This is a blog for the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Inspection Services Division (ISD). Read here for the latest news about how ISD is providing Californians professional services that support and contribute to a safe, abundant and quality food supply; environmentally sound agricultural practices; and an equitable marketplace for California agriculture.
- CDFA website highlights actions underway to reduce food waste
- FREP blog shows results of research project examining biochar as soil amendment to improve nitrogen and water management
- Did you know? New scientific methods at CDFA
- CA Farm to School Network newsletter highlights CA Farm to School Conference recordings, resources, events, job opportunities
- Did you know the Center for Analytical Chemistry developed 20 new scientific methods in FY2019-20?
- California Nutrition Incentive Program
- CDFA Antimicrobial Use and Stewardship Program
- CDFA Avocado Inspection Program
- CDFA California Citrus Program
- CDFA California State Organic Program
- CDFA Center for Analytical Chemistry
- CDFA Commercial Feed Regulatory Program
- CDFA Direct Marketing Program
- CDFA Environmental Safety Laboratory
- CDFA Farm to School Network
- CDFA Farm to School Program
- CDFA Feed Inspection Advisory Board
- CDFA Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services Branch
- CDFA Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board
- CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP)
- CDFA Fertilizing Materials Inspection Program
- CDFA Food Recovery
- CDFA Food Safety Laboratory
- CDFA Inspection & Compliance Branch
- CDFA Inspection Services Division
- CDFA Inspection Services: Did You Know?
- CDFA Livestock Drug Program
- CDFA Office of Farm to Fork
- CDFA Organic Input Material Program
- CDFA Organic Input Material Program
- CDFA Produce Safety Program
- CDFA Quality Assurance Program
- CDFA Regulatory Analysis Laboratory
- CDFA Safe Animal Feed Education (SAFE)
- CDFA Shipping Point Inspection Program
- Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board Technical Advisory Subcommittee
- Inspection Services Division Administration Unit
- ISD Staff Spotlight
FREP blog shows results of research project examining biochar as soil amendment to improve nitrogen and water management
The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) released a bog post: Research Update: Biochar as a soil amendment.
The post, which is part of a “Research Update” series that highlights projects funded by the FREP competitive grant program, examines a completed project by Suduan Gao and Dong Wang (U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Services, San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center) titled “Soil biochar amendment to improve nitrogen and water management.”
Overview: This CDFA-funded project highlights the effects of biochar on adsorption capacity for ammonium and nitrate, nitrogen (N) transformation rates, and soil water retention. This project also investigated the effects of various biochar application rates and irrigation rates on crop response and N fate under field conditions in California’s Central Valley.
Approach: Principal investigators (PIs) conducted both laboratory and field studies to characterize biochar products made from seven feed stocks, determine adsorption capacity for major mineral N species onto biochar, and evaluate effects of biochar on N transformations in the soil. Biochar products with high adoption potential were selected and tested in two field experiments (onion and processing tomato) with varying levels of irrigation, amendments (biochar and manure), and application rates.
Conclusions: Based on both lab and field studies, soil amendments with biochar did not show any direct link to improving yield, increasing N uptake or use efficiency, or reducing environmental losses such as ammonia volatilization or nitrate leaching. However, the PIs recommend that biochar can be promoted as a conservation practice to replace agricultural burning to sequester carbon and sustain soil productivity. They also mention that current commercial biochar products may be too expensive for growers to buy; however, several in-situ, low-cost methods could be explored.
Click here to read the full FREP blog post about this CDFA-funded research project.
FREP is a CDFA program that funds and facilitates research to advance the environmentally safe and agronomically sound use and handling of fertilizing materials. It is part of the Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch of CDFA’s Division of Inspection Services.
CA Farm to School Network newsletter highlights CA Farm to School Conference recordings, resources, events, job opportunities
The California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) California Farm to School Network released its monthly newsletter.
- CA Farm to School Conference recordings and resources are available online
- Farm to School Incubator Grant awardees
- National Garden Month: Coast-to-Coast Virtual School Gardens Tour
- USDA seeks comments on food system supply chains
- Resource: Chef Ann Foundation – sustainability & scratch cooking
- Resource: Food Literacy Center’s Food Anatomy Activities for Kids
- Job opportunity: Sacramento Waldorf School Farm
- Job opportunity: Community Health Improvement Partners senior program manager in San Diego
- National Farm to School Network resources in grants & funding, webinars & events, and research & resources
The California Farm to School Network includes farm to school practitioners and enthusiasts statewide. Click on the newsletter subscribe button to also receive these monthly updates that include information about grants, resources, research, webinars, events and news from the National Farm to School Network. The California Farm to School Program is part of the California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) in the Division of Inspection Services.
Did you know the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Center for Analytical Chemistry (CAC) developed 20 new scientific methods while satisfying the regulatory and monitoring needs of 33 public agencies during fiscal year 2019-20?
This and other information about CAC and its Environmental Safety Laboratory, Food Safety Laboratory, Quality Assurance Unit and Laboratory Business Operations is in the CDFA Inspection Services Division Annual Report 2020 (FY2019-20).
New members appointed to committee that reviews proposals for annual fertilizer research and education grants
The Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) welcomes Jan Hopmans, Daniel Rodrigues and Sebastian Saa to the Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board (FIAB) Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). FREP also welcomes Jerome Pier as the reappointed TASC chair.
TASC is a group of scientific and technical experts who review and recommend funding for proposals submitted to the annual FREP Grant Program.
Click here to read a FREP blog with brief biographies of the mentioned TASC members and for more information about TASC and its role.
The Fertilizer Research and Education Program is part of the Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch in the California Department of Food and Agriculture Division of Inspection Services.
Click here to read the spring 2021 Quarterly Feed Update issued by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Commercial Feed Regulatory Program.
- Notice to industry: tonnage tax report changes
- New webpage for human food by-product diversion
- Tonnage classification
- Incentives for human food by-product diversion
- 2020 sampling survey
The Commercial Feed Regulatory Program is part of the Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch of CDFA’s Inspection Services Division.
FREP blog highlights transition of Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Training Program to CDFA, including new webpages
As of March 1, 2021, the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) assumed full management responsibility of the Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Training Program. The management transition includes the addition of two FREP webpages.
The new Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Training Program webpage includes:
- Information on the Nitrogen Management Specialty for Certified Crop Advisors
- Information on the Irrigation and Nitrogen Management Training for Grower Self-Certification
- List of upcoming training dates.
The new Continuing Education webpage includes:
- List of upcoming continuing education courses
- List of self-study continuing education courses
- Application to offer Continuing Education Credits
Click here to read the original FREP blog post with more details about this transition.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Farm to Fork (CDFA-F2F) announces that it is awarding $8.49 million in grants to 60 farm to school projects throughout the state via the 2021 California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program.
“We’re happy to report that so many projects are being funded in our inaugural year of the California Farm to School Incubator Grant Program,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “The excitement to participate demonstrates how much the program goals resonate with school meal providers, educators and regional food system partners.”
View the Farm to School Incubator Grant Program section of the California Farm to School Program webpage for a list of awardees and their projects.
View the CDFA press release announcing these awards for more information.
Did you know changes in feed industry tonnage tax reporting highlight vital role of human food by-products being upcycled to animal feed?
Did you know the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Commercial Feed Regulatory Program (CFRP) recently changed tonnage tax reporting in the California feed industry to highlight the vital role of the diversion of human food by-products to animal food?
These changes will include expanded and specific reporting such as overall feed categories, specific feed or ingredient, and intended species. Human food by-product definitions for the California feed industry can be found on the CFRP website, and are categorized as: wet food processing waste; recovered retail food; restaurant food waste; and cull fruits and vegetables.
CFRP also is working diligently to publish regulations pertaining to the incentivization of licensing and tonnage tax reporting of by-products, including assessing licensees at a lower tonnage tax and license rate. Notification will be provided to the industry when the regulations are published.
Visit CDFA’s Safe Animal Feed Education Program Human Food Waste (By-product) Diversion webpage for more information about how more than 12.5 million tons of by-product are currently being diverted to animal feed within California’s livestock industry. The diversion of this tonnage that would otherwise be going to landfills demonstrates the feed industry’s innovative recycling nature!
CFRP is part of CDFA’s Feed, Fertilizer and Livestock Drugs Regulatory Services branch in the Division of Inspection Services.