- Author: Pam Kan-Rice
Organic farming continues to expand in California and now includes more than 360 commodities, according to a new University of California report. The number of organic growers, acreage and farm gate sales revenue is reported by commodity, county, region and statewide in the new “Statistical Review of California Organic Agriculture, 2013-2016.” The data are collected from farms that register as organic with the California Department of Food and Agriculture.
“This report highlights the incredible diversity and abundance of organic crops being grown across so many different geographic regions in the state, which reflects California's leading role in this production sector,” said Houston Wilson, director of the new UC Organic Agriculture Institute.
“Dairies continue to lead by value of organic production,” said Rachael Goodhue, UC Davis professor of agricultural and resource economics and coauthor of the report.
The number of organic growers in California jumped from 2,089 in 2013 to 3,108 in 2016. The top 10 organic commodities for sales value in 2016 were cow milk, strawberries, carrots, wine grapes, table grapes, sweet potatoes, almonds, raspberries, salad mix, and chicken eggs.
“This review is critical to understand the changes in the fast-growing organic agriculture sector in the state where more than 50% of the nation's organic vegetables and fruits are produced,” said Joji Muramoto, UC Cooperative Extension organic production specialist at UC Santa Cruz and coauthor of the report. “It provides statistics of all organic commodities produced across the state as well as at county level. This is the primary reference to learn about the size, diversity, and trends of organic agriculture in the state.”
In 2016, California organic sales were $3.1 billion with an average of $1 million in sales per farm, but revenue varied widely among farms. For example, San Diego County had the most organic growers (313) in 2016, but Kern County's 47 organic farmers earned the most in total organic sales: $381 million on 49,727 acres, excluding pasture and rangeland, according to Muramoto.
“The average gross income of organic farms increased 14-fold from 1994 to 2016, reaching $1 million in 2016,” Muramoto said. “However, 77% of growers received less than $500,000 per year and 22% of growers who made $500,000 or more per year received 94% of the total gross sales, showing the income concentration among organic growers in the state.”
The statistical review of California's organic agriculture had been published since 1998 by the late Karen Klonsky, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, and her team after statistics for organic agriculture became available in 1992 as a result of the California Organic Food Act.
The last report published by Klonsky, who passed away in 2018, covered 2009-2012. All previous organic agriculture statistics reports can be accessed at https://aic.ucdavis.edu/research1/organic.html.
“This report of organic data continues the series of studies initiated by Karen Klonsky many years ago. It contains vital summary information for industry and policymakers as well as researchers,” said Goodhue.
Since the data collection began in 1994, the number of organic growers in California has increased 2.8-fold to 3,109 and the farm-level sales 40-fold to $3.1 billion in 2016.
“Accurate annual data on California organic crop production, acreage and value is critical to understanding the scale and scope of this growing agricultural sector,” said Wilson. “As the UC Organic Agriculture Institute begins to develop research and extension programs, it is important that we have a reliable way to assess the extent and geography of organic production as well as track changes over time.”
Muramoto, who became the UC Cooperative Extension organic production specialist in 2019, collaborated with Goodhue, Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Davis professor of agricultural and resource economics; and UC Davis graduate student Hanlin Wei to produce the latest statistical review of California's organic agriculture.
More recent years are not included because the data collected by CDFA changed in 2017 and again in 2019 so they are not comparable to the data in this report. The full report can be downloaded from the UC Agricultural Issues Center website at https://aic.ucdavis.edu/2020/10/06/statistical-review-of-californias-organic-agriculture-by-wei-goodhue-muramoto-and-sumner.
Guacamole from Mexico Fuels Surge of Avocado Imports
This new article from the Giannini Foundation looks at factors associated with recent rapid growth in demand for processed avocados, including adaptation and adoption of High-Pressure Processing (HPP) technology. California producer- and importer-funded research and promotion programs have changed avocados' image to that of a healthy super-food. Expanded imports from Mexico have improved year-round availability of fresh and processed products, and guacamole's popularity.
Hoy F. Carman examines how the growth in demand for processed avocados, together with avocados' new image as a healthy superfood, has fueled imports from Mexico in new #AREUpdate article. Read More: https://t.co/qVdwlizU2V #avocado.
Researchers from Sacramento State and the University of California, Riverside are requesting input from citrus industry members to help examine the economics of Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and huanglongbing (HLB) management in California citrus groves.
The research team is looking for growers, advisors and other citrus industry members in California to provide input on overall knowledge of ACP and HLB, how they obtain information on the pest and disease, and how this might influence grove management practices. What is learned from this survey will help advance an economic analysis, contribute to overall understanding of ACP and HLB management, and improve the design and effectiveness of outreach and Extension resources to manage ACP and HLB.
If you are interested in providing input for forthcoming research, please complete the survey here.
This study is part of a U.S. Department of Agriculture Emergency Citrus Disease Research and Extension-funded project investigating microbial biocontrol to help in the fight against Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, the bacterium that causes HLB.
As the threat of HLB and ACP continue to put pressure on the commercial citrus industry, researchers across California are working to find the best treatments for this deadly disease. In a previous news release, Victoria Hornbaker, director of the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division said that while these developments are promising to the future of the citrus industry, “It will take some time -- perhaps years -- before the potential treatment is on the market. In the meantime, it is important for industry members to remain vigilant in implementing best practices in the fight against huanglongbing and the Asian citrus psyllid.”
When answering survey questions, it is not necessary to look up records or calculate precise figures. The survey takes approximately 20 minutes to complete. All answers will be kept anonymous, and results will be presented in aggregate.
For questions about the survey or the research project, contact Jonathan Kaplan (firstname.lastname@example.org) at California State University, Sacramento.
Source: Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program
"A Virtual Conference to Discuss Real-World Weeds".
That's a great tag-line for the California Weed Science Society conference and a sign of the times.
Even though our in-person interactions as weed researchers, managers, and regulators has been put on hold this year, weed control goes on and so does the need for the education and updates provided by the CWSS.
Please remember to register for the conference this year to keep up your education and training and get the latest information as well as supporting YOUR California Weed Science Society. The program committee has put together another high-quality program that touches on the many aspects of weed science in California.
Here's the link to the registration page:
While there is a lot of value in our normal in-person 2.5 day conference format, there are a few benefits of the online format.
- You can view the sessions at your convenience since they are prerecorded. In a state like California, there's no "off-season" for everyone and in this format you don't have to dedicate 3 days to get this great content.
- We have several registration options if you don't want to participate in the whole event. Of course it's a better deal (per credit) if you register for the full program, but there are several options if you just want the Laws and Regs, or just the breakout sessions, etc.
- No travel expense! If you've been CWSS-curious but have not been able to justify the time or expense of the travel in the past, this is your opportunity!
- Lastly, this may be a one-time opportunity to see weed science experts from around California and the US delivering cutting-edge research updates while wearing sweatpants and broadcasting from the spare bedroom in their house while their dog barks at the mailman - what an opportunity! (just kidding, we actually have high quality professional video and audio and on-demand retrieval of the presentations).
The content will be available online from January 25 through February 26. Register early before the price goes up!
Here's how to get to the registration page:
Here's the current program agenda:/span>
As of December 4, a total of 2,196 residential trees and 321 ACP have tested positive via PCR for the bacterium that causes HLB. See the latest HLB map and table for details: maps.cdfa.ca.gov/WeeklyACPMaps/HLBWeb/HLB_Treatments.pdf. As before, the infected trees have been or are being removed, and ACP treatments are applied on a recurring basis to remaining citrus in those areas. To date, no HLB has been found in commercial trees via PCR testing. The HLB quarantine area, however, includes commercial citrus and continues to expand.
Please refer to the CDFA Action Plan for ACP and HLB for information on regulatory and treatment requirements to expect should HLB be detected in or near your citrus grove or packing house.
Best Practices in the Field
In addition to monitoring and treating for ACP, another important way to protect your citrus from ACP and HLB is to follow Best Practices in the field, including insisting that all equipment, vehicles and bins be free of all plant material before entering your property.
Download or stream this video to help refresh field crews on the best practices for avoiding the spread of ACP and HLB during harvest.
- Sign up for program updates from the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Division at www.cdfa/signup-email-updates.
- General information on the state ACP/HLB program including maps, quarantine information, and a signup option for email alerts: citrusinsider.org/
- Biology of ACP and HLB, detection maps and recommendations for monitoring, eradication and management: ucanr.edu/sites/acp/
- UC Ag Experts Talk presentation "ACP for Commercial Growers and Pest Control Advisors", now available for viewing, along with other past talks on various citrus pests, at https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucexpertstalk/Past_Webinars/
- Web-based map to find out how close you are to HLB: ucanr.edu/hlbgrowerapp
- Summaries of the latest research to combat HLB: ucanr.edu/sites/scienceforcitrushealth/
- Science-based analyses to guide policy decisions, logistics, and operations: www.datoc.us
ACP trap detections have increased recently on the coast and in the Central Valley. While we usually see trap numbers peak this time of year, this fall the numbers have been higher than the last few years. Please stay vigilant in monitoring your trees for ACP, treating for ACP during the Area Wide Management treatment windows, and using an ACP-effective insecticide if possible when conducting other orchard management applications.
Map of HLB Quarantine and Treatment Area in California