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Organic Plant Breeding Comes to UC Davis

It is a challenge for organic growers in California to find seed varieties that perform well in organic conditions, due to the fact that most plant breeding has been done for conventional production. This need for organic-specific vegetable varieties is being addressed by a new organic plant breeding project at the University of California, Davis, funded by a federal Organic Research and Extension Initiative grant.

Please Share Your Farm Bill Priorities

The Organic Trade Association (OTA) is encouraging producers and handlers to participate in OTA’s Farm Bill survey to provide feedback on new policy priorities for the upcoming 2018 Farm Bill. Major topics that are addressed in the survey include production concerns; marketing, funding, regulatory, research, and extension barriers; and past Farm Bill evaluation.

Post-Fiscal Cliff Farm Bill Update

In the last days of December and the beginning of January, Congress and the White House passed legislation to avoid the “fiscal cliff.” They attached language to the legislation that extends provisions of the 2008 Farm Bill for nine months, giving themselves until September 2013 to write a new farm bill. Unfortunately for farmers across the nation, this farm bill does not actually extend all programs and leaves many growers high and dry.

Preventing GMO Presence in Organic Products

In an environment where Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) and their derivatives are widely distributed throughout the food chain, it is imperative that organic producers and handlers have strategies and plans to keep them out. A key tenet of "coexistence" is shared responsibility for the exclusion of the methods and products of genetic engineering.

Proposed Seed Company Mergers: Bad News for Organic Farmers

The seed industry is one of the most consolidated in agriculture, and it's getting worse.

Public Comments for Spring NOSB Meeting in La Jolla, CA

The spring 2015 National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) meeting will be held April 27-30 in La Jolla, California. All CCOF members are encouraged to attend! This biannual meeting impacts what materials are allowed for 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).

Public Input Sought on Medical Cannabis Cultivation

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Medical Cannabis Cultivation Program (MCCP) is conducting a series of workshops to gather public input on a licensing program for medical cannabis cultivators.

Eight workshops will be convened at various locations in the state beginning September 13, 2016. The full schedule is online.

Registration Now Open for Bagrada Bug Meeting

CCOF, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and University of California Cooperative Extension are hosting a meeting on the invasive stinkbug Bagrada bug on Friday, December 11 at the Cooperative Extension office in Salinas from 9:30 a.m – 3 p.m. Click here to register for the meeting.

Rodale Celebrates 35th Year of Farming Systems Trial

The Rodale Institute in Pennsylvania began a side-by-side comparison of organic and conventional farming back in 1981. Today, the data collected in Rodale’s Farming Systems Trial show that organic farming produces competitive yields, builds higher levels of soil organic matter, retains more soil moisture, and is more profitable compared to conventional practices.

Sacramento Bee Publishes Article Supporting the California Organic Food and Farming Act

CCOF Board of Directors member and organic farmer Thaddeus Barsotti wrote an opinion piece supporting the California Organic Food and Farming Act (AB 1826) that was published in the Sacramento Bee on March 8, 2016.

Writing, “There is no group of people who wish to maintain the integrity of the certified organic label more than farmers,” Barsotti presented the reasons he supports CCOF’s effort to reform California’s State Organic Program through legislation.

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