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January 26, 2021

Four Winds Growers sees uptick in sales during pandemic

Four Winds Growers, a fourth-generation, family-run business in Watsonville specializing in citrus trees, has seen major growth in sales since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Aaron Dillon, who runs the business with his siblings, says that the surge is likely due to people who...

Farmers, ranchers celebrate defeat of split-roll tax measure

CALIFORNIA—Crediting a unified effort by California farmers, ranchers and their organizations, California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson thanked voters for rejecting the split-roll tax measure on the Nov. 3 ballot. The initiative, Proposition 15, would have allowed reassessment and higher property taxes on a...

CDFA seeks members for advisory committee

CALIFORNIA—The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is currently accepting applications from stakeholders interested in serving on a Registered Service Agency (RSA) Advisory Committee. Business and Professions Code (BPC), Division 5, Chapter 5.5, Section 12541 authorizes the RSA Advisory Committee to advise the Department...

Apple harvest wraps up at historic Corralitos orchard

It has not been an easy harvest season for California apples. When temperatures shot up into the 100s in August and September, sparking wildfires across the state and harming numerous agricultural commodities, apples were one of the hardest-hit crops. The fruit is susceptible to...

Open Farm Tours returns this weekend

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The annual Open Farm Tours will return this weekend—albeit in a different capacity. Pre-registration is now required for small, socially-distanced outdoor tours at the following farms: Thomas Farm and Luz Del Valle Farm in Aptos, and GroundSwell Farm in Santa Cruz. Additional participating...

Rivas named Assembly Ag Committee Chair

CALIFORNIA—Assemblymember Robert Rivas (D-Hollister) has been named Chair of the Assembly Agriculture Committee by Speaker Anthony Rendon (D-Lakewood). Raised in farmworker housing, Rivas represents the 30th Assembly District, which includes the agriculture-rich Salinas and Pajaro valleys on the Central Coast.  “My district is known as...

CCOF offers grants to farmers affected by fires

The California Certified Organic Farmers Foundation is poised to help organic farmers recover from the unprecedented wildfires burning across the West Coast, including CCOF’s hometown of Santa Cruz.  The Bricmont Hardship Assistance Fund gives grants to organic business owners affected by hardships of all kinds,...

County agriculture copes with heat, fires

The worst wildfires in California’s history have burned more than 3 million acres, about 3 percent of the state’s total acreage, and included Santa Cruz County vineyards, orchards and tree farms. The fires scorched fields, destroyed barns, melted irrigation lines and disrupted power, water...

Conference probes climate change and farms

WATSONVILLE—Pajaro Valley’s agriculture businesses and the employees that keep them running are starting to feel the heat, literally. Rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves and wildfires are growing concerns for farmers in the typically cool, coastal stretch of land that overlaps Santa Cruz and...

Berry yields dip as harvest wraps up

Santa Cruz County
WATSONVILLE—California’s strawberry season is coming to a close. While sales remained strong throughout the summer, growers have seen production dip slightly. Carolyn O’Donnell, communications director for the California Strawberry Commission (CSC), said that after the season’s initial hardships, things eventually leveled off and demand actually...
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Newsom lifts stay-at-home order, some services to resume

SACRAMENTO—Outdoor dining and other services can resume after Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ended the state’s regional stay-at-home order based on intensive care unit...