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Sustainability

California Olive Committee takes fresh look at Ripe Olive Production Costs

January 4th, 2017 by Dan Block

D.W. Block Associates, LLC (DWB) recently completed study of current production costs for ripe/table olives in California. Table olives have been a traditional crop in California going back to the Spanish ranchos long before California was a state. However, acreages have been declining due, in part, to government subsidized imports from Europe and high hand labor harvesting costs. This study looked at actual costs by interviewing several growers throughout the state both in … + read more

Farmers – The Original Earth Day Folks – Useful Read on MSNBC by Naomi Starkman

April 22nd, 2016 by Dan Block

    I found this article on MSNBC simple and helpful. Especially for folks who don’t see where their food comes from. Everyday is Earth Day for Farmers – http://on.msnbc.com/1SgFwio dwb

Big Hope For Big Data

November 4th, 2014 by Elliot Hohn

Having recently returned from the 6th annual Water For Food Global Conference – the main focus of which was “harnessing the data revolution” – the idea of Big Data and its value to farmers has been on my mind a lot lately. Big Data is simply defined as large volumes of information, coming at a high velocity, being delivered in a variety of formats. These data … + read more

Driscoll’s finds that “less is more” when it comes to groundwater use in California

August 8th, 2014 by Elliot Hohn

If you’ve opened up a newspaper anywhere in the United States in the past four months you’ve probably read about the drought in California. The entire state has been in some level of drought since May, and as of August 5th more than 80% of the state is considered to be experiencing an “extreme” or … + read more

Water Shortage – Impact on Farm Input Suppliers’ Plans

January 28th, 2014 by Dan Block

There is the possibiblity of nearly 500,000 row crop acres not being planted in the San Jaoquin Valley of California this spring due to the drought there. Given that the demand for farm inputs such as irrigation supplies, seed, fertilizer, etc, is derived from planted acres, farm input suppliers are adjusting their forecasts and expenditures for … + read more

Many Agricultures – All part of the Whole System

December 17th, 2013 by Dan Block

Last week I had the opportunity to experience the diversity in what people call “agriculture” and “farmers.” I spent some time in Nogales, Arizona, a small but industrious town on the US – Mexico border. Nogales is one of the main crossing points for winter produce moving north into the US from farms in Mexico. … + read more

Sustainable Food Production – Big Farms or Small Farms

December 2nd, 2013 by dwblock

A recent article in the New York Times by Stephen Porder of Brown University presented a thoughtful view about big farms being sustainable, in fact perhaps more sustainable than organic, small farms. He posed two options for the future of global food production: “Either we need to get more food out of the land we … + read more