Blog posts by Guest Blogger

Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, January 2, 2017 on research

The Drake University Agricultural Law Center is collecting data on farmer experiences with production contracts—legal agreements under which they care for poultry or livestock owned by another party or grow a crop under a contract. This survey is being conducted on behalf of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. Results will be used to prepare a new guide to help farmers better understand and utilize production contracts. The data we are collecting is important to provide new resources to farmers on production contracts. The survey should take participants less than 10 minutes to...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 19, 2016 on advocacy, policy

The proposed mergers of Dow Chemical with DuPont, Monsanto with Bayer, and Syngenta with ChemChina could potentially reduce competition and farmers’ choices and will likely make inputs (including seeds and animal feed) more expensive. Join us in opposing this concentration of power by signing a sign-on letter on agrochemical and seed industry mergers. An alliance of environmental and farm groups, including Friends of the Earth, is asking for participation from all concerned constituents, but especially farmers, to make our voices heard. We are pushing for an investigation into and halt of the...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 12, 2016 on advocacy, events, policy

Learn about the latest science, policy, and practice of climate-friendly farming in California at the CalCAN Summit on February 28 and March 1, 2017, in Davis, California. The Summit begins February 28 with a conference at UC Davis featuring a wide variety of workshops, plus keynote speakers California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross and University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources Vice President Glenda Humiston. On March 1, participants will tour three innovative Yolo County farms that use integrated farming practices to improve soil health, increase...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 12, 2016 on advocacy, policy

The National Organic Program has issued a draft guidance "Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037)" that is available for public comment through February 6, 2017. Although the USDA organic regulations establish labeling categories for organic products based on the percentage of organic ingredients in the product, certifying agents have interpreted the requirements for calculating the percent of organic ingredients differently. The draft guidance clarifies the standards for calculating organic percentages for finished products, including multi-...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 5, 2016 on funding

A major farmer and rancher funding opportunity is now available! USDA is currently accepting initial applications for the Conservation Stewardship Program (CSP), a national program that rewards farmers for protecting and enhancing natural resources on their working lands. CSP funding includes expanded options for conservation activities and an increased minimum payment to help smaller-scale producers. Contracts may include a range of practices from cover crops and rotational grazing to ecologically-based pest management. Interested farmers should visit their local NRCS office to fill out a...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 5, 2016 on food safety, research

USDA’s Economic Research Service (ERS) is researching how the produce industry will fare economically under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), and grower participation in the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) 2016 Vegetable Chemical Use Survey is vital to the success of the study. You may have received a postcard notifying you that you were selected to participate in this survey. It is being distributed randomly to vegetable growers in 19 states. One question on the survey covers biological pesticides. Other questions ask about practices commonly used by organic growers...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 5, 2016 on research

University of California, Davis (UC Davis) researchers are looking for certified organic producers to participate in a multi-regional study to assess current management practices used by the organic industry related to adding raw or untreated manure to crop fields. The goal of our study is to provide organic farmers with science-based effective strategies that limit food safety risks when using valuable raw manure-based soil amendments. UC Davis researchers will visit cooperating farms eight times over the 2017-2018 growing season. They will collect produce, water, soil, and manure samples....
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, December 5, 2016 on general organic

Now we are pleased to offer every organic certifier’s organic clients a one-time, introductory membership fee to Rodale Institute's Organic Farmers Association for only $25! This is a savings of $75 and will only be available for the first year of membership. Why are we doing this? Because we believe so strongly that this is the direction we need to go as organic farmers. For 70 years the Rodale Institute has been providing the world with the most trusted and valued information on organic agriculture. Isn't it then only fitting that we take this role to the next level and help create a robust...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, policy, water

Play a role in developing sustainable groundwater use rules by participating in your local Groundwater Sustainability Agency. The group Salinas Valley Groundwater is holding a stakeholder forum on Monday, November 14, to develop recommendations on the structure of this new agency, which will develop and implement plans to sustainably manage groundwater. California passed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) in 2014 that requires the state, for the first time, to regulate groundwater use. The Groundwater Sustainability Agencies will develop groundwater management plans for their...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on regulatory, water

All farming operations, including those that are certified organic, that are producing commercial crops on irrigated land on California’s central coast must enroll in the Central Coast Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program and comply with the Agricultural Order requirements. Fines of up to $1,000 per day may be assessed on operations who fail to enroll. Operations that have been notified they must enroll and fail to do so are most at risk of being fined. To find out which of the nine regional water quality control boards in which your operation is located, please navigate to this map and type in...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on water

COPA is organizing conversations and house meetings in East Salinas around issues of water and the new Groundwater Sustainability Agency that is being created. COPA is an organization of 24 member institutions throughout the region that work together on issues that emerge out of conversations like these. If you are interested in participating in one of these conversations, please contact the COPA office at 831-728-3210. *** This article was submitted by Rosa Vitela of Communities Organized for Relational Power In Action (COPA).
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on espanol, water

COPA está organizando conversaciones y reuniones de casa en el este de Salinas en torno a cuestiones del agua y la nueva implementación de la Agencia de Sostenibilidad del Agua Subterránea (Groundwater Sustainability Agency) que está siendo creada. COPA es una organización de 24 instituciones miembros a través de la región que trabajan juntas en temas que surgen de conversaciones como esta, y si a usted le interesaría participar en una de estas conversaciones, favor de ponerse en contacto con la oficina de COPA al 831-728-3210. ***  Escrito por Rosa Vitela de Communities Organized for...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, October 31, 2016 on advocacy, farm bill, policy

The national Farm Bill is one of the most important pieces of national legislation for the agricultural sector. The Farm Bill provides funding for an array of programs that serve farmers and ranchers. It comes up for renewal by the United States Congress every five years. To prepare for the next Farm Bill, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in a Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the 2018 Farm Bill. The brief survey addresses production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension...
Written by Guest Blogger on Friday, October 21, 2016 on pests and pesticides, research


A California Deptartment of Food and Agriculture grant proposal, Biological Control of Bagrada Bug, Bagrada Hilaris (Pentatomidae), was selected for funding by the 2016 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. This project will provide a sustainable pest management strategy for suppressing this pest in California. First reported in the United States in 2008, the bagrada bug has spread throughout agricultural areas of Imperial and Riverside counties, up through the Central Valley, and along the coast from San Diego to Monterey Bay. Currently, the only means for controlling this pest is the use of...
Written by Guest Blogger on Monday, September 26, 2016 on advocacy, policy, seeds

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse. Bayer recently announced that it reached a merger agreement with Monsanto, which will create the world's largest supplier in seeds and agricultural chemicals. DuPont and Dow, and ChemChina and Syngenta, have also announced agreements to merge. If the Department of Justice (DOJ) allows these three mega-mergers to move forward, three corporations will sell nearly 60% of the world's seed. This level of concentration will have grave impacts on U.S. agriculture, including organic. We know that consolidation...

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