Foothill Farming
University of California
Foothill Farming

Foothill Farming Blog

  • Mandarin Growers Test New Practices

    Added June 20, 2017
    ND7 9613 web

    Mandarins are considered the signature crop of the foothills. Foothill growers are challenged by poor soils, limited water, increasing pest pressure, and production costs. Many of us are employing non-traditional techniques to counter these challenges. Two of these practices, pruning and mulching, are currently being studied by UCCE Placer/Nevada in collaboration with five local growers.  In the past, citrus growers were warned not to prune. We were told that pruning would harm the...

  • Perfecting Your Sales Pitch

    Added May 11, 2017
    Bob Elevator Speech

    When I started my first business, I knew that I had a great product and I expected everyone to automatically realize this and purchase it. In those initial months, sales were lackluster. I couldn't believe how few people were buying and that buyers were refusing to carry my product. What was wrong with my product? Did they not see how great it was? What was I doing wrong? During this angst, two successful businessmen, whom I knew and respected, explained that I was not understanding the art of...

  • Happy Irrigation Season!

    Added April 24, 2017
    water power

    Happy irrigation season for those of you who enjoy swimming more than farming. April 15 is the start of irrigation season! It may be raining and wet now but before you know it, you will need irrigation to keep your crops and pastures healthy. This is the time of the year to check your irrigation system. Does it need repairs, modifications, or improvements? Are there leaks? Does it need to be set up or cleaned out? Is it turned off when it's raining? Do you have the proper frequency and...

  • Start Smarter Part 2: Lessons I Learned Along the Way

    Added April 17, 2017

    In my first Starting Smarter blog post, I talked about hands-on education, business planning, market research, and crop selection (Starting Smarter Part 1). I could write a book on what I didn't know when I started farming. In Part 2, I will summarize key considerations for a successful start-up and things I would do in the first years. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do differently in my vegetable operation?Equipment & Infrastructure: I would invest in BCS (walk-behind...

  • Start Smarter Part 1: Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Farming

    Added March 21, 2017
    Sam & Xea with Potatoes

    When I started farming, I thought I was going to be a fantastic farmer due to my business background, personal savings, maturity, family support, and work ethic. I did benefit from those things and am farming successfully now. However, I was woefully unprepared for the expense, time, and challenges to my concept of what farm life would be. Those unexpected challenges caused it to take years to turn a profit. If I had it all to do over again, what would I do differently? Practice: To start,...

  • Applying for a Farm Loan

    Added February 28, 2017

    There are many reasons a farm might want to apply for a loan. Capital improvements, cash flow, crop expansion and land acquisition are a few. The exact loan application process and records required will depend on your lender and your individual situation. Factors affecting the process include the size of the loan, your farm history and personal credit, assets, and liabilities. You will need to research the interest rates, loan fees, payment terms, and loan specifications to find the loan that...

  • Ready for Taxes?

    Added February 9, 2017

    Taxes can be overwhelming. Even if you are great with numbers, do you want to dedicate hours or days to reading through the ever-changing tax laws? What do you know about Adjusted Basis, Employment Taxes, and Accounting Methods? Do you know what is new for 2017? Dixie Chan is a tax preparer licensed with the California Tax Education Council and has been preparing income taxes for over 25 years. Here are her tips for preparing your taxes this year.• Take a few minutes to review your tax...

  • Risk Management with FSA & RMA

    Added January 12, 2017
    rain on farm

    In this downpour, as small rivers run down the hills of my farm, it has me thinking more seriously about crop insurance. I may be one of the fortunate ones to not have lost any crops in this storm. Some of you may be experiencing issues with flooding, equipment damage, loss of crops or trees. There are good programs out there that assist farmers in times of need. The Farm Service Agency has been supporting farmers for many years. They offer loans, including new farmer loans, disaster...

  • 126 Hours Doing What???

    Added December 15, 2016
    Paul on computer

    A rainy day in winter is the perfect time to sit inside and do some Farm Business Planning. Setting new goals, evaluating crops, assessing markets, and realizing you need to keep better records!In order to evaluate accurately, you need information. In the busy season, you are too busy to set up a record keeping system. Now is the perfect time to decide what information you need and how you will gather it. As you evaluate and plan, think about what you recorded and what is missing. Make a list...

  • Less Is More: Specialization As a Key to Farming Success

    Added December 8, 2016

    Picture a storybook farm: rows of vegetable crops, fruit trees, a flock of laying hens, some pigs wallowing or cows grazing, and a happy farmer with a spade, chasing stray rabbits from his crops. Sounds idyllic, doesn't it? As farmers and ranchers, we know that a “real” farm — like the ones we operate — generally looks nothing like the fantasy version that many people imagine. The work is hard, the days are long, and we don't wear picturesque overalls (well, most of...

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The Latest From Our Facebook Page...

After 30 plus years of service, Roger Ingram is retiring! Please join us on Sunday, July 9, 2017 to help us celebrate Roger. We would love it if you would bring a photo or memento to put in the scrapbook we are creating. Please complete the brief reservation survey at the link so we know how many people to expect. Hope to see you there!

Posted 9 days ago
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Posted 24 days ago
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Check out our new video on farm efficiency — Ken and Aleta of Starbright Acres Family Farm show us their techniques for fast, efficient radish harvesting!

Posted 44 days ago
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Starting Smarter Part 2 blog:

Posted 72 days ago
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Check out our latest blog post about Beginning Farming and consider applying for Beginning Farming Academy

Posted 98 days ago
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Need a loan to get going this year? Come to the loan workshop this Friday! Even if you do not have all your records organized, you can put all your income and expenses into an understandable format. It does not have to be fancy. Come and we can help you fill out the loan application!

Posted 107 days ago
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