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NRCS Announces Funding to Work with CA Farmers to Improve Water Quality

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has awarded $1.6 million in funding through the National Water Quality Initiative (NWQI) for three projects in high priority watersheds in California to help agricultural producers improve water quality. “The NWQI allows us to address water quality problems at a watershed scale,” said NRCS State Conservationist Carlos Suarez. “We can target the …

Promotable California Table Grape Volume Continues Through December

With promotable volume of California grapes available through December, retail promotion and consumer advertising continue through year-end in the U.S., and in Canada, Mexico, and other key export markets, according to Kathleen Nave, president of the California Table Grape Commission. Noting that harvest is still underway in some areas, Nave said that in a typical season California ships grapes throughout …

Central Valley Groundwater may be Unable to Recover from Past and Future Droughts

American Geophysical Union — Groundwater in California’s Central Valley is at risk of being depleted by pumping too much water during and after droughts, according to a new study in the AGU journal Water Resources Research, an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on hydrology and water resources. The new study shows groundwater storage recovery has been dismal after the state’s last two droughts, …

Registration Now Open for NCAT’s Latino Farmer Conference

The National Center for Appropriate Technology and Natural Resources Conservation Service will partner to host the seventh annual Latino Farmer Conference, a Spanish-language sustainable agriculture event created for Latino farmers. “Farmers who attend the Latino Farmer Conference are more likely to be starting out, and more than half of them grow specialty crops,” said NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Specialist Omar Rodriguez. …

New Advocacy Program Blazes Trail for Beef

Driving the demand for beef starts at the grassroots with a strong network of advocates willing to share beef’s positive message. The new Trailblazers program, developed by the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), a contractor to the Beef Checkoff, takes advocacy to the next level by giving participants the tools and training they need to promote beef to new audiences …

NCAT Launches Nation’s First AgriSolar Clearinghouse of Resources

In less than a decade, solar installations are expected to cover more than 3 million acres of the United States, creating a big opportunity to pair solar with agricultural land to produce food, conserve ecosystems, create renewable energy, increase pollinator habitat, and maximize farm revenue. The National Center for Appropriate Technology, a nonprofit focused on sustainable energy and agriculture solutions, …

Infrastructure Bill Delivers Major Victory for Western Water Users

With President Joe Biden’s signature on the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, a national coalition representing thousands of Western farmers, ranchers, businesses and rural and urban water providers declared a victory for Western water users and called on the Administration to immediately clear the path for projects that will address critical Western water supply needs. The Infrastructure Investment and …

$270 Million in Pandemic Assistance to Poultry, Livestock Contract Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has begun issuing approximately $270 million in payments to contract producers of eligible livestock and poultry who applied for Pandemic Assistance. Earlier this year, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) identified gaps in assistance including in the initial proposal to assist contract growers. In August, USDA released the improved program for contract producers to fill these gaps, providing support as part of USDA’s broader Pandemic Assistance …

Western Growers Names Steve Mangapit Chief Operating Officer

Steve Mangapit has been named the first Chief Operating Officer in Western Growers history, and in the new role he will be focused on operational efficiencies, improvements and innovations at the company. Mangapit will start in January 2022. He joins Western Growers from AP | Keenan, where he served as Vice President of the health plan administration company. At Keenan he …

Environmentally Friendly ‘Jelly Ice Cube’ Could Transform Cold Storage

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new type of cooling cube that could revolutionize how food is kept cold and shipped fresh without relying on ice or traditional cooling packs. These plastic-free, “jelly ice cubes” do not melt, are compostable and anti-microbial, and prevent cross-contamination. “When ice melts, it’s not reusable,” said Gang Sun, a professor …

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