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Response times may be slow due to the wildfires affecting Santa Cruz County and Covid-19. Organic compliance deadlines and inspections will be delayed for businesses affected by these crises. Read the latest updates on the Northern California wildfires, and visit our Covid-19 webpage to find pandemic-specific information »

Los tiempos de respuesta serán lentos debido a los incendios forestales afectando al condado de Santa Cruz y COVID-19. Los plazos de cumplimiento orgánico y las inspecciones se retrasarán para los negocios afectados por estas crisis.  Lea las últimas actualizaciones sobre los incendios forestales del norte de California y visite nuestra página web de Covid-19 para encontrar información específica a la pandemia »

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A Timely Report on Public Breeding and Seed Varieties

Public breeding programs are needed now more than ever before, according to a recently released report titled Proceedings of Summit on Seeds and Breeds for the 21st Century Agriculture, published by the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI).

Adding Cannabis Cultivation to Your Farm Could Impact Your USDA Loans and Payments

In light of California’s new recreational cannabis cultivation and sales allowances, some organic producers are considering adding cannabis cultivation to their operations. However, producers should be aware that USDA has a long-standing policy regarding cannabis production, which could impact grower’s eligibility for a range of USDA programs including Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Farm Service Agency (FSA), and crop insurance. 
 

Agricultural Orders Regulate California Irrigation Discharges

Farmers and ranchers statewide must submit water test results and develop nutrient management plans for their land holdings under California state law.

Why these regulations exist:

Animal Welfare Comment Period Closed

USDA has closed the comment period for the Organic Livestock and Poultry Practices (OLPP) rule, which would strengthen and expand organic standards for animal welfare. CCOF submitted a comment  that explained the negative impacts to the organic community if the rule was further delayed, modified, suspended, or withdrawn, and called for the rule to be implemented.
 

Animals Need Access to Soil, Not Concrete

CCOF believes that organic livestock standards should require humane and ethical treatment of animals during all stages of production, including transport and slaughter. CCOF, consistent with our mission and principles, has long advocated for NOP standards that ensure outdoor and soil access.

In December 2011, the NOSB unanimously passed a recommendation on Animal Welfare and Stocking Rates that capped off several years of work on these subjects. The NOSB recommendations were consistent with CCOF and other organizations’ recommendations.

Applications Now Accepted for Cannabis Cultivation Licenses

CalCannabis is now accepting applications for annual licenses of commercial cannabis cultivators, nurseries, and processors. Applications are accepted and completed online through CalCannabis’ online portal
 
The online portal will accept applications for annual and temporary licenses. A temporary license is valid for 120 days and allows for operations to operate while their annual license applications are being processed.
 

Apply for Environmental Seat on NOSB

USDA is accepting nominations for the environmental seat on the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB). Eligible candidates must have environmental protection and resource conservation backgrounds. The deadline to submit nominations is August 7, 2017.
 

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:

Apply for the 2017 Governor's Environmental & Economic Leadership Awards!

Applications for California’s highest environmental honor, the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Awards (GEELA), are now being accepted until August 11, 2017. GEELA honors individuals, organizations, and businesses that have demonstrated voluntary contributions in conserving California’s resources, protecting and enhancing the environment, building public-private partnerships, and strengthening the state’s economy.
 

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.
 

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