Blog posts by research

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, February 12, 2018 on advocacy, education, research

Clif Bar & Company and the King Arthur Flour Company announced on January 31, 2018, the funding of a $1.5 million endowment for organic grain breeding research in Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resource Sciences (CAHNRS). This is Clif Bar’s second and King Arthur’s first public university endowment dedicated to developing crop varieties adapted to organic farming practices.    The Clif Bar & King Arthur Flour Endowed Chair in Organic Grain Breeding & Innovation is being awarded to Stephen Jones, Ph.D., director of the WSU Bread Lab,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 on biodiversity, general organic, research

The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) is offering up to $2 million for one- to three-year projects that investigate innovative conservation approaches and technologies. Proposals are due February 26, 2018.   Organic Agriculture Systems is one of three Conservation Innovation Grants (CIG) priorities for fiscal year 2018. NRCS specifically requests proposals that help organic producers implement and evaluate conservation practices. Proposals submitted under this priority area must address at least one of these specific issues: Cropping and tillage systems that build soil health...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 18, 2017 on food safety, general organic, international, organic market, research

Asia is showing some of the highest growth in the global organic food market. New research by Ecovia Intelligence (formerly Organic Monitor) shows that some Asian countries’ markets are reporting double-digit growth rates, with regional sales poised to reach $10 billion in the coming years.    As will be shown at the Asia-Pacific edition of the Sustainable Foods Summit, two of the fastest growing markets for organic products are in China and India. Growing awareness of organic production methods and rising disposable incomes are fueling demand for organic and sustainable foods.     Concerns...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 13, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) held a listening session in Sacramento on November 2 to gather input on research priorities. CCOF’s senior policy specialist Jane Sooby commented on the need to integrate organic topics into NIFA’s research portfolio, pointing out that the unique nature of organic farming warrants in-depth study.   NIFA is an agency within the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture which funds food and agricultural research through a range of grants programs. The two federal programs dedicated to organic research, the Organic Agriculture Research and Extension...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, general organic, research

The California Farm Bureau Federation (CFBF) released their 2017 agricultural labor availability survey results in a report titled Searching for Solutions: California Farmer Continue to Struggle with Employee Shortages. The report includes data from 762 farmers and ranchers throughout California and its findings are consistent with a 2012 CFBF labor survey.   The report shows that 55 percent of responding farmers experienced employee shortages during the summer of 2017. A majority of farmers reported that they were unable to recruit up to 50 percent of their seasonal workforce needs, with 15...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 23, 2017 on advocacy, events, general organic, research

Sensors that tell growers how much water to use, drones that can fly over operations and assess the health of crops, real-time data at the fingertips of farmers.   It’s not science fiction—it’s the future of agriculture.   In an attempt to streamline operations, increase sustainability, and improve climate resiliency, California farmers are embracing precision agriculture technology. Also known as “smart farming,” precision agriculture uses the latest technological innovations to produce more food while using less resources.   But California farmers are not the only ones adopting this...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, September 25, 2017 on advocacy, research, standards

On Monday, over 20 CCOF members throughout Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s (R CA-01) district signed a letter urging the congressman to support H.R. 2436, the Organic Agriculture Research Act of 2017.    The letter explains that organic farmers and ranchers work hard to produce their crops, livestock, and food products, but their sector needs more funding for organic agricultural research.    The Organic Agriculture Research Act will increase annual organic research funds in the farm bill up to $50 million. These funds will ensure that researchers have ongoing support for their organic research...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 18, 2017 on education, general organic, grower, research, water

Duke University (Duke) is leading a three year study in partnership with RTI International (RTI), Pacific Institute, and California State University in Bakersfield (CSU-B) to study the use of oilfield produced water as an alternative irrigation water source for crop irrigation. The study is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and began in May 2017.     Please contact us if you would like to be included as a participant in our study to optimize safe, sustainable use of alternative irrigation water sources for crop irrigation. We would like to enroll...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, July 24, 2017 on pests and pesticides, research

The laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service in Albany, California, is seeking sites for Bagrada bug research 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 as part of our efforts to develop a biological control program for Bagrada bug. We would put out frozen Bagrada bug eggs (dead, so there is no possibility of spreading the bug around) on index cards and leave them...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, May 8, 2017 on general organic, genetic engineering, policy, research

In response to the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) recent GMO testing pilot project results, CCOF has expanded its GMO testing and will assist CDFA in identifying any potential source of inadvertent GMO presence along the organic supply chain. Following a request made by CCOF members at our Annual Meeting in 2015, and upon the recommendation of the California State Advisory Committee (COPAC), CDFA launched the GMO testing pilot project last year. The goal of the project is to evaluate the risk of GMO presence in organic products. On May 3, 2017, CDFA reported on the...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 17, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

April 19, 2017 is the last day to submit comments on the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, commonly known as the Organic Check-Off. After extending the deadline by 60 days, the National Organic Program has received over 3,500 comments on the program. The Organic Check-Off would create a 17-member governance board of stakeholders who would decide on allocating research, promotion, and technical assistance funds. The proposed program would generate funds from all organic operations (farms, ranches, processors, handlers, and importers). Organic operations would contribute one-...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, April 10, 2017 on advocacy, policy, research

The deadline to submit comments on the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, commonly known as the Organic Check-Off, is closing on April 19, 2017. The program would create a 17-member governance board that would decide how to allocate research, promotion, and technical assistance funds generated by the program. Under the proposed program, all organic operations (farmers, ranchers, processors, handlers, and importers) would contribute one-tenth of 1 percent of their operation’s net organic sales each year. Any certified operation with a gross organic revenue of less than $250,...
Written by Guest Blogger on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 on research

A new research study, "Biodiversity and Organic Farming in the United States," led by Carolyn Dimitri at New York University, needs the input of certified organic growers nationwide. Biodiversity is a vital component for the resiliency of farms and their surrounding ecosystems. However, there are many challenges to integrating conservation requirements in the National Organic Program. A “one-size-fits-all” solution is unlikely because of the importance of region, crop, and other factors in conservation techniques. This study will gather information about opportunities to measure or increase...
Written by Peter Nell on Monday, March 20, 2017 on research

In conjunction with National Agriculture Day, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is launching the 2017 Census of Agriculture on March 21, 2017. The Census of Agriculture is taken every five years and collects comprehensive data on farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. The Census is conducted in all 50 states and all five U.S. territories. CCOF’s Senior Policy Specialist Jane Sooby participated in the 2016 NASS Community-based Organization Workshop and spoke to the importance of the Census of Agriculture to organic. Data is collected from any place from which at...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Tuesday, February 21, 2017 on advocacy, marketing, policy, research

The proposed organic check-off program is open for comment through March 20, 2017. CCOF members are strongly encouraged to comment. Comments should include any recommended improvements to the proposal as it is now published and whether the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should move forward with putting the proposal to a nationwide referendum. About the Organic Check-off The proposed Organic Check-off program is projected to raise at least $30 million per year to fund organic research, technical assistance, and promotion of the organic brand. The funding would come from a...

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