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Blue Diamond Growers Celebrates Grand Opening of New Salida Manufacturing Facility, Unveils IndustryFirst Technology for New Pasteurization Line

by Blue Diamond Growers

Posted on Wednesday September 25, 2019, 10:56 am

Company Announces $25,000 Community Partnership with Valley Children's Hospital for New Neighboring Pelandale Specialty Care Center in North Modesto.

Blue Diamond Growers today announced the official grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony of its new 52,000 square-foot, energy-saving manufacturing facility in Salida, California. The event marks the completion of the facility to add new pasteurization technology and processing lines. The announcement follows the cooperative's recent groundbreaking of its receiving warehouse on the same property in Salida, which is the largest almond receiving station in the world.

"It's an exciting time for Blue Diamond as we continue to invest in our facilities here in Salida and across the Central Valley to better meet the growing demand for our products worldwide," said Mark Jansen, President and CEO for Blue Diamond Growers. ...

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USDA approves release of weevil to control yellow starthistle

by Jeannette E. Warnert

Posted on Wednesday September 25, 2019, 10:50 am

The USDA has announced it will allow the release of a weevil (Ceratapion basicorne) in the United States to help control yellow starthistle, an invasive weed found in 40 of the lower 48 states, reported Capital Public Radio. The weevils will initially be released in California.

Ceratapion basicorne is native to Eurasia, the same area where yellow starthistle originated. Yellow starthistle is thought to have been introduced into California from Chile during the Gold Rush. The weed readily took hold in California valleys and foothills, thriving in areas where the soil has been disturbed by animals grazing, road construction and wildland firebreaks. Today, yellow starthistle is a very common sight in vacant lots and fields, along roadsides and trails, in pastures and ranch lands, and in parks, open-space preserves and natural areas.

Capable of growing six feet tall...

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USDA to Invest up to $300 Million in Partner-Driven Conservation


Posted on Wednesday September 25, 2019, 10:15 am

USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) announced the launch of the updated Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP). Potential partners are encouraged to submit proposals that will improve the nation's water quality, combat drought, enhance soil health, support wildlife habitat and protect agricultural viability.

RCPP eligible partners include private industry, non-government organizations, Indian tribes, state and local governments, water districts and universities. Partners may request between $250,000 and $10 million in RCPP funding through this funding announcement. Leveraging of this NRCS funding is a key principle of RCPP; partners are expected to make value-added contributions to amplify the impact of RCPP funding.

“The new RCPP offers opportunities for partners and NRCS to develop and implement unique conservation solutions that e...

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California Agriculture Leads The Nation In Funding For Specialty Crops


Posted on Wednesday September 25, 2019, 10:13 am

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has announced funding for the 2019 Specialty Crop Block Grant Program (SCBGP). California received $22.9 million in federal grant funds out of approximately $72.4 million awarded nationwide.

The SCBGP provides grants to state departments of agriculture to fund projects that enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops, defined as fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, and nursery crops (including floriculture).

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) will fund 69 projects, awarding grants ranging from $50,000 to $450,000 to non-profit and for-profit organizations, government entities, and colleges and universities. Selected through a competitive process, these projects focus on increasing sales of specialty crops by leveraging the California Grown identity; increasing consumption by expand...

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UC research could help farmers face droughts worldwide

by Jeannette E. Warnert

Posted on Wednesday September 25, 2019, 10:11 am

Sorghum is not only a potential drought-tolerant crop for the San Joaquin Valley, it also presents the opportunity for scientists to understand the mechanism behind drought tolerance at the genetic level, said UCCE sorghum specialist Jeff Dahlberg in a segment on ABC 30 Action News.

Reporter Cristina Davies spent an hour and a half at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier during the sorghum harvest to learn about the potential of sorghum research.

"If we can elucidate the genetics behind (drought tolerance), what we believe is we can use those genetics to see if the genetics are available in corn, or in rice, or in wheat," Dahlberg said. "I think the genes may be there. We just don't have the tools yet to search for the genes in those crops."

Conducting drought-tolerance research in California is ideal because the sum...

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