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GROWMARK Announces 2023 FFA Essay Contest

The theme for the 2023 GROWMARK Essay Contest is: “How can ag cooperatives stay relevant to future generations?” The contest is open to all high school FFA members in the United States. This is the 30th year for the program, sponsored by the GROWMARK System and FS member cooperatives, in conjunction with state FFA leaders, to help young people develop their …

Sorghum Producers to Lead $65 Million USDA Partnerships for Climate-Smart Commodities Funded Project

Quantifying the climate impact of incorporating sorghum and other tools into rotations while serving as a trajectory for the sorghum industry’s continuous environmental improvement throughout this decade and the next is the focus of a five-year, up to $65 million project by National Sorghum Producers. Funding for the project was provided by a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture …

Effort Secures Federal Procurement Program for Almonds

More school children and others benefitting from food nutrition programs all across the country will enjoy California almonds this year, thanks to their inclusion in federal ag marketing efforts. A USDA program known as Section 32 allows the U.S. Department of Agriculture to buy surplus ag commodities to distribute through various federally subsidized food programs. The almond industry doesn’t always …

Sonoma Growers Put Vineyard Employees on Path Toward Leadership

The first cohort of the Sonoma County Winegrape Growers Foundation Leadership Academy for Vineyard Employees has graduated! I spoke to this group at their first get-together several months ago, and their final installment for this innovative program was a visit to CDFA headquarters in Sacramento, so we were honored to be the “bookends” for them. I thoroughly enjoyed a chance to sit …

Harnessing the Power of Natural Volatile Compounds in Grapevines that Thwart Sharpshooters

Grapevines have a natural defense mechanism against Glassy-winged sharpshooter, a notorious vector for Pierce’s disease, that researchers are trying to learn more about. Watch this brief interview with Julie Pedraza from the Fresno State Viticulture & Enology Research Center and read more about it n American Vineyard Magazine. Please thank this video’s sponsor Suterra for their industry support.

Fresno State Researchers Speed Up Grape Composition/Maturity Monitoring Process

Monitoring the progress of your grape composition and timing harvest just right when you have thousands of acres, several varieties and diverse growing conditions can be difficult to keep up with.  Well, the Fresno State Department of Viticulture & Enology has been working with industry collaborators on speeding up with process with greater accuracy.  Watch this brief video with Luca …

Organic Raisin Grower Shares Methods for Improving Soil Health & Moisture Retention

Anything that can help improve soil moisture retention, limit weed pressure and improve soil health in the vineyard is worth looking into, right?Watch this brief interview with Central Valley organic raisin grower Steven Cardoza as he shares what he is doing with grant funding from the UC Cooperative Extension to accomplish these objective.  Read more about it in American Vineyard …

Using Hyperspectral Imaging to Detect Grapevine Water Stress

Drones are being more widely employed for various purposes in the agricultural sector.  The Fresno State Department of Viticulture & Enology is taking things to the next level by measuring grapevine water stress through hyperspectral imaging, using drone-accumulated data to further automate the irrigation process. Watch this brief interview with Luca Brillante and Kaylah Vasquez to learn more, and read …

Anaerobically Digested Dairy Manure to Serve as Liquid Fertilizer for Tomatoes

Researchers at UC Davis have found a new, safe way to treat dairy manure for use as a high quality, organic liquid fertilizer on fresh produce crops.  Watch this interview with Ruihong Zhang from UC Davis as she shares the results of their studies and read more in California Dairy Magazine. Please thank this video’s sponsor Clean Energy for their industry support.

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