Blog posts by general organic

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 Guest Blogger on Monday, June 17, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic

National Center for Appropriate Technology and National Farm to School Network Awarded USDA Cooperative Agreement to Help Producers Market to Schools  The National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN) are pleased to announce their partnership with the USDA Food and Nutrition Service’s Office of Community Food Systems (OCFS) to develop farm to school trainings for agricultural producers. The goal of the partnership is to help agricultural producers build their capacity to launch or expand efforts to market to schools. Gwen Holcomb, director of...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, June 3, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Two CCOF-supported bills to streamline industrial hemp regulations in California have cleared their house of origin. Senator Scott Wilk’s (R-Santa Clarita) Senate Bill (SB) 153 received no opposition votes through the Senate and was voted into the Assembly. Assemblywoman Cecilia Aguiar-Curry’s (D-Winters) Assembly Bill (AB) 228 also did not receive opposition votes through the Assembly and was voted to the Senate. Both bills will now move through the senate and assembly before being sent to the governor’s desk for signature into law. SB 153 revises provisions regulating industrial hemp...
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 Adrian Fischer on Monday, June 3, 2019 on CCOF, cost share, general organic


cost share

The National Organic Certification Cost Share Program is now open for 2019 applications! All currently certified organic entities in the United States are eligible to apply for a refund of 75% of their certification-related costs paid between October 1, 2018 and September 30, 2019, including inspection fees, up to a maximum of $750 per certification or certified scope. Eligible scopes are crops, wild crops, livestock, and processing/handling. Operations located in California can also receive a refund of their State Organic Program registration fees.  CCOF encourages all members to apply for...
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 Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, education, general organic, pests and pesticides


strawberries

Joji Muramoto, a longtime research associate with University of California Santa Cruz, has been hired as the first University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist dedicated to organic agriculture. Muramoto will coordinate a statewide program focusing research on organic fruit and vegetable production. He will provide educational resources to producers on topics such as organic pest management and soil fertility. Cooperative Extension serves as a vital link between the University of California and the agricultural sector. Extension Specialists conduct research that addresses on-farm...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 20, 2019 on advocacy, general organic, policy

Organic producers can benefit from several crop insurance policies developed by USDA Risk Management Agency (RMA) and purchased from local farm insurance agents. Crop insurance programs have become better suited to the needs of organic producers in recent years, with policies that allow producers to structure their policies based on their farms’ unique conditions. Organic Premium Price Elections now allow organic producers to hold crop insurance based on the price premium they would see in the market rather than the conventional commodity price. The number of crops with Organic Price Premiums...
Written by Allison Stafford on Monday, May 20, 2019 on events, general organic, member news


biggest-little-farm

Apricot Lane Farms, a recent addition to the CCOF family, is bringing the dynamic world of organic to a cinematic audience. The Biggest Little Farm is a new documentary that follows farmers John and Molly Chester’s journey as they leave their life in Los Angeles behind to convert a desolate conventional 200-acre lemon orchard into a thriving organic and biodynamic farm. The film discusses the challenges of working with the land organically and managing all that nature throws their way. From pests to drought to wildfires, the Chesters work together to find natural solutions. This beautifully...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, May 13, 2019 on CCOF Foundation, education, events, general organic


Pathways

Every farmer hopes to own their own property. But with high startup costs and sky-high land prices in places like California, it often doesn't make sense to purchase property before starting your farm business. Join the CCOF Foundation, California FarmLink, and the National Young Farmers Coalition for a webinar on May 21 that will guide you through the key steps in negotiating and composing a lease that has a built-in pathway to ownership.  Learn about different types of lease structures, clauses, tactics that can lead to farm ownership, and how to position yourself financially to be able to...
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, May 13, 2019 on events, general organic, pests and pesticides

Wild Farm Alliance (WFA) and our partners are pleased to announce our fourth upcoming field day as part of our All Things Avian Series.  If you want more help with pest control, consider supporting beneficial birds. Learn who these birds are, what they need, and how to provide for them. The overwhelming majority of songbirds are beneficial in the spring and early summer when they feed insects to their nestlings. We’ll also discuss the few bird species that can be pests and how manage them.  We are bringing together farmers who use practices to support beneficial birds, avian researchers who...
Written by Noah Lakritz on Monday, May 6, 2019 on general organic, NOSB, policy, regulatory

USDA published a final rule making two amendments to the National List of Allowed and Prohibited Substances. The final rule is based on public input and the November 2017 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) recommendations for livestock and handling and will be effective May 30, 2019. Elemental sulfur is currently allowed for use as an insecticide, plant or soil amendment, and for plant disease control. The new rule will allow for the substance to be used in organic livestock production as a topical insect repellent treatment.  Potassium acid tartrate, a biproduct of wine production, will...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, May 6, 2019 on general organic, policy

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) has announced open registration for industrial hemp cultivation within the state. Industrial hemp cultivators must submit an application to their county agricultural commissioner to receive approval to grow industrial hemp. Cultivators must submit the application form with an annual registration fee of $900 for each county they intend to cultivate industrial hemp in.  Current California law requires registrants to obtain a laboratory test report indicating the THC content of their industrial hemp prior to harvest. CDFA is currently...

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