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Almond Conference will buzz with bee health, marketing

The California Almond Conference takes place Dec. 6-8 at the Sacramento Convention Center.

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 17:02:00 +0000

This year’s California Almond Conference will expand the time allotted for seminars and discussions, meaning growers, handlers, shippers and allied industry folks will want to get there earlier than in previous years.

Seminars begin Dec. 6 (Tuesday) at 11:30 a.m. with a discussion on bringing the almond orchard story to consumers. Seminars are slated throughout the day and will cap off with the state of the industry address at 4 p.m.

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Almond nurseries produce record tree numbers

A USDA survey reveals that at least 14.5 million almond trees were planted in California from mid-2014 to mid-2015. That is an estimated 108,000 acres of trees, of which about 71 percent were new plantings. The remainder was replacements for old orchards.

Fri, 28 Oct 2016 00:14:00 +0000

About 77,000 new acres of California almonds planted in last year

Nursery sales of almonds in California have never been higher, according to official figures.

According to the 2016 California Almond Nursery Sales Report, at least 14.51 million almond trees, enough to cover about 108,000 acres based on common density practices, were sold in California between June, 2015 and May, 2016. Nine of the 10 commercial nurseries surveyed for this year’s report returned their questionnaires.

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Growing the conversation through 'AgVocacy'

Rajan Gajaria, global leader for Dow AgroSciences in Latin and North America, encourages professional crop advisors to help farmers tell their story to consumers.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 16:20:00 +0000

The truth about American farmers feeding the world may not resonate as well with consumers as growers and producers might like; that is why there is a movement among some of the larger agricultural companies to personalize agriculture’s story.

Pest control advisors at the 42nd annual meeting of the California Association of Pest Control Advisors (CAPCA) in Anaheim, Calif. were encouraged to help make that story more personal as they advise growers and have occasion to talk with the public about what they do.

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California’s raisin industry remains under the weight of more supply than demand

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:30:00 +0000

Except for a few dried-on-the-vine (DOV) blocks here and there, California’s 2016 raisin grape harvest finished up by Oct. 15.

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Napa Valley grower’s harvest yields promising signs of a great vintage

Freshly picked Merlot waiting in bins in front of the historic winery building at Trefethen.

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 13:08:00 +0000

By the third week of October, all the grapes from the 2016 crop were off the vine in Trefethen Family Vineyards’ fields at the southern end of the Napa Valley.

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Santa Cruz Mountains wine grape crop makes the most of a cool summer

Thu, 27 Oct 2016 12:48:00 +0000

This year’s temperate, cooler-than-normal summer, free of any typical heat spikes, has played out well for the quality of this year’s Santa Cruz Mountains’ wine grape crop, reports viticulture consultant Prudy Foxx.

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Ag at Large: Gallons of misery surround dairies

Wed, 26 Oct 2016 18:28:00 +0000

It stands to reason. If we are the country’s largest producer of dairy products, and California is, difficulties that arise are likely to be large, even huge; ginormous in the language of the millennials.

California’s celebrated happy cows have become part of an unhappy industry. They continue to munch on costly feed, burp unwelcome methane gas, expel untold tons of manure and urine hourly, and occupy space that radical environmentalists and other ideologues believe might be better utilized by toads, daisies, high tech reflective panels, or even people.

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California Walnut Board hires new chief executive

As the California walnut industry continues to grow, new marketing opportunities will continue to be sought by the California Walnut Commission.

Michelle McNeil Connelly

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 21:15:00 +0000

Long-time Walnut Board marketing director promoted to new role

Michelle McNeil Connelly becomes executive director and chief executive officer of the California Walnut Board (CWB), effective Nov. 1.

She succeeds Dennis Balint, who served as the organization’s leader since 1995.

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Valent wins California registration for ReTain in almonds

ReTain by Valent is now labeled for use in California almonds as a means to extend the bloom time period and possibly aid in better nut set through increased pollination opportunities.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 20:59:00 +0000

Valent U.S.A. Corporation recently received label registration from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation for its plant growth regulator “ReTain.”

The product is labeled for almonds as a means to help improve nut set potential.

ReTain extends the viability of almond blooms by giving more opportunity for pollination. The naturally-occurring active ingredient in ReTain works by reducing ethylene production in almond blossoms and delaying flower and stigmatic senescence.

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Arsenal of weapons target ‘black plague' (HLB) in citrus

Etienne Rabe, left, vice president for horticulture with Wonderful Citrus, and Nick Hill, chairman of the Citrus Pest and Disease and Prevention Program, during a break at the 2016 California Citrus Conference.

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 14:54:00 +0000

Tail wagging at warp speed, a springer spaniel named Bello is on the hunt for a deadly disease in a Florida citrus grove.

The tail only ceases to wag when the dog finds what it’s sniffing for – the presence of the deadly disease Huanglongbing (HLB) in a tree. The dog sits. That’s its way of pointing to the diseased tree.

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Bayer expects California registration for Velum One nematicide

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 22:29:00 +0000

Bayer anticipates the California registration of its new Velum One nematicide for use in the 2017 growing season.

Velum One, a nematicide with fungicidal activity, would be registered for use on almonds, tomatoes, strawberries, brassicas, and cucurbits.

The product will manage a wide spectrum of yield-robbing nematodes and bring wide spectrum, long-lasting nematode control to California growers.

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Arizona Agribusiness Roundtable, Dec. 12, Tempe

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 20:55:00 +0000


1 E. Continental Dr.
Tempe, AZ 85281
United States
33° 27' 16.9056" N, 111° 56' 31.2576" W

The 2nd annual Arizona Agribusiness Roundtable is scheduled for Dec. 12 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Salt River Project’s (SRP) PERA Club from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Roundtable is intended to develop a ‘collective’ proactive point of view about Arizona’s future, servings as a gathering of leaders to share thoughts about the future.

This meeting is for agribusiness bankers, investors and finance people, equipment suppliers, feed suppliers, seed and crop protection services, crop and livestock producers, agricultural support services, energy providers, water providers, veterinarians, and other agribusinesses.

The Agribusiness Roundtable is a collaborative effort by the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA) and the Agribusiness & Water Council of Arizona, Inc.


7:30 - Registration and breakfast

Welcome - John Hoopes, SRP and Mark Killian, ADA director

Economic Outlook Panel

Commodity Outlook Speaker

Arizona Water Issues Panel

Livestock Panel

Lunch/Keynote Speaker: Orion Samuelson - RFD TV

Agriculture Technology Panel

Water Delivery Systems Tech. Panel


Early bird tickets are $50, and $75 after Nov. 3.

To register, visit the website and click on the Agribusiness Roundtable tab.

For questions, contact Kathy Rappleye at or call (480) 558-5301.

Sponsorship opportunities are available.

The PERA Club is located at 1 E. Continental Dr., Tempe, Ariz. 85281. 

Harney Lane Winery steeped in tradition, quality, innovation

Kyle and Jorja Lerner of Harney Lane Winery and Vineyards are proud of the high quality grapes grown on their operation in Lodi, Calif. The addition of a winery and tasting room has increased cash flow on the family’s operation started more than a century ago.

Kyle Lerner

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 16:21:00 +0000

The Mettler family is steeped in wine grape production growing high quality fruit for more than a century in vineyards located at Lodi, Calif. Descendants have nurtured berries with smart farming practices over the generations to yield great award-winning wines.

The family purchased the property in 1900, built the home in 1903, and planted the first vines in 1907. Kathy Mettler, the family’s fourth generation grape grower and today’s family matriarch, lives in the same farmhouse today.

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9 ways to avoid damaging almonds in storage

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 12:55:00 +0000

Kevin Costner, in the role of cross country coach Jim White, assembles his runners beside white-tarped mounds of almond hulls in Kern County’s flat land in the movie “McFarland USA.”

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California agricultural losses were largely predictable

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:39:00 +0000

Of all the impacts California’s climatic and regulatory drought had on the state in 2015, there’s one number that should be reflective of the state’s refusal to deliver irrigation water to Central Valley farmers.

Earlier this month the last of the eight San Joaquin Valley counties submitted their annual livestock and crop reports to the California Department of Food and Agriculture. These reports are required by law and can be easily found online.

The numbers are disappointing, but not surprising.

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California Irrigation Institute Conference, Jan. 30-31, Sacramento

Thu, 20 Oct 2016 00:30:00 +0000


Hilton Sacramento Arden-West
2200 Harvard Street
Sacramento, CA 95815
United States
38° 36' 24.804" N, 121° 26' 1.176" W

The California Irrigation Institute will hold its 55th annual conference January 30-31, 2017 at Sacramento, Calif.

The conference is attended by agricultural, urban, and environmental interests including water districts, farmers, irrigation manufacturers, associations, and government agency representatives.

The featured keynote speaker will be Jay Famiglietti, a hydrologist and professor of earth system science and civil and environmental engineering at the University of California, Irvine. He is also the senior water scientist at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology.

Famiglietti appeared in the water documentary, Last Call at the Oasis, plus on CBS News 60 Minutes, and on the Rachel Maddow and Bill Maher talk show programs. He will appear in several television documentary series, including Years of Living Dangerously and HBO VICE.

The luncheon speaker will be Chris Austin, founder of the water news blog Maven’s Notebook, considered by many as a must read. 

Austin has been writing about California water since 2007 and has developed a reputation for presenting all sides of California’s complex water issues without a personal agenda. Austin will share her vision for a different sort of water news journalism.

Visit to register for the conference and for more information.

DPR extends comment period on pesticide proposal

California Department of Pesticide Regulations sets three public meetings across the state to accept input on proposed ruling over pesticide use near schools and daycare facilities.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 23:22:00 +0000

Growers now have until Dec. 9 to weigh in on proposed use changes near schools

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) extended the public comment period for changes in how pesticides and when pesticides are applied near schools and daycare facilities.

The new deadline of Dec. 9, gives the public more opportunity to weigh in on the issue.

In addition to the extension, DPR added an additional public hearing for in Monterey County.  Public hearings have already been scheduled for Ventura and Tulare Counties.

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Deere, Scherer Design work on kernel processing

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 22:57:00 +0000

Deere & Company and Scherer Design Engineering, Inc. have joined forces to develop and commercialize kernel processing solutions for self-propelled forage harvesters.

Scherer has manufactured aftermarket rolls and kernel processors since 1999. With this agreement, John Deere and Scherer will develop a broader set of industry leading options to harvest crops and to produce feed for dairy cows.

The agreement allows John Deere dealers to offer twin-cut replacement rolls for John Deere Self-Propelled Forage Harvesters.

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Media Files:

Reaction: tighter state rules on pesticides 'unnecessary'

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 21:21:00 +0000

Agriculture says DPR plan to further restrict pesticide use near schools is completely "unnecessary" and does not factor in local control and success

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California to dole out $22 million for specialty crops

The 2014 Farm Bill will fund $22 million in block grants for California specialty crop producers.

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 14:19:00 +0000

The California Department of Food and Agriculture will make more than $22 million in block grants for specialty crops available, thanks to a program funded through the 2014 Farm Bill.

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Key tips to avoid, manage crown gall disease in walnut

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:17:00 +0000

There are ways to treat for the disease caused by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. And the most recent developments in this include nipping it in the bud at the nursery stage before trees go out for planting.

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$1 million ‘chairs’ to support pistachio industry

Wed, 19 Oct 2016 13:06:00 +0000

Pistachio research is getting a big boost with two accomplished scientists with the University of California (UC) becoming the first endowed chairs for UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE).

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Opening night at 2016 CAPCA Conference at Anaheim

Mon, 17 Oct 2016 21:38:00 +0000

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Monsanto to build conventional, GMO corn germplasm greenhouse in Arizona

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 23:19:00 +0000

Corn research on seven acres under glass

While Iowa and the other dozen or so traditional corn-growing states don’t have anything to fear from Arizona, you can now add the Grand Canyon Ssate as a player in corn line research and production efforts.

While figures vary month to month, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s World Agriculture Supply and Demand Estimates released in September still forecast a record 16.8 billion bushels for 2016-2017 or roughly 175.5 bushels per acre.

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Ariz., Calif. cotton growers have good year, '17 optimism

An estimated 300 cotton industry folks turned out for tractor-pulled trailer tours through variety plots at Monsanto's Deltapine Cotton Field Day at Casa Grande, Ariz. on Oct. 4.

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 20:25:00 +0000

20 percent more Ariz. cotton acres next year?

Traversing 500 miles by car over three consecutive days in early October in Arizona allowed Western Farm Press to gain the pulse of Arizona cotton growers on their 2016 crop status and acreage intentions for next year.

Good news about China’s shrinking cotton inventories and new cotton technology has some cotton growers in an upbeat mood. Grower interviews suggest their 2017 cotton acreage could increase from 20 to 25 percent. Helping push the increase could be growers switching from alfalfa to cotton since alfalfa prices are low.

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Are farmers, San Francisco up the same river?

Sat, 15 Oct 2016 16:20:00 +0000

Rather than call out the hypocrisy of San Francisco’s complaint that losing nearly half of its Tuolumne River water to the State Water Board and environmental activists, let’s see these concerns as a “glass half-full” opportunity.

According to the San Francisco Chronicle’s opinion page, the city/county’s public utilities commission is concerned about losing much of its water to a state water grab with strong concerns rippling across the state.

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Phosphorus a key soil nutrient to boost crop yields

Phosphorus is generally under-applied in U.S. Corn Belt states, according to studies.

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 23:30:00 +0000

With a global population expected to reach nine billion people by 2050, improved management of key essential soil nutrients such as phosphorus will be necessary to boost crop yields and stay ahead of steeply rising food demand.

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California raisin deliveries up compared to last year

Raisin deliveries to handlers the first week of October were up over deliveries this time last year, according to the Raisin Administrative Committee.

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 22:31:00 +0000

Domestic shipments of raisins up 4 percent in September

The California-based Raisin Administrative Committee announced the following deliveries to handlers for the period Oct. 2-8:

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Alta Energy builds solar project for Merrill Farms

Large solar energy project constructed for Salinas Valley vegetable grower.

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 21:24:00 +0000

1.6 megawatt project to offset about 80 percent of power bill for vegetable grower

Renewable energy provider Alta Energy recently finished a 1.6 megawatt solar project at Mer

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Ag at Large: Farmers fleeced by bully pulpit

Max Whittaker/Getty Images

Thu, 13 Oct 2016 20:01:00 +0000


California’s farmers have just been done in by their legislators and their governor in a blatant and pathetic use of the bully pulpit

The occurrence took place in September when the legislature passed and the governor signed into law Assembly Bill 1066. It demands that agricultural workers receive overtime pay after working eight hours, when it has been traditional for generations that the time-and-a-half rate kicked in only after they worked 10 hours.

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