Economics

What the Coming Farm Bill Could Mean for Specialty Crop Agriculture

As specialty crops become a bigger topic of conversation in the development of a new US Farm Bill, California growers could potentially receive more national support than ever before.  Watch this brief interview with Sara Arsenault, new Vice President of the Almond Alliance of California as she explains — based on her presentation at the recent Tree & Vine Expo. …

UCCE Virtual Workshop Series on Nitrogen Management in Organic Production

Growers of organic vegetables and strawberries across California are invited to attend an online training to learn how to manage nitrogen fertilization. UC Cooperative Extension is offering the three-part Nitrogen Planning and Management in Organic Production of Annual Crops Workshop on Nov. 29, Dec. 5 and Dec. 12. Growers, certified crop advisers, pest control advisers and other agricultural professionals who are interested in learning …

Darkling Beetle Overwintering Locations and Movement into California Tomato Fields

Darkling beetles girdle seedlings at or below soil line by chewing which can cause significant damage and plant death when beetles are in high numbers. Darkling beetles are not usually a problem once plants are big enough to withstand the chewing damage. They move in from field edges, including weedy areas or adjacent crops like grains or alfalfa. Conventional control …

New Grant Aims to Reduce Plastic Taken From Fields to Landfills

Washington State University is leading a new project that aims to advance soil-biodegradable mulches and develop innovative methods for recycling the plastic. The projects is funded by a $8 million, four-year Specialty Crop Research Initiative grant from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Growers of crops like strawberries, raspberries, pumpkins, tomatoes, and melons depend on plastic mulch to …

Fresno-Area Women in Ag to Receive Support, Learning Circle & Resource Fair Nov. 2

Fresno-area farmers face water management and business viability challenges like never before, but financial and technical resources are available to help growers and landowners navigate these challenges. American Farmland Trust is partnering with the Sierra Resource Conservation District and USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service to gather women in agriculture around these issues and feature services they can lean on at a Women for the Land Learning Circle …

Judges Selected for AgSharks Pitch Competition

Western Growers and S2G Ventures have announced the judges for the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment. Three startups will be selected to pitch their inventions to these judges in front of an audience of …

Grower-Shippers Asked to Bear Burden of Unsustainable Dilemma of Under-Compensation

In the past two years, West Coast vegetables growers have been asked to absorb stratospheric aggregate inflationary input costs while at the same time trying to find a way to pass on 20%-30% inflationary costs, presenting them with an unsustainable dilemma. Without a long-term solution to this dilemma, we could all see fewer vegetables finding their way to grocers’ shelves. …

2021 Pacific Northwest Potato Production & Sales Announced

Growers were happy to see potato prices rise overall in the Pacific Northwest last year. The final value of Idaho’s 2021 potato crop sold was $1.04 billion, up 14 percent from 2020. The marketing year average price for potatoes in Idaho was $8.46 per cwt, up $1.18 from last year. In Oregon, the 2021 potato crop sold was valued at $218 million, up …

Getting to the Root of How to Grow Cowpea in Difficult, Dry Conditions

Cowpea is an important crop in many parts of the world, especially sub-Saharan Africa. It is resilient and can grow in areas with little rainfall and low-quality soils. But as hardy as it is, cowpea yields can decrease by drought and low levels of soil phosphorus. In a recent study, researchers determined cowpea root characteristics that could help the plants grow …

Artificial Photosynthesis Can Produce Food Without Sunshine

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a …

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