Blog posts by grower

Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 31, 2016 on funding, grower

On May 13, 2016, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) announced the publication of their Organic Farmers’ Guide to the Conservation Reserve Program Field Border Buffer Initiative. The guide is intended to assist organic farmers interested in accessing the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new Organic Buffer Initiative, and is one of many free resources produced by NSAC for farmers and farm groups. “Organic farming already provides many environmental benefits, including improved soil health and water quality,” said Greg Fogel, Senior Policy Specialist with NSAC. “The...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, May 23, 2016 on grower, livestock, research

The growing numbers of small-scale farms (SSFs)1 and peri-urban and urban animal agriculture farms (UA)2 has increased the need for Extension specialists and veterinarians focused on small-scale and backyard livestock production. We are seeking your help in this needs assessment regarding animal health concerns on SSFs and UA in California, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington state. This study is led by Dr. Alda Pires (University of California), Dr. Dale Moore (Washington State University), and Dr. Ragan Adams (Colorado State University). The increasing popularity of local food production and...
Written by Jessy Beckett Parr on Monday, April 11, 2016 on CCOF Foundation, events, get certification help, grower

Interested in going organic, but don’t know where to start? Organic certification is simpler than you think. Join CCOF, Lundberg Family Farms, and the Mushroom Farm in Pescadero, California for a workshop on what it takes to go organic. The workshop will help assess how close your operation is to being organic and will detail the steps necessary to transition towards certification. You will come away understanding the tenets of organic certification. Organic growers and advisors will answer questions about farming organically. The workshop will include a presentation from CCOF staff about the...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, March 14, 2016 on advocacy, financial assistance, grower, policy

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) announced that new buffer plantings around organic fields are eligible for rental payments and cost-share if they are enrolled in 10-15 year conservation contracts. Part of the Continuous Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP), the new organic option is open for sign-up throughout the year and is not subject to bidding and ranking processes. Instead, land is enrolled automatically if it qualifies for the program. According to the FSA, eligible practices include riparian buffers, wildlife habitat buffers, wetland buffers, filter...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, February 29, 2016 on advocacy, grower, pests and pesticides, policy

The Bagrada Bug Working Group has launched its first issue of the quarterly publication Bagrada Bug News. The Bagrada Bug Working Group is a collaboration between CCOF and researchers at CDFA’s Plant Health and Pest Prevention Services, UC Cooperative Extension, USDA-ARS, UC Davis, UC Riverside, and University of Arizona. The working group convened in 2015 to address the challenge of managing this emerging pest in organic mustard-family crop production. The working group’s first major activity was holding a public meeting in December 2015 in Salinas. Six scientific talks on bagrada bug...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, December 18, 2015 on biodiversity, funding, grants, grower

Organic farmers and ranchers can sign up now for technical assistance and funding from two different programs. The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers and ranchers to take land out of production and restore it with resource-conserving plant species. The Working Lands for Wildlife program offers funds to restore and protect habitat for greater sage grouse and the southwestern willow flycatcher. Conservation Reserve Program Sign up for the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is open through February 26, 2016. Participants in CRP establish long-term, resource-conserving plant species such...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 23, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides, policy

CCOF, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and University of California Cooperative Extension are hosting a meeting on the invasive stinkbug Bagrada bug on Friday, December 11 at the Cooperative Extension office in Salinas from 9:30 a.m – 3 p.m. Click here to register for the meeting. The meeting is free of charge and will include lunch for onsite participants courtesy of CCOF and the University of California Cooperative Extension Entomology Program. The meeting will also be broadcast as a webinar, allowing remote participants the ability to hear all presentations and interact...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 9, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides, policy

CCOF is collaborating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), scientists from numerous agencies, and Cooperative Extension on a Bagrada Bug Working Group. The working group brings together scientists and extension personnel from across the country who are working to develop organic management and biological control of Bagrada bug. What is Bagrada bug? The Bagrada bug is a member of the stinkbug family that has wreaked havoc in mustard-family crops over the past six years. A native of Africa, it has no natural enemies in the U.S. and has spread from southern California...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, October 13, 2015 on grower, seeds

For growers producing organic baby leaf crops, the spread of bacterial diseases can be rapid with devastating results. Additionally, harvesting clean, organic, pathogen-free seed is another challenge for both seed producers and growers. Short of discarding the seed or accepting a decline in harvest quality, organic growers have few viable options to recover their crop once it is infected with bacterial diseases. One bacterial disease that has a significant impact on the production of baby leaf vegetable crops is Pseudomonas syringae pv. aptata. This bacterium is commonly called bacterial leaf...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Tuesday, February 17, 2015 on grower, pests and pesticides

The Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) is spreading throughout California. Organic and non-organic citrus growers are concerned about the spread of ACP because it can spread HuanLongBing (HLB), also known as Citrus Greening disease. This report is an update on activities around detection, quarantine, and control of ACP and HLB.In the last three months, a number of new ACP finds in new counties are causing quarantined areas to expand rapidly. New quarantines exist in Madera, Fresno, and Santa Clara counties where recent finds have indicated breeding populations of ACP. View the statewide map and...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, September 29, 2014 on biodiversity, grower, member news


Massa rice house

Massa Organics has had an incredible journey to sustainability. It began shortly after college when Greg Massa and his wife, Racquel Krach, returned to Greg’s family rice farm. They utilized their tropical ecology background to prime themselves for their next venture: organic farming. Massa Organics harvests organic almonds and rice on their 200+ acre span of land and employs a very interesting system of sustainable. In addition to their organic crops, they have introduced an animal element to their farm. In the past, their flock of ducks helped control the weed population in the rice fields...
Written by Jon Knapp on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, research, seeds


The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) is currently working on a project that could assist organic farmers in seed treatment. Conventional farming practices that focus on chemical treatment and fumigation can be harmful to both the environment and humans alike, and many of these methods are prohibited in organic production. OFRF is expanding on the work of prior studies that found suppression of soil-borne plant pathogens from microbes present in solid and liquid organic soil amendments. OFRF seeks to identify which specific subset of microbes is responsible for this pathogen...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 14, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides, research


Citrus greening disease, also known by its Chinese name Huanglongbing, threatens the citrus industry on a massive scale. It has devastated millions of acres of citrus crops throughout the United States and abroad, ravaging citrus in countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. The highly destructive disease can spread quickly, and once a tree is infected it cannot be cured. Citrus greening is spread by the Asian citrus psyllid, a small insect that transmits the disease as it feeds on the leaves and stems of citrus trees. These psyllids are prolific breeders, with each female laying up to 800...
Written by Zea Sonnabend on Wednesday, May 28, 2014 on grower, materials and inputs, pests and pesticides


Organic citrus growers have spent more than a year now wading through the decision-making process for policies regarding the spread and eradication of Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) and the deadly disease it can spread, Huanglongbing (HLB) or Citrus Greening. The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) relies on a group of scientists known as the Science Advisory Panel (SAP) for recommendations about trapping and testing protocols, eradication zones, quarantines, and which materials are approved for control and/or eradication. The SAP met in December in Ontario, CA and issued their...
Written by Jane Sooby on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 on grower, pests and pesticides

The bagrada bug, referred to as an “invasive stink bug” by researchers, is often seen as a mating couple on brassica family plants. A native of the African and Asian continents, this insect first made its appearance in the western United States in 2008. Since then, its American range has spread east from Los Angeles County to Arizona and areas of southern Nevada, Utah, and west-central New Mexico. It has been found as far north as Monterey County. The insect has orange and white markings on its body and can be mistaken for the harlequin bug; however, it is much smaller than the harlequin bug...

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