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Ag Economics

Modifying Marketing Orders to Face New Challenges

Growers’ strategies to enhance the economic sustainability of their farms are constantly evolving to address changing markets and production conditions. State or federal marketing orders enable farmers, farmer-organizations, and, in some cases, handlers to act collectively to further their mutual economic interests without violating anti-trust law. In order for marketing orders to be relevant with changing agricultural conditions, they must periodically have …

State Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs Permanently Protect 3.1 Million Acres as of January 2020

Today, American Farmland Trust‘s Farmland Information Center, released results from its annual “Status of State Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement Programs” summarizing state PACE activity through the end of December 2019. Purchase of Agricultural Conservation Easement programs use public funds to compensate property owners for keeping their land available for agriculture. As of January 2020, thirty states have authorized programs …

Is COVID-19 Aid Reaching Farmers?

The second iteration of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP-2) developed by USDA to help compensate farmers for losses due to the coronavirus pandemic is working much better and reaching more farmers than the first round of aid launched earlier this year. Since CFAP-2 opened to farmers on September 21, 2020 participation has been brisk and as the program application …

New Tehachapi Mountains American Viticultural Area

Effective December 21, 2020, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau’s (TTB) will establish the Tehachapi Mountains American Viticultural Area (AVA). Spanning approximately 58,000 acres, this will allow local vintners to use the “Tehachapi Mountains” appellation of origin on bottle labels for wine produced in the Tehachapi Mountains AVA.  Congressman Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield) applauded the mid-November announcement from TBB with the following statement: “This announcement …

Model Filter System Removes Antibiotics from Wastewater

A model for an economical filter system that can remove antibiotics from wastewater has been designed by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of California-Riverside (UCR) collaborators. Microbiologist Mark Ibekwe with the ARS Agricultural Water Efficiency and Salinity Research Unit in Riverside, California, and UCR soil chemist Daniel Ashworth constructed the prototype system using four layers of natural materials: gravel, …

Prop 15 Defeated By California Voters

Proposition 15, the largest property tax increase in California history, was defeated today by a margin of more than 550,000 votes, ending a challenge by Service Employees International Union, California Teachers Association, California State Parent Teacher Association and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to dismantle major portions of Proposition 13, the greatest tax protection measure left in the highest taxed state in …

Microbes Escape Wildland Fires on Smoke Particle ‘Life Rafts’

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire — and also lots of microorganisms, according to a new study from the University of Florida. For the first time, researchers have measured the number of microbes in smoke from fires in wilderness areas, also known as wildland fires. The researchers also found that a surprisingly high percentage of microbes survive the blazes and are lofted into …

Port of Oakland Update on Container Availability and Shipping Line Disruption

The Almond Alliance hosted a zoom call with the Port of Oakland this morning to discuss issues with shipping lines and container availability at the Port of Oakland.  Through October 2020, Oakland sent out 18% fewer empty containers compared to the same time period in 2019.  Empty container exports dropped 30% between September 2020 and October 2020 (41,440 TEU vs …

Four Dairy Snack Startups Compete For $200,000 In Real California Milk Snackcelerator Competition Finals

Two Savory, Two Sweet Competitors Preparation for Final Showdown to Make it to Market Tracy, Calif. – November 12, 2020 – Ice cream infused with vegetables, to-go premium cheese snacks, decadent chocolate mousse and flavored paneer make up the finalists announced today in the Real California Milk Snackcelerator product innovation competition created by the California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) and …

Farmer’s Inspiration Leads to Squash Donation to Central CA Food Bank

West Side farmer John Diener had flash of inspiration. Why not plant butternut squash? Diener is a long-time research cooperator with UC Cooperative Extension specialist Jeff Mitchell, who has studied innovative, sustainable farming practices for 21 years at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center under four different treatments: no-till plus cover crops, no-till with no cover crops, conventionally tilled with cover …

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