18 October 2017

Advocates needed for soil and water conservation programs!

Soil Stewards!
You might have heard the sorely disappointing news out of Sacramento that the Healthy Soils Program's funding will be discontinued! Another innovative program for water conservation, SWEEP, will also be cut.

There are two meetings in Salinas next week where feedback on those two programs will be collected. Please see info below and consider attending and speaking up!

1) Assembly Ag Committee & Select Committee on Rural Economic Development Hearing
Wednesday, October 25th, 10am-12:30pm @ Hartnell College - Alisal Campus in Salinas

Assemblymember Anna Caballero, the powerful chair of both committees above, is hosting this hearing. The focus of the hearing is Ag Tech Innovation and Workforce Readiness (agenda attached). This is a prime opportunity to advocate for restoring funding to the SWEEP program, given its role in promoting the use of advanced irrigation technology systems.
There will also be an open public comment period, which is a timely opportunity to express disappointment about the Healthy Soils funding cut and to ask for restored funding for the Healthy Soils program.

2) Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel (EFA SAP) Mtg
Thursday, October 26th, 1pm-5pm @ 1432 Abbott St, Salinas 

The EFA SAP advises and oversees CDFA on the implementation of the Climate Smart Ag Programs, and their meetings are the primary public venue for us to share our constructive criticism. It would be more impactful to hear feedback on the programs directly from farmers and ranchers. Importantly, their agenda includes an update on the process for proposing additional practices for the Healthy Soils program, as well as updates on the SWEEP program and Strategic Planning. Their public comment period will be an important opportunity to share feedback on the 1st round of the Healthy Soils program and make initial pitches for additional practices (e.g. Conservation Crop Rotations & Prescribed Grazing). 

02 October 2017

Field Workshop on Cover Crops: Benefits, Challenges, and Management Strategies

Now is the time to plan for planting a cover crop to control erosion, save water, and build soil health!
Cover Crops: Benefits, Challenges, and Management Strategies
Field Workshop on Thursday, October 12th
9:30 - 11:00 a.m.
Strawberry farm near Las Lomas // 424 Hall Road in Watsonville
(across from Hall School)
Questions or RSVPs to llurie@rcdsantacruz.org or 831.464.2950 x27

Do you farm on sloped ground?
Want to hear ideas on cover cropping to...
-improve soil quality?
  -disrupt pest and disease cycles?
   -save water?
    -transition to organic production?
      -reduce winter erosion?
       -potentially increase marketable yield in subsequent years?

Join the UC Cooperative Extension, RCD Santa Cruz County, and Pajaro Valley growers at a cover crop field workshop. You will share ideas with other growers and cover crop researchers on the benefits, challenges, and management strategies for including cover crop in many different production scenarios including:

  • Covered fallow rotations
  • Winter erosion control
  • Cover cropping in the furrows in strawberry and vegetable systems

Learn about and Sign up for incentives like cover crop seed rebates (up to $500/eligible grower). Contact llurie@rcdsantacruz.org for more info!

11 September 2017

Deadlines to Enroll in NAP (Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program)

NAP is a Disaster Assistance Program administered by the USDA Farm Service Agency. NAP provides financial assistance to producers of noninsurable crops when low yields, loss of inventory, or prevented planting occur due to natural disasters. See below for upcoming deadlines to enroll. 

PLEASE NOTE: that for those row crop farmers who missed the September 1 deadline, late enrollment is a possibility and may even be a more seamless process! Contact your regional FSA office for more information.

 2018 NAP Application Closing Dates

Closing Date

Ornamental and Non-ornamental
shrubs, trees & foliage
Annual Row Crops
ALL crops with Multiple Planting Periods
San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Barbara, Ventura, San Benito, Santa Clara, Orange, Fresno, Tulare
All GRASS and MIXED FORAGE with an intended use of GZ or FG

All crops with an intended use of GR or SD

Value Loss and Controlled Environment Crops
Ex. Veggie seed, grass seed, etc.

Aquaculture, flowers & Christmas trees
Fall Planted Garlic, Fall Planted Onions, Strawberries

Perennial Tree Crops
Almonds, Apricots, Caneberries, Cherries, Grapes, Kiwi, Mint, Nectarines, Olives, Peaches, Pears, Persimmons, Pistachios, Plums, Pomegranates, Walnuts, Blueberries, etc

ALL other crops with an intended use of FG or GZ
Ex. Barley, oats, triticale, wheat, etc

Perennial Herbs



Annuals – All annual crops with one Planting Period only

Tomatoes, green beans, annual herbs, squash, carrots, peppers, Brussel sprouts, safflowers, sunflowers, etc.
2019 First NAP Application Closing Date

2019 Lag Avocados & Citrus:  Oranges, Lemons, Limes, Grapefruit, Tangelos, etc.

 NAP coverage is NOT available on any crop where individual insurance is available in the County at any level of maturity. If insurance is not available we can cover the crop.
·        Coverage begins the later of: 30 calendar days after the date CCC-471 is filed, or the date the crop is planted, not to exceed the final planting date
·        Coverage ends the earlier of harvest, abandonment or destruction of the crop or the normal harvest date

07 September 2017

Feedback wanted! Please participate in the Agricultural Workforce Development Survey

The AWET Program is a California statewide initiative, funded by the Chancellor's Office of Education, and created with the goal to identify and provide the required training for our agricultural workforce, based on the needs of the ag-industry. AWET's new project, the Agricultural Workforce Development Survey is currently gathering needs from farmers, ranchers, and companies working in agriculture from all sizes regarding workforce development. 

For this survey tool to be representative and inclusive, we want to invite members of the Central Coast FarmLink community to take five minutes of their time to provide their input regarding their needs as businesses. Our ultimate goal is to provide our local government and community colleges with enough information to develop the right training for our agricultural workforce.

Follow this link to learn more about and take this survey: 

30 August 2017

FREE 4-day Advocacy Training for Californian Womyn Farmers & Ranchers

The Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) and California Climate Action Network (CalCAN) are hosting a fully funded four-day policy advocacy training for women farmers and ranchers. The training, Forces of Natures: Advocacy Skills Training for Women Farmers and Ranchers, will be held at OAEC in Sonoma, California, on November 9-12, 2017.
The training will boost advocacy skills for women passionate about regenerative ranching and farming, enhance strategic thinking, and provide an environment ripe for networking and mentoring. The training schedule is available online .
Registration is limited to women in agriculture who are actively farming or ranching in California. Priority registration will be given to women of color and women farmers and ranchers from underrepresented parts of the state. The training, which include meals and overnight accommodations at OAEC, is free. A $100 deposit is required at registration to reserve your space, but will be refunded at the event. Register here.
Speakers at the event include CCOF member and owner of Full Belly Farms Judith Redmond, co-founder and executive director of CalCAN Renata Brillinger, Janaki Jagannath, and Kendall Dunnigan. 

Please contact Kendall Dunnigan at kendall@oaec.org for more information.

18 August 2017

Apply Now for the Healthy Soils Incentives Program and EQIP!

CDFA Healthy Soils Program Currently Accepting Applications from Agricultural Producers
DEADLINE September 19th

The California Department of Food & Agriculture's HSP Incentives Program is accepting grant applications until 5:00pm on September 19, 2017.  The Program will provide financial incentives to California growers and ranchers for implementation of agricultural management practices that sequester carbon, reduce atmospheric GHGs, and improve soil health.  

For application assistance, the Guadalupe-Coyote RCD and the Loma Prieta RCD are co-hosting a technical workshop next Tuesday (see below) for producers interested in applying for HSP funding. This workshop is offered free of charge thanks to funding provided by the CDFA. For more application assistance opportunities, please view the Application and Technical Assistance Workshop Schedule. You can also check out this Fact Sheet, courtesy of CalCAN, to learn more.

HSP Incentives Program 
Application Assistance Workshop
Date: Tuesday, August 22;  Time:1-3:30pm;
Location: Old City Hall Restaurant, Gilroy, CA. 

EQIP Applications Now Being Accepted!
Applications are currently being accepted by the Alameda County Conservation Partnership for projects through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), including livestock water development, cross-fencing, erosion control, cover crop, hedgerow establishment, and habitat improvements for wildlife.

EQIP provides financial and technical assistance to agricultural producers, who own or lease land, in order to address natural resource concerns and deliver environmental benefits on these lands.   

09 August 2017

We want to hear from you!: Listening Session for Farm Bill on Aug 10th

Your opinion can shape the next

Growers - Shippers - Farmworkers - Value-Added Producers - Food/Nutrition Stakeholders are invited to come speak and share their unique perspectives in a farm bill discussion with Representatives Panetta and Costa, as well as Ranking Member Peterson on Thursday, August 10th (9:30am - 11:00am) in Salinas, CA.

Thursday * August 10, 2017
9:30am - 11:00am (doors at 9am)
Hartnell Community College
Steinbeck Hall
411 Central Avenue
Salinas, CA

This will be their opportunity to provide concerns, priorities, feedback on current programs and what changes they would like to see in the next bill.  As a way to hear from at many attendees as possible, comments per person will be limited to 2-minutes. Seating will be first come, first serve to anyone who would like to attend, and doors will open at 9:00am.  Seating will be first come, first serve.

To follow up on the event, participants can also submit written comments to HouseAgListens@mail.house.gov.

We hope to see you there!