From Field to Forum

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The National Organic Program has issued a draft guidance "Calculating the Percentage of Organic Ingredients in Multi-Ingredient Products (NOP 5037)" that is available for public comment through February 6, 2017.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 The draft guidance clarifies the standards for calculating organic percentages for finished products, including multi-...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 Meaghan Donovan on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, NOSB, policy

The National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) met in mid-November to hear public comment, vote on the 2018 Sunset Materials, and discuss and vote on various proposals. NOSB also held officer elections, and the board elected CCOF member Jesse Buie to serve as their new secretary. NOSB thanked outgoing members for their service, including CCOF member, inspector, and policy specialist Zea Sonnabend. Carmela Beck, representing Driscoll’s, also completed her term on the board. Proposals Passed by NOSB NOSB discussed and voted on seven proposals during the fall 2016 meeting. While most proposals...
Written by Kelly Damewood on Monday, December 5, 2016 on advocacy, policy, regulatory, water

The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board has issued tentative Order # R5-2016-XXXX Waste Discharge Requirements General Order for Poultry Operations, which may impact organic poultry operations. The Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board will be holding a hearing on December 5th and 6th in Rancho Cordova, for those that wish to comment on the proposed Order. The tentative order impacts poultry operations within the Region 5 Water Quality Control Board, which includes Modoc, Shasta, Lassen, Plumas, Butte, Glen, Colusa, Lake, Sutter, Yuba, Sierra, Nevada, Placer,...
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 Rachel Witte on Monday, November 28, 2016 on CCOF

As the organic movement grows, CCOF follows – we’re looking for passionate, talented individuals to help us support the organic community. From certifying farms and products, to engaging in organic advocacy, to helping the CCOF Foundation make a difference, there are a multitude of ways to get involved with organic at CCOF. Apply for one of our open positions, or spread the word to qualified individuals you know who would be great additions to our team. We are accepting applications for the following positions: Handler Certification Specialist CCOF Certification Services, LLC (CCOF) seeks two...
Written by Jacob Guth on Monday, November 28, 2016 on events, food safety

CCOF is hosting a three-day GLOBALG.A.P. IFA-Crops-Fruit & Veg v5.0-2 / PSS Training. If you want to learn more about GLOBALG.A.P. and food safety certification, you won’t want to miss this educational event December 5-7, 2016 at the CCOF office in Santa Cruz, California. Join the food safety and GLOBALG.A.P. experts for a three-day educational experience that includes two days of classroom instruction and one day of on-farm practical inspection experience on a certified organic farm. This training is perfect for producers considering a Global Food Safety Initiative (GFSI) certification,...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting opened with the announcement of five new appointees to the federal advisory committee. The NOSB was established by the Organic Foods Production Act to advise the National Organic Program on materials allowed in organic production and other organic issues. It is composed of 15 volunteers from around the country and includes four organic farmers; two handlers; three experts in environmental protection and resource conservation; three representatives of public interest or consumer groups; an expert in toxicology, ecology, or...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 21, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

The deadline to comment on the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) proposed rules on pesticide applications near schools has been extended to December 9, 2016. The rules may affect your operation. They propose to restrict pesticide applications via aircraft, airblast sprayer, sprinkler chemigation, or in the form of a dust, powder, or fumigant to ¼ mile from a school site between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. During those same hours, ground-rig spray, field soil injection, and drip or flood chemigation applications must be applied at least 25 feet...
Written by Meaghan Donovan on Monday, November 14, 2016 on advocacy, NOSB, policy

The fall 2016 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held November 16-18 in St. Louis, Missouri. This biannual meeting impacts which materials producers can use in organic production. After reviewing public comment and hearing testimony at the meeting, NOSB will make recommendations on standards and materials to the National Organic Program (NOP). The agenda for the fall NOSB meeting includes the review of a diverse set of materials, including carrageenan used in organic processing and copper sulfate used in organic rice production. NOSB will also discuss numerous other...
Written by Jane Sooby on Monday, November 7, 2016 on advocacy, materials and inputs, policy

California’s Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) is accepting written comments and holding three public hearings on proposed rules that will more strictly regulate pesticide applications near schools. The new rules restrict pesticide applications to ¼ mile or 25 feet from school sites between the hours of 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, the distance depending on the application method and the type of pesticide. Property owners must provide both annual and application-specific notification to schools in advance of all pesticide applications. Read the text of the rules. Learn...
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...

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