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Preharvest Conversations Growers & Wineries Need to Have Regarding Smoke Taint

“Uncertainty” seemed to be the theme of 2020 for all, and it was no different for the wine industry.  Unfortunately, this uncertainty continues this year for wine grape growers as they gear up for harvest amidst another threatening wildfire season.  With severe drought plaguing the American West, it’s not a question of if, but when more wildfires will occur and …

Preparing to Harvest Raisins Under Smoky Skies: What Growers Need to Know

Most agricultural news coverage of the wildfire impact last year focused on the wine grape industry.  Though raisins don’t share the same concern for smoke taint as wine grapes, the lack of radiant sunlight due to smoky overcast skies had a significant effect on the sugar accumulation and natural drying process for much of Central Valley raisin crop last year. …

USDA to Begin Payments for Farmers Impacted by 2018 & 2019 Natural Disasters

More than $1 billion in payments will be released over the next several weeks starting June 15 for agricultural producers with approved applications for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program and for producers who have already received payments through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+). These U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) programs provide disaster assistance to producers who …

Will Drought Fan the Flames this Fire Season?

Will the current drought increase the chances of another bad fire season this year? We talked to Scott Stephens―a fire ecologist at UC Berkeley and a member of the PPIC Water Policy Center research network―about the risks, and what can be done. How might drought conditions affect this fire season?  With very low moisture levels in vegetation in landscapes across the state, …

Helping Stevia Brave the Cold

It’s a fact – humans love sugar. For those of us who also like to watch our calories, sugar substitutes can help. Some zero-calorie or low-calorie sweeteners have attracted bad reputations for containing unnatural ingredients. But there are also natural sweeteners derived from plants, like stevia Stevia is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar, and it has no calories. The …

USDA Extends Application Deadline for the Quality Loss Adjustment Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) is extending the deadline from March 5 to April 9 for agricultural producers to apply for the Quality Loss Adjustment (QLA) Program because of recent winter storms and some clarifications to program rules. This program assists producers who suffered crop quality losses due to qualifying 2018 and 2019 natural disasters. “Because of recent winter …

USDA Reminds Producers of Disaster Assistance Application Deadline

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) reminds producers that the deadline to submit applications for disaster recovery assistance through the Wildfire and Hurricane Indemnity Program Plus (WHIP+) for 2018 and 2019 losses is Friday, Oct. 30. Additionally, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) launched a new tool on farmers.gov to help producers with the application process. The new tool documents information about a producer’s operation and helps …

Farm Bureau Releases Fire Policy and Legislative Recommendations

Napa County Farm Bureau — The recent wildfires in Napa County have had a dramatic impact on the way we live and work and have once again demonstrated the need for better fire prevention practices to mitigate the impact subsequent fires have in our region. The Napa County Farm Bureau has consistently addressed this issue for the last two years …

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