agriculture

Cavalier92/Flickr Creative Commons

Friday is the deadline for public comment on a proposed statewide rule change affecting pesticide use near schools and day care centers. The proposed regulation would limit pesticide applications to non-school hours and weekends on fields within a quarter mile of campuses. In Monterey county alone, over 70 schools are adjacent to commercial farmland. 

USDA

Hundreds of concerned parents, health workers and educators turned out Thursday evening in Salinas to urge state officials to increase restrictions on the use of agricultural pesticides near schools. Over a dozen growers also attended, concerned about a new proposal that limits the application of pesticides during school hours.

Broadcast date: 10/6/2016

In 2015 overall crop values totaled $828,800,000 in San Luis Obispo County alone. And while recent reports show that the number of farmers in the county has grown over the years, this does not mean that farming is a prosperous enterprise for all who enter it on the Central Coast, especially small farmers which make up the majority of farms in our area. While interest in local foods and improved nutrition continues to thrive, there is still much room for improvement to sustain our local food system for our community.  Increasing profitability for small farmers is key to the health of this system.

tractor on display at Bayer Museum of Agriculture
Thomas Wilmer

The Bayer Museum of Agriculture in Lubbock, Texas is the Smithsonian of all things Ag from primitive McCormick Reapers to state of the art computer assisted John Deere Cotton Strippers.

Melissa Corbin

    

  The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America, and have recently received global recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 
Come along and join Melissa Corbin, Associate Producer for the NPR podcast travel show Journeys of Discovery with Tom Wilmer as she explore the Missions' history and how they are beginning to feed more than just the mind.

Melissa Corbin

The chain of missions established along the San Antonio River in the form the largest concentration of Catholic missions in North America, and have recently gained global recognition as they received UNESCO World Heritage status.

KCBX

Correspondent, Tom Wilmer visits with San Luis Obispo, California based author, Kendra Aronson about her new book, The San Luis Obispo Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Simple Seasonal Recipes & Short Stories from the Central Coast of California. The cookbook features 196 pages of 60 seasonal recipes and 40 short stories.

Glean SLO

About one in six people in San Luis Obispo County are considered to be “food insecure.”  Learn how a local program, Glean SLO, harvests produce from farms, farmers markets, and backyards to feed local people in need. Also meet singer-songwriter Ynana Rose, who gleans, and who will be giving a benefit concert for the organization.

Flickr member: Patrick Berry

The federal government wants you to check your risk for flooding as California is likely to be hit with a series of large rain storms this winter. 

Ricardo Teodocio

The state of California was spraying pesticides in some residential areas of San Luis Obispo this week. County crews are working to control the spread of the Asian Citrus Psyllid.  

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

Representatives from opposite sides of the GMO debate will be at Cal Poly Tuesday.

The student group, Net Impact, is hosting a panel discussion about issues surrounding GMOs.

There will be a representative from Monsanto and members of the local agricultural community.

Amy Tran is an Economics major at Cal Poly and helped organize the panel. She said they aimed to make it as neutral as possible and that they want to inform students about GMOs and the future of food.

Surendra Dara - University of California

The ongoing drought is causing headaches for local farmers, but according to numbers released Thursday by Santa Barbara County, it hasn't yet hurt the local agriculture industry enough to reverse overall production values.

2014 was another record year for the county's growers, who grossed nearly $1.49 billion. This number is the total of all ag sales in the county and should not be confused with profits.

Strawberries remain the county's top crop, with wine grapes coming in second. Broccoli placed third.

Drought hurting crop value in San Luis Obispo County

Apr 14, 2015
Flickr member Fried Dough

Crops in San Luis Obispo County are dropping in value, likely a result of the ongoing drought according to statistics released Tuesday.

The San Luis Obispo County Department of Agriculture says 2014's overall values dropped by two percent, year over year.

“Despite challenging drought and unusual weather during 2014, agriculture in San Luis Obispo County remains strong and is well in reach of achieving, in the near future, the $1 billion milestone in overall value”, said Ag Commissioner Martin Settevendemie.

Randol White - KCBX News

The organic farm at Cal Poly is being called one of the ten best university-based farms in the nation.

The organization Best College Reviews says the school's 11 acre farm in San Luis Obispo integrates well with the main campus and surrounding community, has good student interaction, and is sustainable.

Cal Poly's farm is certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers organization. It's managed by students, faculty and staff.

Flickr user: dianejp

Farmers and ranchers throughout the Central Coast and around the nation are being asked to take part in a first-of-its-kind government survey on organic food production.

It's part of the US Department of Agriculture's regular census, but marks the first time questions involving organics have been included.

Congressman Sam Farr is the ranking member on the House Agricultural Appropriations Committee and represents much of the Salinas Valley. He also helped legitimize the organic industry in California when he was a state assemblyman. 

Flickr member Stew Dean

Reports out of Europe say this year's olive oil harvest is falling short, which will likely lead to higher prices at the grocery store.

According to a report by the Associated Press, Spain—the world's largest olive oil producer—is expecting output this year to drop by more than 50 percent.  The low yield is the result of several factors, including weather, tree stress, and insects the report states.

Jay Thompson, Cal Poly

A pair of Cal Poly alums are donating the largest single gift in Cal Poly history to the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences.

Peter and Mary Beth Oppenheimer are giving the school $20 million to go toward a variety of University initiatives. President Jeffrey Armstrong says those include the creation of a new Agricultural Events Center, an equestrian pavilion, and a new farm store.

In addition, the Oppenheimers are helping to feed Cal Poly students who are food insecure.

Broadcast date: 10/16/2014

Supporters of building local, sustainable and fair food systems believe that by connecting members of our community to the abundance of local food and farming in the County they can bridge the gap between what people eat and where it comes from, and in doing so, can  strengthen the food culture and the relationship people have with their food. These efforts have the potential to foster strong connections among farmers and have the ability to not only nourish our community, but make local food products more accessible for everyone.

Brittany App

From time to time this summer, KCBX News has hopped around our listening area to highlight local agriculture through those who run farmers’ markets, as a way to hear what’s available, in season, and new at the markets.

We also used the conversations to learn a bit about some of the challenges these markets may face, or new rules and programs that could change your experience.

Flickr member Damian Gadal

Strawberries continue to be Santa Barbara County's largest crop based on gross earnings, but wine grapes are quickly gaining steam.

The county's wine industry knocked broccoli production out of the number two spot for 2013 with a total value of $163 million.

The Agricultural Commissioner's office released the most recent crop report late Tuesday afternoon. It shows total value of all the local crops at more than $1.4 billion, up nearly ten percent from 2012.

North County Farmers Market Association

While farmers’ markets are a year-round tradition along the Central Coast, the bounty certainly kicks up a notch as we head into the summer months of June, July, and August.

This year however, you may find it more difficult to locate some favorites at your local market. For instance, some farmers are no longer growing water-intensive crops like blueberries and corn.