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Apply for SWEEP Grant to Improve Irrigation Efficiency by March 14

The State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP) offers agricultural operations in California up to $100,000 to invest in irrigation systems that reduce greenhouse gas emissions and save water.

As noted in a previous CCOF blog entry, SWEEP funds can be used to install the following:

Arctic® Apples: The Proposal for a New GE Food Needs Your Comments!

A proposal by the food industry continues the onslaught of new genetically engineered crops that threaten both organic farmers and consumers who may not want GMOs in their food. The latest genetically modified crop likely to be deregulated in 2014 are Arctic® apples, which have been engineered not to brown when sliced.

Organic proponents will likely question why the world needs non-browning apples, especially as this trait is not based on the basic agronomy or pest risks of the apple.

Assemblymember Irwin Introduces Bill to Help Farmers

Assemblymember Jacqui Irwin (D – Thousand Oaks) introduced a bill into the California State Assembly, AB-2377, to establish a technical assistance grant program for farmers and ranchers applying for California’s Climate Smart Agriculture programs. The technical assistance grants will address the difficulty in designing, applying for, and implementing projects for the programs.
 

Assistance Available for California Producers to Aid Declining Monarch Butterfly

Monarch
California agricultural producers can voluntarily help the monarch butterfly on their farms and ranches through a variety of conservation practices offered by the USDA. 
 
“With the monarch butterfly’s western population in peril, we’re encouraging California producers to make simple tweaks on their farms that can go a long way for this iconic species,” said Carlos Suarez, state conservationist with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California.

Attend the Salinas Valley Groundwater Meeting November 14

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.

Attending EcoFarm? Join CCOF for a Celebration

Eco Farm Blog Photo
Photo by Liz Birnbaum
 
CCOF is hosting a reception to celebrate the release of the Policy Report for the Roadmap to an Organic California project.

Bagrada Bug News #3 Reports on Role of Weeds and Parasitoid Research

The third edition of the Bagrada Bug News is now available to read and print on demand.

This edition reports on work being conducted in California and France to test promising natural enemies of bagrada bug. Scientists collected three species of wasps that lay their eggs in bagrada bug eggs, thus killing the nymphs inside, in South Africa and Pakistan and are now assessing their potential for release as natural predators of bagrada bug in California.

Bagrada Bug News #4 Available for Free Download

The fourth issue of Bagrada Bug News, a free newsletter dedicated to developing organic management strategies and biocontrol of the bagrada bug, is now available online.

Bagrada bug, Bagrada hilaris, is an invasive stinkbug that first appeared in California in 2008. A prolific breeder with few organic control options, the pest has caused significant economic losses for organic growers, particularly in brassica crops such as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and other mustard family members.

Before the Brave to Perform at Roadmap to an Organic California Release Party

Before the Brave by Zack Pianko
Photo by Zack Piánko
 
In the face of climate catastrophes taking place worldwide, CCOF is leading the charge to create a climate-resilient California and United States.

Big Step for Organic Research: UC Cooperative Extension Hires First Organic Specialist

strawberries
Joji Muramoto, a longtime research associate with University of California Santa Cruz, has been hired as the first University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist dedicated to organic agriculture. Muramoto will coordinate a statewide program focusing research on organic fruit and vegetable production. He will provide educational resources to producers on topics such as organic pest management and soil fertility.
 
Cooperative Extension serves as a vital link between the University of California and the agricultural sector.

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