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2017 Census of Agriculture Launching March 21

In conjunction with National Agriculture Day, the National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS) is launching the 2017 Census of Agriculture on March 21, 2017.

The Census of Agriculture is taken every five years and collects comprehensive data on farms, ranches, and the people who operate them. The Census is conducted in all 50 states and all five U.S. territories.

An Organic Researcher Perspective on Organic Check-off Funds

As organic researchers, we are very excited about the prospect of organic check-off funds going towards supporting research to help us address U.S. organic farmers’ most pressing needs to increase production of organic food, feed and fiber. For years, we have fought the federal government and our state universities for every organic research dollar. Traditionally, organic research has been woefully underfunded.

CCOF Undertakes Report on California’s Organic Program

Many CCOF members feel strongly that fees charged by the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Organic Program are duplicative of the fees that they pay for organic certification to the National Organic Program (NOP) and that the state program should be eliminated. In response to these concerns, CCOF’s policy team is undertaking a research and review process to examine the role of the California state organic program relative to the NOP and develop a set of policy recommendations.

Cole Crop Growers Sought to Monitor Bagrada Bug Activity in the Central Valley

Cole Crops

As part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service’s efforts to develop a biological control program for the bagrada bug, the laboratory of Dr. Brian Hogg at the USDA in Albany, California, is investigating whether any native predators or parasitic wasps attack bagrada bug eggs. The laboratory is currently looking for organic farms growing cole crops in the Central Valley to include in its survey.

Deadline Extended to Submit Proposals on a New Organic Promotion Order

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) extended the deadline for the public to submit alternative or partial proposals on a new industry-funded organic promotion order until July 20, 2015.

The USDA will consider the submitted proposals prior to publishing a proposed Organic, Promotion, Research, and Information Order that would create an industry-funded promotion and research program for organic products under the Commodity Promotion, Research, and Information Act of 1996.

Have an Opinion on the Organic Check-off? Comment Today!

The proposed organic check-off program is open for comment through March 20, 2017. CCOF members are strongly encouraged to comment. Comments should include any recommended improvements to the proposal as it is now published and whether the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) should move forward with putting the proposal to a nationwide referendum.

About the Organic Check-off

Input Needed from Organic Growers for Study on Biodiversity

A new research study, "Biodiversity and Organic Farming in the United States," led by Carolyn Dimitri at New York University, needs the input of certified organic growers nationwide.

Last Chance! Comment on the Organic Check-Off Today

April 19, 2017 is the last day to submit comments on the Organic Research, Promotion, and Information Order, commonly known as the Organic Check-Off.

After extending the deadline by 60 days, the National Organic Program has received over 3,500 comments on the program.

New Report Assesses Federally Funded Organic Research

The Organic Farming Research Foundation (OFRF) has completed its analysis of federally-funded organic research projects and released the findings in the report Taking Stock: Analyzing and Reporting Organic Research Investments 2002-2014.

OFRF analyzed 189 organic research projects that were funded by USDA’s Organic Research and Extension Initiative and Organic Transitions competitive grants over the course of 13 years, representing $142.2 million of research funds.

New Study Finds That Maintaining Diverse Vegetation on Farms Enhances Food Safety

A new study out of the University of California, Berkeley shows that removing vegetation adjacent to farms on California’s Central Coast has not reduced the incidence of E. coli found in fresh produce. Instead, the reverse is true: farms that retained nongrazed riparian or other natural vegetation types had significantly lower prevalence of generic E. coli in water and pathogenic E. coli in produce.

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