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Meeting the Agricultural Challenge

By Ralph Roberts,2014-06-17 19:56
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Meeting the Agricultural Challenge

    Organics

    Meeting the Agricultural Challenge

    Introduction and Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). The California Integrated Waste Management As a result of CIWMB’s many activities related to Board (CIWMB) works extensively in agriculture, agriculture, urban-derived compost and mulch more so than one might expect. California’s multi-have made in-roads into the agricultural market. billion dollar agriculture industry is a major The following is a summary of past and ongoing market for compost and mulch products made CIWMB-funded projects, programs, and from organic materials diverted from landfills. information of note to commercial growers in Commercial growers used about two million tons California. of these urban-derived products in 2000. Compost Compost Demonstration Projects and mulch provide benefits such as soil Nine compost demonstration projects involving enhancement, weed suppression, slow release of commercial growers have been funded throughout nutrients, and water conservation, and are tools in California. Most of the final reports from past moving towards more sustainable agricultural successful projects as well as numerous fact sheets practices. are available from www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/ Compost and mulch use are tools in preventing or by contacting the CIWMB publications agricultural pollution, a view shared by CIWMB clearinghouse at 1-800-CA-WASTE (Calif. only) staff and other Cal/EPA departments. According or (916) 341-6306. to the Department of Toxic Substances Control,

    Erosion Control/Nonpoint-Source Pollution “…pollution prevention needs to be broadened to Projects encompass sustainable agricultural practices that

    Four erosion control and nonpoint-source result in multiple environmental benefits. These

    pollution projects within California have been practices include integrated pest management, use

    funded to date. Three of these projects involve 1of cover crops, and compost …” Above all, the commercial grape and citrus growers using mulch. CIWMB is concerned that agriculture does not A map showing the approximate location of each become a dumping ground for recycled organic agricultural and erosion control project with a materials. short description can be found at

    www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/GreenTeam/Target6Agriculture-Related Activities /ProjMap.htm. CIWMB activities in promoting agricultural Farm and Ranch Cleanup markets and preventing pollution have led to

    The CIWMB provides $1 million in grants each numerous partnerships with commercial growers,

    year for the purpose of farm and ranch cleanup. University of California Cooperative Extension, Interested local governments can apply for a grant resource conservation districts, nonprofit any time during the year at www.ciwmb.ca.gov/ organizations, and commodity groups. They also

    LEACentral/grantsloans/farmranch/. have led to collaborations with State agencies such

    as the State Water Resources Control Board, Used Oil Program Department of Pesticide Regulation, Department CIWMB used oil recycling program staff of Toxic Substances Control, Air Resources Board, disseminates information at its exhibit booth for

    commercial growers attending major agricultural events. More information is available at DTSC Pollution Prevention Advisory Committee, “Agribusiness 1 www.ciwmb.ca.gov/usedoil/. Pollution Prevention Problem Statement & Recommendations,” draft,

    August 20, 2001.

    Outreach material. CIWMB staff provides resource The CIWMB is a featured sponsor of the information during organic outreach events and at acclaimed public television series, California www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/Farming/ Heartland www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/ OnFarm.htm. Farming/. CIWMB staff also participates in Sustainable Agriculture numerous agricultural trade shows, including Eco-Sustainable agricultural practices go hand-in-hand Farm, the Tulare Farm Show, and UC Cooperative with compost use since both focus on prudent use Extension and resource conservation district of natural resources. CIWMB staff has partnered workshops. Through these efforts, the CIWMB is with nonprofit organizations to promote compost able to reach thousands of people and educate and mulch use as a sustainable agricultural them about compost and mulch use as well as the practice (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/Farming/ 3 Rs of “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.” SustAg.htm). Composting Regulations

    Over 100 California composting operations are Future Activity regulated by the CIWMB (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/ In addition to the activities described above, Regulations/Title14/). Many of these supply bulk CIWMB staff is also working on “conversion” material to commercial growers. Probably an technologies that can use organic materials to equal number of processors (e.g., operators that produce energy, ethanol, and other products chip and grind woody materials, but do not (www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/Conversion/). compost them) also furnish growers with mulch. These non-burn technologies may open additional CIWMB composting regulations are designed to markets for urban-derived and agricultural protect public health and safety and the materials in the future. They also may result in environment while increasing business environmental benefits such as cleaner air opportunities for organic material processors. The considering that some agricultural by-products are regulations also allow organic materials to be used still open-air burned in California’s fields. for on-farm composting without a permit,

    CIWMB recently approved about $26,000 to provided the product is not sold, but with

    supplement the annual CDFA Fertilizer Research provisions that preclude importing contaminated

    and Education Program (FREP) solicitation. The materials onto agricultural land.

    funds will be used to encourage FREP proposals List of Compost and Mulch Suppliers professing to demonstrate the value of urban-CIWMB staff annually updates a voluntary listing derived material in agriculture. This partnership of compost and mulch suppliers at will address compost and mulch use to a receptive www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/SupplierList/ that agricultural audience. includes California Compost Quality Council

    (CCQC) registered composting operations. CCQC Contact information provides third-party verification relative to Information on the use of compost or mulch in compost quality guidelines for many of the agriculture is available from CIWMB’s Organics composting operations listed. For more Outlook Web site at www.ciwmb.ca.gov/organics/ information on CCQC, visit its Web site at or by contacting staff in CIWMB’s Organic www.ccqc.org/. Materials Management Section at (916) 341-6620. Vermicomposting

    Information about composting with worms can be

    found at www.ciwmb.ca.gov/Organics/Worms/. The energy challenge facing California is real. Every

    Californian needs to take immediate action to reduce On-Farm Composting energy consumption. For a list of simple ways you can The CIWMB encourages on-farm composting of reduce demand and cut your energy costs, Flex Your agricultural material combined with urban-derived Power and visit www.consumerenergycenter.org/

    flex/index.html.

Publication # 442-02-006 March 2002

    The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) does not discriminate on the basis of disability in access to its programs. CIWMB publications are available in accessible formats upon request by calling the Public Affairs Office at (916) 341-6300. Persons with hearing impairments can reach the CIWMB through the California Relay Service, 1-800-735-2929. Copyright ? 2002 by the California Integrated Waste Management Board. All rights reserved. This publication, or parts thereof, may not be reproduced without permission.

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