Blog posts by research

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...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 on biodiversity, education, general organic, grower, research

Ph.D. student Alejandra Echeverri is working in California’s central coast to understand how strawberry growers and managers of strawberry farming operations perceive birds on the farm.    Specifically, Echeverri hopes to conduct in-person surveys with strawberry growers or managers to understand which practices they are using to attract birds to or deter birds from their farms. She also is interested to find out whether they see some birds as beneficial or pests on their farms.   If you are an organic strawberry grower or a manager of a strawberry farming operation, please consider...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, April 2, 2018 on CCOF, general organic, research


Photo Courtesy of Mycological Natural Products   An organic hotspot is defined as a county with high levels of organic agricultural activity whose neighboring counties also have a high level of organic activity. In a recent Pennsylvania State University study, agricultural economist Professor Edward Jaenicke released his findings that organic hotspots increase median household income by over $2,000 annually while simultaneously decreasing local poverty rates by as much as 1.35 percent. Professor Jaenicke shared his discoveries at our CCOF Annual Meeting and Conference last month, but the CCOF...
Written by Shawna Rodgers on Monday, March 19, 2018 on general organic, research


Blue House Farm in Pescadero, California   We recently held our annual meeting in Sacramento, California, to discuss the latest topics, trends, and challenges currently testing the world of organic agriculture. The theme was Organic Hotspots: Revitalizing Rural America, drawn from Professor Edward C. Jaenicke’s exciting research about the correlation between organic agricultural activity and economic development. Pennsylvania State University’s Jaenicke and co-author Julia Marasteanu’s research papers reveal exciting discoveries for the economies, communities, and people living near clusters...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, March 19, 2018 on general organic, grower, research

USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) needs a Census of Agriculture response from all the nation’s producers. In order to get an accurate representation of American agriculture—of all farmers and ranchers across the country—NASS will continue to accept completed census questionnaires through spring.    NASS has heard that some producers need extra time due to planting, bad weather, or gathering necessary end-of-year documents. All operations are important and every response matters. NASS is committed to giving producers every opportunity to be represented in these widely-used...

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