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EPA grants Section 18 to combat sorghum aphid in Ariz.

Sorghum leaves with a heavy infestation of sugarcane aphids.

Fri, 23 Sep 2016 11:31:00 +0000

Emergency exemption for Transform WG use

The state of Arizona has received a Section 18 emergency exemption from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the use of Transform WG insecticide (Dow AgroSciences) to control sugarcane aphid in sorghum.

According to Ayman Mostafa, University of Arizona (UA) Cooperative Extension area agent in central Arizona, the sugarcane aphid is a new pest that’s highly invasive and hard to control in sorghum with many older insecticide chemistries.

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Taylor Farms boosts renewable energy footprint

Taylor Farms recently finished installation of a 1 megawatt solar farm at its Gonzales, Calif. location. Coupled with a large windmill, the renewable energy covers about one-fourth of the facility's energy during peak periods.

Thu, 22 Sep 2016 14:01:00 +0000

REC Solar project at Taylor Farms marks 100th agricultural installation
The newest Taylor Farms system in Gonzales, coupled with its existing wind turbine, can offset more than 25 percent of that facility’s energy consumption during peak periods. REC Solar previously completed a solar project for Taylor Farms in nearby Salinas, and is working with the company on additional projects for facilities in Tracy, Calif. and Dallas, Texas.

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Gallery: Farming guayule a good option for the Deen's

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 22:42:00 +0000

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Krone introduces lift technology for single-rotor rakes

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 18:31:00 +0000

Krone announces Swadro single-rotor rakes which now feature Krone lift tines with new angled ends allowing the equipment to lift the material while raking, creating the Krone lift effect.

Previously, Krone lift tines were only utilized on twin-rotor rake models.

The special design improves harvested forage quality by reducing contamination since the lift tines do not drag on the ground or pick up other materials from the field. In addition, the curve in the lift tines improves the windrow shape.

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Raisin growers are likely to harvest a smaller crop this year

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 13:47:00 +0000

Following last year’s bountiful harvest, California’s raisin growers were expecting production to slip this year but they didn’t think it would be nearly as much as their tray counts indicated.

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Results from first part of harvest earn thumbs up from Clarksburg grower

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:59:00 +0000

Clarksburg appellation wine grape grower Tim Waits wrapped up the harvest of his Pinot Noir and production averaged close to 9 tons per acre – exceeding his long-term average.

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Amid prospects of a bigger than expected crop, the market for California wine grapes remains stable

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 12:55:00 +0000

Despite indications of this year’s slightly larger than average crop, overall, the market for California’s wine grape crop appeared to be stable as the harvest continued into mid-September.

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Ag-at-Large: Dry beans important crop in Calif. farming

Black-eye peas in a Tulare County farm field.

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 18:03:00 +0000

Since the four varieties of beans grown in California are identified as dry, you’d think the just concluded drought would not have affected them, but it did. Recovery is underway.

Production of dry beans in California dropped from the average of 35,000 tons of tonnage to the high 20,000s in 2015. Several who normally grow them just didn’t plant, saving water for other crops with greater income potential. 

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Speaking out on California's proposed water grab

Reservoirs including New Melones could no longer be seen as irrigation sources for downstream farmers as the California Water Board proposes to double what it takes from the reservoir to ostensibly repair declining downstream fish populations.

Tue, 20 Sep 2016 00:10:00 +0000

Within the past several days the California Water Board issued a plan to boost flows in the San Joaquin River. The problem with that plan, according to opponents – and there are many – is that it could not only siphon billions of dollars from the state’s economy by wrecking agriculture in counties like Merced, Stanislaus and San Joaquin; it also could legally tread on the state’s long-standing water rights system.

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Deen family: A farmer’s take on growing guayule

Crop growers Gary and Billie Dean of Double D Farms Partnership at Marana, Ariz. are growing the perennial desert shrub guayule for the Bridgestone tire company for the plant's natural rubber content.


Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:48:00 +0000

Gary and Billie Deen of Marana, Ariz. are agricultural innovators. Like other growers, they are constantly on the lookout for new crop options to generate revenue to keep their operation financially afloat.

Two years ago, the Deens were contacted by the Bridgestone tire company about growing a new crop under contract for Bridgestone’s research and testing purposes – a desert shrub called guayule (pronounced Why-YU-lee).

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Mechanized strawberry transplanter helps reduce labor conundrum

The mechanized strawberry transplanter requires 16 people to plant ten acres a day. In comparison, 100 workers are required to plant strawberry plugs by hand per acre per day. In photo, the plugs are planted through holes made in the white plastic, designed to reduce weed growth.

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 22:19:00 +0000

Innovative agricultural technologies have propelled many U.S. farming operations into the 21st century through advanced control and assessment tools, plus processes and products to increase yields, fight pests, and speed up the crop production process from planting to harvest.

Despite the many wiz-bang computer-based gizmos showcased on trade show floors across the country, California strawberries – the Golden State’s third largest crop - still requires hand labor at harvest.

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Vilsack: Managing climate change a work in progress

USDA Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack answers media questions following the USDA Fall Forum on Climate Variability held at Arizona State University in mid-September.

Mon, 19 Sep 2016 21:51:00 +0000

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Secretary Tom Vilsack says everyone in agriculture has a responsibility to manage the impact of climate change, including the farming industry by collaborating with state and federal governments, and vice a versa, to develop solutions.

Vilsack, speaking at the USDA Fall Forum in Climate Variability, Water, and Land Use held at Arizona State University at Tempe on Sept. 14, laid out the longer-term challenges facing agriculture tied to climate change trends.

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The irony of celebrating local food in Sacramento

Photo by USDA, published under Creative Commons license.

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 22:38:00 +0000

Food production doesn’t happen in a vacuum. The right combination of soil, climate and irrigation water that has long-blessed California with such ability however lately it is under siege by lawmakers and regulators who apparently do not believe that domestic production of agricultural goods leads to better food security. Instead, food security and sustainability are merely talking points to be mentioned when politically convenient.

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Asian citrus psyllids found in Placer County, Calif.

Mandarins are a $1.6 million industry in northern California's Placer County, east of Sacramento.

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 21:52:00 +0000

Tip to state hotline reveals live psyllids in foothills east of Sacramento
A call to a state tip line drew confirmation of the first-ever find of Asian citrus psyllids in the northern California community of Lincoln.

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Organic movement is paying a big price

Scott Olson, Getty Images

Fri, 16 Sep 2016 20:49:00 +0000

I confess. I bought organic. I really had no choice if I wanted to buy raisins at Costco. Organic Sun-Maid raisins are the only raisins the biggest big box store sells in Fresno, Calif. They were smaller and less plump than raisins grown “non-organic” but cheap.

Farmers are entitled to produce certified organic, although it can be more expensive and the quality is generally lower.

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Biocontrol no silver bullet for ACP in commercial citrus

David Morgan (in photo) of the California Department of Food and Agriculture says biocontrol to combat the Asian citrus psyllid pest is effective in residential areas, but it’s not a “silver bullet” for commercial citrus. Growers need to use insecticide to battle the pest which can carry the citrus tree-killing disease Huanglongbing. 

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 21:55:00 +0000


While biocontrol is a helpful tool for the management of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) populations in residential areas of California, it has limited value in commercial citrus production.

With biocontrol efforts expanding and the production of the Tamarixia radiata wasp increasing, citrus growers may begin to rely too heavily on biocontrol as the solution to the threat of the disease Huanglongbing (HLB). It is crucial that citrus growers remain focused on effective pest management programs for their groves including the use of insecticides.

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North State Precision Ag Expo & Farm Business Forum, Nov. 15-16, Orland

Thu, 15 Sep 2016 17:52:00 +0000

Location Glenn County Fairgrounds 221 E Yolo St Orland, CA 95963 United States 39° 44' 31.2936" N, 122° 10' 50.8044" W See map: Google Maps The Glenn County Fairgrounds, in partnership with Kevin Spafford, founder of Legacy by Design LLC, is planning the North State Precision Ag Expo & Farm Business Forum scheduled for Nov. 15-16 in Orland, Calif. at the Glenn County Fairgrounds. This event is designed to: promote family-business in the North State; discover common concerns, share solutions, and learn best practices; solidify the community and create collaborative sharing opportunities; educate farming professionals about current/upcoming precision agronomic and business practices; and prepare farms and family business owners to embrace a more complex future. The Expo & Forum will also include a trade show, workshops, demonstrations, small breakout sessions, presentations, and networking opportunities. The goal is to attract proactive and forward thinking farmers, ranchers, and agribusiness owners from throughout the region. The two day event will provide the opportunity to learn firsthand about the latest in agricultural technologies and best practices in farm business management. Attendees will gain hands on experiences with the latest gadgets in our trade show, have access to multiple continuing education hours through a variety of speaker topics, and small workshops to get personalized instruction. Speakers include: Kevin Spafford, Legacy By Design; Eric Houk, CSU Chico; Scott Gregory, AgOne Solutions; Allan Fulton, University of California; John Unruh, CSU; John Hewlett, University of Wyoming; Noelle Ferdon, Golden State Farm Credit; Jake Brimlow, CSU; Roland Fumasi, Rabobank; Neil Koenig, author of “You Can't Fire Me, I’m Your Father!”; Kishore Joseph, CSU; Robert Ryan, Ryan Wealth Management; Michael Larkin, Helena Chemical Company; Christopher Gallo, Simplot; and Cody Hill, Ag One Solutions.  Tentative agenda: Nov. 15 7 a.m. - Registration and check in 8 a.m. – Breakfast - sponsored by CSU Chico College of Agriculture 8:15a.m. - Keynote: John Unruh, Dean, CSU Chico, College of Ag. - Agriculture Education in a New Age 9:00 a.m. - Morning sessions and trade show opens - Success to Significance Evolution of Precision Agriculture, and Precision Irrigation to Evaluate Orchard Water Stress 12:00 p.m. – Lunch, sponsored by Colusa-Glenn Farm Credit 1:00 p.m. - Afternoon Sessions Panel - Maintaining a Healthy Bottom Line Data Management, Make it Work for You Growing the Business of the Future Creating Capabilities, and Defining a Team 4:00 p.m. - Trade Show 4:30 p.m. - Mixer hosted by Heritage Insurance and California Women in Agriculture 6:00 p.m. - Trade Show closes Nov. 16 8 a.m. - Breakfast 8:15 a.m. - Keynote: Roland Fumasi, Senior Analyst, Rabobank - Land Values in California & How They Affect Your Opportunities 9:00 a.m. - Morning sessions and trade show opens - Food Safety & Security Regulations; 5 Big Mistakes in Succession Panel: A Look at the Future 12:00 - Lunch 1:00 p.m. - Afternoon Sessions - Safety isn’t Rocket Science; Using Satellite Imagery to Track Seasonal Tree Health; and Ag Apps to Change the Way You do Business 3:00 p.m. - Closing Session 4:00 p.m. - Trade Show closes Registration is available online. Registration cost: Stud[...]

Delta Corn-Sorghum Field Meeting, Oct. 4, Tyler Island

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 23:43:00 +0000


Tyler Island
United States

A Delta Corn and Sorghum Field Meeting is scheduled for Oct. 4 from 10 – 11:30 a.m. on Tyler Island at Mello Farms on Bunk Rd.


10 a.m. - Field corn variety evaluation – preliminary results -  Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor in San Joaquin County and the Delta

10:15 - Variety traits for the Delta - Seed company representatives

10:30 - Sorghum seeding rates for optimum productivity – preliminary results - Michelle Leinfelder-Miles

10:45- View field plots

Light refreshments will be provided.

Directions from Walnut Grove - Thornton Rd., go south on Race Trace Rd. Turn right on Tyler Island Rd. Follow the road up to the levee and the road bends left. Turn left on Brunk Rd. and follow the signs.

Weedy red rice reappears in California

University of California Rice Farm Advisors Whitney Brim-DeForest, left, and Luis Espino are working with growers to identify weedy red rice in their fields.

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 22:27:00 +0000

Weedy red rice, a considerable problem for rice growers in the South, is said to be in at least six fields in the northern California counties of Glenn and Butte.

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American Pima cotton on its way back

Ted Sheely of Lemoore, Calif., left, takes over as Supima chairman for retiring chairman Keith Deputy of Chamberino, N.M, center. Joining the board this year is new California director Brad Reinhart of Corcoran, Calif., right.

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 20:51:00 +0000

The pain of $3 American Pima cotton prices and the resulting loss in markets still lingers almost six years after the fact.

However, growers and merchants were told recently at Supima’s annual meeting in Coalinga, Calif. that the tide is turning with improved sales and an uptick in prices. Acreage is up 23 percent in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas this season to 190,300 acres with a production estimate of 565,000 bales, an increase from 433,000 bales last season.

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Research focuses on alternate uses for almond byproducts

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:36:00 +0000

Almond shells in baby diapers?
The almond industry is stepping up research efforts to find alternate uses for almond byproducts that could bring added value going well beyond the value for the nuts.

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Could subsurface drip irrigation work in California almonds?

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 12:13:00 +0000

A California delegation including leaders of the state’s almond industry traveled back to the future recently with a visit to Israel where modern drip irrigation systems were introduced at a desert kibbutz in the 1960s.

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California Navel orange survey says 84 million boxes

California should produce 84 million boxes of Navel oranges this season, according to the USDA. Most of those will be grown in the San Joaquin Valley.

Wed, 14 Sep 2016 00:14:00 +0000

San Joaquin Valley should produce 81 million boxes of Navels in 2016-17 season
California’s 2016-17 Navel orange estimate is projected to be 84 million cartons, down from the previous year’s actual utilization of 88 million cartons. According to survey data released earlier this week, Kern County growers have a higher average fruit set per tree at 472. Tulare’s fruit set averages 380 while in Fresno the average set is 296. This was based on a sample of 537 groves, the highest number of groves sampled since the 2012-13 season.

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Simazine herbicide under EPA re-registration review

Junglerice is one of the many weeds labeled for Simazine herbicide.

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 21:14:00 +0000

Public comment period runs until Oct. 4
The product is crucial for weed control in numerous crops, including: oranges, grapefruit, lemons, almonds, walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts, apples, pears, grapes, corn, cherries, peaches, plums, blueberries, strawberries, and other crops. The EPA re-registered simazine in 2006 and began its regularly scheduled registration re-review in June 2013, a process that typically takes six years to complete. In June 2016, EPA posted its draft ecological risk assessment..

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Government actions can sway Calif. growers to move

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 20:28:00 +0000

For California farmers, recent decisions by the state’s legislative and executive branches of government, including Governor Brown’s recent ‘John Hancock’ on the $15 per hour minimum wage and ag overtime legislation will make it H-A-R-D-E-R for them to economically remain in business in the nation’s No. 1 farming state.

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Case IH rolls out new large-square balers

The Case IH LB434XL 3x4 large square baler features a longer chamber, capable of boosting bale density by 10 percent over other models.

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 18:27:00 +0000

With the addition of Model Year 2017 RB5 series round balers, Case IH offers ISOBUS Class 3 functionality across the majority of its baler lineup and all Maxxum CVT, Puma and Optum tractors. This Advanced Farming Systems (AFS) technology enhances both productivity and bale quality. From the beefed-up bale chamber to the rugged frame, the LB434XL is designed from the ground up for large-scale hay and forage operations. Operators will immediately notice a 31.5-inch longer bale chamber. This 31 percent increase over current LB434 balers delivers up to 10 percent higher bale density. Greater density means more crop per bale, decreasing bale count.

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When agriculture succeeds we all prosper

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 17:33:00 +0000

Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner Les Wright likes to point out that his county’s drop to the No. 3 slot is completely due to water as growers on the west side of that county – Fresno is the only county in the San Joaquin Valley to cover the entire width of the Valley with farms – began having their water curtailed shortly after the turn of the 21st Century because of federal court decisions that stripped farmers of their irrigation water. Wright is right. The dust bowl that is now much of Fresno County’s west side began with the regulatory constraints on irrigation water that once freely flowed in the area.

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Kern County crop values fell 9 percent in 2015

Grapes hold on to the top spot in Kern County in 2015, though almond values close the gap as the second-leading commodity in the region.

Tue, 13 Sep 2016 15:40:00 +0000

Almond acreage climbs as overall grape acreage remains flat
Topping the county’s list of most valuable crops, grapes and almonds remained No. 1 and No. 2 with gross receipts near or above $1.5 billion each. Citrus rounds out the top three at over $927 million in gross value. As the county’s top commodity, total grape acreage remained unchanged from the previous year at 106,200. Internal changes in the grape industry saw acreage gains in wine varieties and a decrease in raisin acreage.

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Agriculture reacts to California's new overtime law

Mon, 12 Sep 2016 22:32:00 +0000

That said, Gov. Brown just signed into law AB 1066, a bill that forces farmers to pay their employees overtime after 8 hours per day. Current law exempts agricultural employees from the state’s overtime law. The law will be phased in over the next several years, meaning that farm workers who are not a part of a labor union won’t see the full effects of the law until 2020. Those who work under collective bargaining agreements will see none of this.

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