Agricultural Resources

Russian River Pilot for the CA Water Plan Update 2018
Friday, July 13TIME: 9:00 a.m. to noon
WHERE: North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board, Regional Board Offices, 5550 Skylane Blvd., Suite A, Santa Rosa Join us for an update on work over the last several months to synthesize understanding of the Russian River from prior studies and planning efforts and to define an overall problem statement for the watershed and river system. We will also review initial concepts and approaches for addressing the watershed challenges.We will also discussion what is needed for the region to plan and implement management actions and investments to address the challenges. What funding would be needed? What regulatory approaches would support progress? What can the State do to support the region? How would we measure progress?
Applications being accepted for 2018 Leopold Conservation Award
Know of a Golden State landowner who’s a conservation leader in your community? Or, maybe you’re that leader! Nominate a friend, colleague, or yourself for the 2018 California Leopold Conservation Award.
Over 50 percent of all land in California is privately owned, and how people manage this land has a dramatic effect on our environment – helping to combat climate change, boost clean air and water, and protect wildlife.
Dedicated to the spirit of world-renowned conservationist Aldo Leopold, the Award celebrates the extraordinary efforts of California farmers and ranchers to protect and restore the natural resources they preside over, and aims to inspire other would-be conservationists by promoting a better understanding among the public about the Nominations must be postmarked by July 13, 2018.The award recipient receives an Aldo Leopold crystal and $10,000.
LEARN MORE: award is co-sponsored by Sustainable Conservation, Sand County Foundation, and the California Farm Bureau Federation.
2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP)
Deadline July 16
In May, U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), announces new details on eligibility for a new disaster program, 2017 Wildfires and Hurricanes Indemnity Program (2017 WHIP). In total, USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) will deploy the up to $2.36 billion that Congress appropriated through the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 to help producers with recovery of their agricultural operations in at least nine states with hurricane damage and states impacted by wildfire.Key Updates Include:Wildfire Recovery: Any crop, tree, bush or vine, damaged by a 2017 wildfire is eligible.Eligible Producers: Eligibility will be determined on an individual basis, using the level of insurance coverage purchased for 2017 for the total crop acres on the area for which the WHIP application is made. Eligible producers who certify to an average adjusted gross income (AGI) of at least 75 percent derived from farming or ranching, including other agriculture and forestry-based businesses during the tax years 2013, 2014 and 2015, will be eligible for a $900,000 payment limitation with verification. All other eligible producers requesting 2017 WHIP benefits will be subject to a $125,000 payment limitation.

Crop Insurance Requirement: Both insured and uninsured producers are eligible to apply for WHIP. However, all producers opting to receive 2017 WHIP payments will be required to purchase crop insurance at the 60% coverage level, or Noninsured Crop Disaster Assistance Program (NAP) at the 60% buy up coverage level if crop insurance is not available. Coverage must be in place for the next two applicable crop years to meet program requirements.

Acreage Reporting Requirements: In addition, for the applicable crop years, all producers are required to file an acreage report and report production (if applicable).
Payment Formula: FSA will calculate WHIP payments with this formula:
Payment = Expected Value of the Crop x WHIP Factor – Value of Crop Harvested – Insurance Indemnity

The WHIP factor ranges from 65 percent to 95 percent. Producers who did not insure their crops in 2017 will receive a 65 percent WHIP Factor. Insured producers, or producers who had NAP, will receive between 70 percent and 95 percent WHIP Factors; those purchasing higher levels of coverage will receive higher WHIP Factors.

Other USDA Disaster Assistance
Drought, wildfires and other disasters continue to impact farmers and ranchers, and 2017 WHIP is just one of many programs available through USDA to help with recovery. From crop insurance to on-the-ground rehabilitation programs like the Emergency Conservation Program (ECP) and Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP), USDA is here to help. The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 provided funding for ECP and the Emergency Watershed Protection Program. The Act also provided amendments to make programs like the Emergency Assistance for Livestock, Honeybees and Farm-raised Fish Program, Tree Assistance Program and Livestock Indemnity Program even more responsive.

More Information:
FSA will hold a sign-up for 2017 WHIP no later than July 16. Additional information on WHIP is available on FSA’s 2017 WHIP webpage. For immediate assistance under any of our other disaster programs, please contact a local USDA service center or learn more at

The deadline for enrollment in the General Permit is July 31, 2018

QUESTIONS? contact Mike Napolitano at 510-622-2397 or by email

For any questions, please contact Dana Cappelloni, Director of Sustainability and Grower Education at or 707-522-5851

Preparing for Fires: Prescribed Burning & Grazing
August 1, 2018

WHERE: Cooley Ranch

Learn about prescribed burning on rangelands: best practices, regulations, permitting producers and using livestock as tools for long-term vegetation management.

Michelle Nozzari, Sr. Agricultural Program Assistant
UC Cooperative Extension – County of Sonoma
(707) 565-2050

Wines & Vines Packaging Conference
August 9, 2018 – 8 am

WHERE: Lincoln Theater in Yountville, Calif.
INFO: Visit for details

The fifth annual Wines & Vines Packaging Conference includes sessions, exhibits and amenities that are designed for winemakers, winery operations managers, purchasing managers, wine marketers and other industry professionals. This is the essential meeting day for every winery that wants to improve its packaging look and performance. Hashtag for the event is #wvpack.

Discount for Sonoma County Farm Bureau members: Email to get a special discounted registration.

The FARMER Program

The California Air Resources Board is making $135 million available under its Funding Agricultural Replacement Measures for Emission Reductions, or FARMER, program. The funds available through the FARMER program provide significant assistance to California farmers who face the most stringent air quality requirements in the nation. Farmers can apply to their local air districts to receive funding for voluntary agricultural vehicle and engine replacements.

The FARMER program provides funding for:

• Heavy-duty truck replacements
• Mobile off-road farm equipment replacements
• Agricultural irrigation pump replacements
• Zero-emission agricultural all-terrain vehicles (ATVs)

Interested farmers should contact our air district:
Bay Area AQMD

Anthony Fournier
(415) 749-4961

Farm Bureau Develops Dairy Revenue Protection Insurance

The American Farm Bureau Federation, in cooperation with American Farm Bureau Insurance Services, has developed a new risk-management insurance product for dairy farmers. Approved by the Agriculture Department’s Federal Crop Insurance Corporation, “Dairy Revenue Protection” insurance will provide dairy farmers the opportunity to manage risk by focusing on revenue from milk sales.

“We know that the level of risk protection available to dairy farmers was inadequate and we saw a clear opportunity to help by specifically addressing the impact of milk price volatility on a dairy farmer’s revenue,” said AFBF President Zippy Duvall. “This coverage will help shield dairy farmers from unexpected declines in milk prices as well as unexpected declines in milk production by addressing overall revenue. We are excited about teaming up with American Farm Bureau Insurance Services to offer this new risk management tool to dairy farmers.”

As designed, Dairy Revenue Protection will provide several levels of insurance coverage based on the value of the farmer’s milk. One option will use manufacturing milk futures prices, and the other option would be based on the value of milk components, such as milkfat, protein and other milk solids. A majority of dairy farmers selling milk in the U.S. are paid based on the amount of milkfat and protein in their milk.

Other than those dairy pricing options, Dairy-RP coverage otherwise functions similarly to area-based crop revenue protection insurance policies. The coverage would offer revenue guarantees based on futures prices, expected production and market-implied risk. The premiums for coverage will be subsidized.

It is expected that Dairy-RP policies will be available in late summer 2018.


The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded a $213,349 research grant to the California Dairy Research Foundation in collaboration with University of California scientists to study methane emissions at California dairies. The project is titled, “Small Dairy Climate Change Research: An economic evaluation of strategies for methane emission reduction effectiveness and appropriateness in small and large California dairies.”

Supported by a $250,000 appropriation from the Budget Act of 2017, the research will focus on understanding the differences in methane emissions from large and small dairies. Researchers will also examine cost-saving techniques, evaluate emerging technologies, and investigate the economic impacts of methane regulations on California dairies.

The research will contribute to the Small Dairy Climate Action Plan which is required as part of the 2017-18 Budget Act (Item 8570-101-3228 (1) (b)).

For more details on the awarded project, please visit


From the California Dept. of Food & Ag

Virulent Newcastle disease has been confirmed in backyard poultry, in southern California. This virus, which is normally not found in the United States, is highly contagious and lethal to poultry, and therefore also carries multibillion-dollar trade impacts if detected in commercial flocks.

Effective immediately, please elevate your biosecurity measures by ensuring that your
employees do not inadvertently carry virus onto your facility and most important, strictly limiting people that come into contact with your live bird areas.


Review CDFA’s recommended biosecurity procedures for commercial poultry producers here:

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