Blog posts by biodiversity

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...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, February 4, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF Foundation, general organic


Earl Herrick, Robert Lichtenberg, Sovita Sau and Jeff Flowers Tomatero Farm Tour

If you take a glance at the “Who We Are” page of the Earl’s Organic Produce website, you’ll see countless references to Earl’s commitment to maintaining partnerships in organic. “Cultivating enduring partnerships,” connecting “those who produce and consume organic food,” and “creating mutually beneficial, meaningful, and committed relationships across the food chain,” are but a few highlights that reveal the culture of community that interweaves all operations at this San Francisco-based company. CCOF and the CCOF Foundation are grateful to be amongst those partners.   For many years, Earl’s...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 7, 2019 on advocacy, biodiversity, events, funding, general organic, grower

If you are considering implementing new practices on your farm to promote healthy soils and build resilience, you might be eligible for up to $75,000 in cost-share grants. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA)’s Climate Smart Agriculture Program is allocating $15 million for Healthy Soils grants for the coming year. Applications are due March 8, 2019.  Help with PaperworkFree assistance with planning and completing the grant application is available. Wild Farm Alliance will assist growers who contact them at info@wildfarmalliance.org. Together with EcoFarm representatives...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, December 10, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, general organic, research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) just released the eighth guidebook in their immensely popular Soil Health and Organic Farming Series. Organic Practices for Climate Mitigation, Adaptation, and Carbon Sequestration examines research related to the capacity of sustainable organic systems and practices to sequester soil carbon and minimize nitrous oxide and methane emissions. The guide includes practical advice for reducing an organic farm’s “carbon footprint” and adapting to climate disruptions already underway.  “Research demonstrates that sustainable organic agriculture has...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 26, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CCOF, member news

Lundberg Family Farms has been selected as the recipient of the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award. Sand County Foundation, the nation’s leading voice for private conservation, created the Leopold Conservation Award to inspire American landowners by recognizing exceptional farmers, ranchers, and foresters. The prestigious award, named in honor of renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, is given in 14 states. The award is presented annually by Sand County Foundation, Sustainable Conservation, and California Farm Bureau Federation. Lundberg Family Farms of Butte County will receive a $10...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 19, 2018 on advocacy, biodiversity, CalCAN, events, policy

 The sixth California Climate & Agriculture Summit kicks off on Monday, March 4 with tours of innovative, climate-friendly farms in Yolo County. On Tuesday, March 5, we will convene for a day-long conference followed by a festive evening in celebration of 10 years of advocacy and leadership by the California Climate & Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Join us to: Explore the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California. Network with a diverse group of leading growers, researchers, policymakers, agricultural professionals, and advocates. Engage in a robust...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 15, 2018 on biodiversity, education, events, general organic

California Marine Sanctuary Foundation and Hedgerows Unlimited will host a workshop to demonstrate how to plant hedgerows and to outline their benefits on November 10, 2018, from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m.   Hedgerows provide habitats for beneficial insects and pollinators, serve as windbreaks and visual barriers, sequester carbon, and protect against soil erosion. Beneficial insects attracted by hedgerows can reduce pests and sometimes increase crop and forage growth and yield.  Hedgerows also can produce crops, such as lavender, persimmon, nuts, and/or flowers.   The free workshop and planting...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, member news

I was lucky enough visit Whisky Hill Farms and Blume Distillation this summer. I was blown away by the scope of this 14-acre certified organic farm. Not only are they the largest producer of domestic Turmeric, but they provide answers to the food waste dilemma by producing high grade commercial alcohol. I soon learned that everything that comes from the distillery goes right back into the farm! This is the second of a two-part blog focused on food waste.   Composting in place After learning about the distillery, we came upon a prodigious mound of traditional looking compost, but this one held...

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