Almond Pest Management Alliance
The Almond Pest Management Alliance was a cooperative effort among industry stakeholders including the Almond Board of California, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, UC Statewide IPM Program, UC Cooperative Extension, pest control advisors and growers, the California Department of Pesticide Regulation and U.S. EPA Region 9. Coordinated by CAFF, this project worked with growers in distinct almond growing regions to establish demonstration orchards that showcase locally effective Best Management Practices to control pests using the latest research and pest control materials.
BIOS (Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems)
The BIOS program was based on high quality training in best management practices, coupled with consistent public outreach. The BIOS program emphasized a “whole system” approach to orchard management, where each component practice is understood to affect the outcomes of all other practices. The essential elements of this approach were organizing project management teams of local experts, producing field days, farm visits and field monitoring of pest and beneficial organisms.
California Almond Sustainability Program
In 2009, the The Almond Board of California invested in a “self-assessment” program for documenting the practices used by California Almond growers that are sustainable, economical, environmentally friendly, and present almond growers as good neighbors. Sure Harvest and CAFF were project partners with the Almond Board on a series of “California Almond Sustainability Program” workshops during 2011-2013.
Colusa Almond Project
The Colusa Almond Project helped to reduce sediment and pesticide run-off from Colusa County almond orchards. Run-off from almond orchards along tributaries to the Colusa Basin Drain in Colusa County contains sediment and pesticides, and the Colusa Basin Drain flows into the Sacramento River. Best Management Practices (BMP’s) such as cover cropping, insectary hedgerows, grassed swales, and streambank stabilization could significantly reduce contaminated run-off. CAFF and the Colusa County RCD found that farmer-to-farmer information exchange is the most effective way of changing agricultural management. We worked with local almond growers to implement BMP’s and demonstrate their effectiveness to other growers. We measured sediment and diazinon loads before and after, up and downstream of demonstration sites to assess BMP effectiveness.
CAFF founded the CSA-West Project in 1994 and was instrumental in bringing this unique community farming & marketing model to California.
CAFF’s farmscaping program assisted growers and ranchers to plan and install hedgerows, windbreaks, filter strips, and other conservation plantings. Program goals were:
– Reduction of sedimentation transport by using vegetative buffers to slow agricultural run-off into streams and waterways.
– Reduction of stream and waterway nutrient loading by increasing nutrient uptake with native plant hedgerows and buffer strips.
– Reduction of pesticide use by increasing beneficial insect populations with flowering hedgerows and increasing reliance on biological pest control methods.
– Increase overall ecological diversity by improving habitat for plant and animal species.
– Educate young people about farm ecology and biodiversity in partnership with CAFF’s Farm to School efforts
Lighthouse Farm Network
CAFF’s Lighthouse Farm Network built a community of farmers and other agricultural professionals who readily share information about farming systems that are profitable yet rely less on chemicals. Farmers and other ag professionals met at breakfast meetings, lunch meetings or field days to share technical information about biologically-based farming practices.
National Organic Directory
From 1983 to 2001, CAFF published the most complete guide to organic industry, allowing vendors and farmers in the fledgling organic foods industry to find each other and aiding greatly in the development of the organic foods market.
The Environmentally Responsible Management Practices for Tree Crops in the Feather River Basin program focused on outreach and demonstration to reduce organophosphate pollution in the Lower Feather River and Sutter Bypass, as well as developing and increasing the adoption of sound production practices that improve environmental impacts of orchards in the Southern Sacramento Valley.
Watershed Stewardship Project
The Watershed Stewardship Project provided rural landowners in Solano and Merced counties with information and contacts for improving their management of natural resources.