strategies. CDFA is responsible for supporting agricultural production in California by fostering innovative, efficient,...
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...

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