Blog posts by research

Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, October 1, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

Earlier this year, CCOF Foundation launched the Roadmap to an Organic California project to highlight how organic farming addresses many of California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.    The Benefits Report presented over 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies showing how organic agriculture positively impacts the economy, society, and the environment. These studies demonstrate that organic farms are combatting climate change by building healthy soils that store...
Written by Peter Nell on Tuesday, September 24, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, policy, research

The CCOF policy team is in the midst of researching and writing recommendations for the second phase of the Roadmap to an Organic California project. The project presents the research-supported benefits of organic agriculture  and recommends policies that address California’s toughest challenges. From climate change and water degradation to public health threats and struggling local economies, organic agriculture is a proven solution.  Phase one of the Roadmap, the Benefits Report, was released in early 2019 and represents a comprehensive scientific review of the economic, social, and...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 23, 2019 on general organic, pests and pesticides, research


bagrada_pic

As in past years, Dr. Brian Hogg at USDA’s Western Regional Research Center in Albany, California, is seeking research sites for bagrada bug research, and is interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California.  This is the time of year when bagrada bug populations usually start increasing in cole crop fields. High numbers may also be found on weeds, especially shortpod mustard and perennial pepperweed.  Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. Time constraints prevent us from visiting sites more than four hours...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Tuesday, September 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


JSM Farm Tour

Last week, Javier Zamora of JSM Organics hosted Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA-20)’s Legislative Assistant Riya Mehta, Melody Meyer of Source Organic, Cassandra Christine of the Organic Trade Association, and CCOF policy staff for a tour of his farm in Royal Oaks, California. Zamora shared his story of success in an increasingly challenging market for small-scale organic growers and highlighted the challenges he and other growers face.  Mehta communicated Congressman Panetta’s continued support for organic and expressed a desire to seek policy support for both current and transitioning...
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, June 24, 2019 on general organic, research


crimson clover

Farmers around the country are planting cover crops on millions of acres to protect and improve the soil, and the more that farmers use cover crops, the more they value this conservation practice. Cover Crop Economics, a new report published by USDA-SARE, looks at the economics of cover crops to help farmers answer that big question: "When do cover crops pay?" The key, says North Dakota farmer Justin Zahradka, who has been planting cover crops since 2011, is to “look at cover crops as an investment rather than a cost.” Download or order Cover Crop Economics now! Print copies will be available...
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, May 13, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy, research


cattle

On January 1, 2019, Senate Bill 965 created the California Cattle Council. The new council will be a representative organization comprised of members of the cattle and dairy industries. It will work on projects such as research, promotion, cooperation with agencies and industry groups, and the development of best management practices. Potential research projects relevant to organic producers include the improvement of efficiency and sustainability of the industry, regulatory compliance, and market research concerning public consumption patterns and trends.  As the organic markets for dairy...
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 Jane Sooby on Monday, March 4, 2019 on advocacy, CCOF, CCOF Foundation, general organic, research


Roadmap

 CCOF is excited to release a new contribution to the scientific literature, Roadmap to an Organic California: Benefits Report, which distills the findings of more than 300 peer-reviewed scientific studies into a captivating and beautifully illustrated read.  The Benefits Report presents clear evidence that organic agriculture is more than a system of food production; it is a comprehensive approach to solving the issues threatening California’s long-term security and prosperity.  “Organic food production is an opportunity to stimulate the state’s economy, promote public health, and protect...
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, 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 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 Peter Nell on Tuesday, November 13, 2018 on advocacy, education, general organic, research

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is now accepting comments on the GRO Organic initiative. Generate Results and Opportunity for Organic (GRO Organic) is a private-sector initiative for a voluntary industry-invested organic research, promotion, and education check-off like program. It will be collaboratively designed and implemented by organic stakeholders.  Comments on the initiative can be submitted through April 30, 2019 to GROideas@ota.com. Anonymous responses will not be accepted. Submissions must include name, location, and business affiliations so the GRO Organic Steering Committee...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, August 27, 2018 on general organic, research

As part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is seeking sites for bagrada bug research.  We would be interested to hear about bagrada bug infestations anywhere in California. Any cole crop fields or weed patches that are currently infested with bagrada bug would work for our purposes. We are investigating whether native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. We would put out frozen bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards...

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