FARM & RANCH AGRIBUSINESS
is the worldâ€™s oldest, largest, and most important industry. Local farms and ranches, and the businesses that supply and support them, play a vital role in the area economy, providing employment, marketable goods and driving the economy forward.
A supplemental section to the
Oakdale Leader, Escalon Times, Riverbank News, Manteca Bulletin and the Ripon Bulletin. October 24, 2018
2 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
California Dairy Sustainability Summit Dairymen, presenters, exhibitors and more will gather in Sacramento on Nov. 27 and 28 for the California Dairy Sustainability Summit, designed to educate, inform and support dairy farmers. Scheduled at the Sacramento Convention Center, this inaugural
‘Sustainability Summit’ will showcase the state’s world-leading achievements in sustainable dairy farm practices and the role dairy plays in the global food system; explore new ways for dairy farmers to continue improving environmental sustainability, develop new business
opportunities and reduce on-farm costs. Also, attendees will receive information, technology and services that can help their efforts to meet continuing challenges while also improving efficiency and ensuring economic and environmental sustain-
ability. Featured speakers are scheduled to include Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture; Frank Mitloehner, PhD, a professor and air quality specialist at UC Davis; Linda Eatherton, partner, Managing Director
Global Food & Beverage, Ketchum; Bob Langert, President, Mainstreaming Sustainability, Editor at Large, GreenBiz Group; and Brian Fiscalini, CEO, Fiscalini Farms and Cheese Company. Prime areas of focus will include reducing greenhouse gases, protecting
water resources, promoting emergency conservation and clean energy, improving air quality and finding cost-effective solutions to sustain family farms. For more information or to register for the twoday event, go to cadairysummit.com.
House Votes To Make Key Tax Provisions Permanent The House recently passed a Farm Bureausupported bill that would make permanent several important tax reform provisions that are set to expire after 2025. The Protecting Family and Small Business Tax Cuts Act of 2018 (H.R. 6760) addresses bonus depreciation and the estate tax, among
other tax provisions. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, passed in 2017, reduced taxes for all businesses, but only the tax cuts for incorporated businesses operated as C corporations are permanent. The vast majority of farms and ranches, however, file their taxes as sole-proprietors, partner-
ships or S corporations. “Failure to (make these provisions permanent) will result in a huge tax increase. In addition, the uncertainty caused by temporary tax provisions makes the already tough business of running a farm or ranch even harder,” American Farm Bureau Federation Presi-
dent Zippy Duvall wrote in a letter urging House members to support the bill. The legislation makes permanent the following provisions that are particularly important to farm and ranch businesses: reduced passthrough tax rates and expanded brackets; the
Section 199A new 20 percent business income deduction; unlimited bonus depreciation (expensing); the doubled estate tax exemption ($11 million person/$22 million couple); the increased alternative minimum tax threshold for individuals. The Protecting Family and Small Business
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Tax Cuts Act of 2018 was passed as part of a threebill package dubbed “Tax Reform 2.0” by the House Ways and Means Committee. The other two bills, also approved by the House, are the Family Savings Act of 2018 (H.R. 6757) and the American Innovation Act of 2018 (H.R. 6756).
Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018 — 3
Maintenance Key To Functioning Farms The family automobile is not the only piece of equipment that requires routine upkeep to ensure it is operating properly. Life on a farm can come to a screeching halt if farm equipment is not properly maintained. Farmers invest hundreds of thousands of dollars on agricultural equipment, such as tractors, tillers, hoppers, and dozers. Adhering to maintenance schedules can prevent breakdowns and decrease the need for potentially costly emergency repairs.
suppliers recommend quickly washing equipment after usage so that substances do not have the chance to harden.
Keep it clean Cleaning the surface of equipment can go a long way toward keeping it operating smoothly. Use a pressure washer to remove caked-on mud and other debris. Titan iron
Routine maintenance checks Routinely inspect hoses, fittings, and seals to ensure they are in good working condition. Be sure fluids, such as coolant and oil, are at the
Learn the equipment Over time, it is possible to employ your senses of sight, sound and even smell to determine if equipment is working properly. Familiarize yourself with the owner’s manual so you can troubleshoot minor problems. Any unusual sounds, odors or responses from the gear should be noted.
proper levels. Check and replace filters as needed. Tires need to be properly inflated, and inspect the battery for corrosion or other signs that it may need to be replaced. Check belts for cracks. Tour the exterior of the equipment looking at signals and lights to ensure they are in proper working order. Hardware should be tightened and any missing pieces replaced. Heavy farm equipment needs motor oil, hydraulic oil and filters changed more frequently than automobiles. Such equipment also may need more frequent lubrication of chains and cables. Always check and inspect equipment prior to jobs requiring heavy and extended usage.
Maintenance on farm equipment helps keep operations running along and protects expensive investments. Expect some welding Have a knowledgeable welder on call to make repairs as needed, or develop your skills to a point where you feel comfortable making your own
spot repairs. The experts at Miller, producers of welding equipment, say cleaning the surface area and removing any paint, oil or corrosion from the metal area that needs
repairing can make for smooth, durable welds. Multi-process welding generators and accessories can ensure the right welds for repairs in the field or in the shop.
4 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
The Basics Of Backyard Beehives Scientists and environmentalists have been warning the public for years that honeybees are disappearing at alarming rates. Scientists were initially uncertain in regard to what was decimating bee populations. Even though no single cause is to blame, data has pointed to pesticide use and the mysterious colony collapse disorder, which is a name given to the dwindling colonies seen around the world. National Geographic News says bees are essential because of their roles as pollinators. Agriculture industries rely on honeybees, especially managed honeybees, to keep commercial crops pollinated and productive. Estimates indicate that roughly onethird of U.S. crops rely on honeybees – accounting
for more than $15 billion in crop production. Without bees, the costs of everything from blueberries to apples to broccoli would rise, as farmers would have to use a different, more expensive pollination method. Even though backyard beehives or bee farms may not be crucial to consumer agriculture, bringing healthy colonies back to various areas is beneficial to the environment overall. The art of beekeeping has become an important endeavor, and just about anyone with some time and resources can start their own apiary. Start by studying bees. Interested beekeepers can begin their journey by reading all they can on beekeeping. The American Bee Journal or backyard beekeeping books and articles are great
places to start. Local beekeeping associations also are invaluable resources for information on local bee species and traits. Know the laws. It’s important to get the go-ahead from local authorities before introducing bees into the community. By checking city or town ordinances, potential beekeepers will know how many hives are allowed and which type of property sizes are amenable and allowable. Get the right supplies. Research can help prospective beekeepers understand the type of equipment they will need. One can purchase this equipment, but some beekeeping organizations may be willing to lend or rent it to interested parties. Hive boxes, bottom boards, a veil, a jacket, a smoker, and a top feeder are just
With time, homeowners can become successful beekeepers and do their part to replenish much-needed bee colonies. some of the supplies needed. Order bees. Bees can be acquired from other beekeeping enthusiasts or can be ordered online. The bees will need to consist of the queen, drones and
worker bees. According to the resource Bees Brothers, a starter set of bees is called a ‘nuc.’ Bee suppliers start selling in the winter for spring swarms. Place the hive. It’s important to set up hives away
from foot traffic. In addition, face hives away from strong winds, with the ideal directions being east and south. Hives need sunshine and some shade on summer afternoons, advises BackYardHive.
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The Various Benefits Of Farm-To-Table
Few things are more satisfying than biting into a fresh tomato right from the garden or seasoning a meal with herbs picked from a windowsill greenhouse. Restaurants recognize the value of such experiences, and more and more are relying on locally sourced products in their kitchens. The farm-to-table movement is not new, but it has gained momentum as consumers become increasingly enamored with the flavor and environmental impact of locally sourced foods. The National Restaurant Association found that farm-to-table food was one of its top 10 trends for 2015. Furthermore, the group says that one in five consumers are willing to pay more for local food, and 41 percent admit that locally
sourced ingredients influence their decisions when choosing where to dine. Newcomers to the farmto-table dining experience may not understand all the fuss surrounding this popular trend. The following are some of the key benefits of farm-to-table. Peak freshness and ripeness: Local produce ripens on the plant and can be harvested at the last possible minute before it turns up on a plate. This helps ensure that it contains the highest amount of nutrients and flavor, according to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Food that has to travel further is often picked well before it is ready, ripening on the way to stores or other vendors. Better for the environ-
ment: Food that needn’t travel far before reaching diners’ plates saves roughly 500 gallons of diesel fuel to haul produce a distance of 1,500 miles. This conserves fossil fuels and prevents harmful emissions from entering the atmosphere. Supports neighboring farms: Supporting farm-totable restaurants and other eateries keeps business local in two different ways. It not only benefits local restaurants, but it also directly supports neighboring farms, fisheries and other suppliers. Accessibility to seasonal choices: Farm-to-table eating provides a wide variety of in-season foods. This can translate into tastier foods because they are grown and harvested during their optimal growing season.
6 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Humane Housing For Safe And Comfortable Livestock Consumers depend on various agricultural producers to provide the fruits, vegetables and meat and dairy products they rely on for sustenance. The conditions in which livestock are sometimes housed and cared for is a cause of concern for many such consumers. However, farmers who understand that their livelihoods depend on the health of their animals often do their best to keep their livestock healthy and comfortable. Animal agriculture is evolving as animal scientists, veterinarians and farmers seek ways to provide for animal health and welfare. At the same time, farmers are seeking ways to minimize the negative impact these changes can have on employees and
the environment. Indoor housing Data published in 2016 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture found that indoor housing protects livestock from harsh external environments and serves to decrease exposure to parasites and diseases spread by insects, wildlife and other vectors. Although some are quick to say that outdoor living is better and indoor conditions can be unsanitary, many studies have proven the opposite. Increased prevalence of infectious disease and parasites are well-known risks associated with outdoor housing of livestock, says the USDA. This has been proven by studying both indoor and outdoor chickens, as well as swine.
Battery cages Many people are concerned about the welfare of hens spending time in battery cages. These cages prevent hens from fighting with one another, but they also put the birds in very tight quarters. Battery cages were often coveted because their sloped floors allowed clean eggs to roll away into collection areas, making the process less labor-intensive. Farmers are trying to find a balance between keeping eggs clean and birds safe while providing humane living conditions without affecting the cost of eggs. In some areas, such as the European Union, battery cages are no longer in use. Egg-laying hens in Canada also may find
battery cages a thing of the past thanks to a new NFACC code for the care and handling of Canada’s hens. In addition, Publix, Wal-Mart, Costco, Denny’s, and more than 20 other major companies have stopped buying eggs from producers who use battery cages. Group housing Veal production has long been a point of contention among animal welfare activists. The traditional option has been keep calves alone in ‘veal crates,’ which are small and provide limited movement. Many veal farmers have slowly transitioned away from veal crates, says the organization Animal Smart. Group pens and indoor barns
are climate-controlled and allow calves to stay together. Some farms even afford the calves some outdoor time for fresh air. Group housing is more social and less restrictive for the calves. According to the American Veal Association, veal farmers spent more than $50 million over 10 years to transition to these group housing systems. Calves can stand, stretch, lie down, groom themselves, and benefit from year-round ventilation to thrive. Furthermore, milk-fed calves raised for veal are raised until age 22 weeks, and marketed at 500 pounds, which is much older and larger than many people likely know, according to AVA.
Livestock regulations are evolving to make conditions more humane and comfortable for animals. Great strides are being made to ensure that livestock are provided humane living conditions and environments to keep them comfortable and safe.
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Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018 — 7
More Flexible Livestock Hauling Rules Sought To better address livestock haulers’ unique needs, the American Farm Bureau Federation and several state Farm Bureaus are urging the Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration to be flexible in implementing a split sleeper berth program. The groups are also asking the agency to put in place rules that encourage drivers to avoid fatigue by allowing short rests that do not count toward a driver’s end-ofday rest period. Current rules require livestock haulers to rest for 10 consecutive hours once they reach the maximum on-duty drive time of 11 hours. In comments to DOT
and FMCSA, the Farm Bureaus explained in detail why the current hours of service framework is incompatible with livestock hauling. For one, the trailer environment has the greatest effect on animal welfare during transport. Animals that don’t get adequate airflow, a common problem when the trailer is stopped, can suffer weight loss, lameness and even death, either in transit or upon arrival at the feed yard. “The key to safely hauling live animals, especially in times of great heat and humidity, is to stop as infrequently as possible and to keep the trailer moving to provide ventilation,” the groups wrote.
Haulers also can’t simply unload their animals for 10 consecutive hours. Even if there was a place to put the livestock, doing so would raise a whole host of biosecurity concerns. In addition, the acts of loading and unloading are reportedly more stressful than transport itself. “Animals that are unloaded, ‘rested,’ and then re-loaded will not have rested at all,” the groups warned. To meet the needs of both drivers and animals, the Farm Bureaus support allowing livestock haulers to break up their rest period via a split sleeper berth program. However, such a program won’t work for livestock
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haulers if it is too rigid in practice and if the rest periods are too long. “Weather, type and age of livestock, and other environmental factors all play a role in determining when and how haulers move their livestock, which is why flexibility is so important,” the organizations said. Rather than a mandatory 10-hour stop, or a requirement that drivers split their 10-hour break into two five-hour periods or a six-hour period and a four-hour period, the groups recommended that drivers be permitted to stop for multiple periods of two or three hours. This way they would be able to evaluate humidity and temperature
and determine if a stop is tolerable for the animals they are hauling, which will allow them to rest to avoid traffic or other roadway hazards. In conjunction with a split sleeper berth program, the groups are encouraging FMCSA to consider incentivizing shorter “nap breaks” for drivers, as short naps of 20-30 minutes can help improve mood, alertness and performance, according to the National Sleep Foundation. These naps should not count toward a driver’s rest time. “The current regulatory structure encourages drivers to push through tired moments or spells of fatigue because, if they stop to rest, even for a short and refreshing nap,
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their on-duty clocks are still running,” the organizations said. Drivers would be incentivized to take these rests if they were allowed to go offduty during the time they are resting, they further explained. AFBF submitted these comments in response to FMCSA’s advanced notice of proposed rulemaking concerning hours of service for drivers of commercial motor vehicles. More recently, AFBF and organizations representing livestock, bee and fish haulers across the country submitted a petition to the Department of Transportation requesting additional flexibility on hours of service requirements.
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8 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Plenty Of Reasons To Shop Farmers Markets Farmers markets are usually as close as a nearby field or an open parking lot. The United States Department of Agriculture says that, between the years of 2008 and 2013, the number of farmers markets doubled across the country. Farmers markets will continue to thrive and expand as people increasingly realize the benefits of supporting local food providers. Buyers who are not yet familiar with farmers markets can examine the following reasons to break the ice. Enjoy fresh, seasonal foods. Foods at farmers markets tend to be limited to in-season offerings. Some nutritionists suggest eating seasonally available foods is better for your body, because humans ate seasonal produce for thousands of
years before shipping and refrigeration changed how people received the majority of their foods. In addition, many people feel that fresh, seasonal foods taste better than the alternatives. Discover new foods. There’s always something new at a farmers market, and this can entice shoppers to expand their flavor palates. Explore interesting, locally grown items. Even children may fall in love with colorful fruits or vegetables and their refreshing tastes. Embrace organic and non-GMO offerings. Many farmers markets offer foods that are organically grown and are produced without GMOs. Farmers market retailers also tend to give firsthand accounts of where their foods come
from and how they are grown or raised.
keep shoppers coming back week after week.
Indulge in nutritious foods. The vivid colors and smells emanating from farmers markets indicate just how fresh and nutritious the offerings tend to be. Farmers who peddle their wares at farmers markets adhere to careful farming methods to ensure their foods are as nutritious as possible.
Turn the trip into a social excursion. A farmers market can be an exciting and flavorful social gathering place for families and groups of friends, as well as a great place to meet other members of the community. Sometimes farmers also mingle with local artisans, so the market can be a one-stop-shopping locale for locally produced food and art.
Learn secrets and recipes. In addition to fresh produce, farmers markets may offer baked and other prepared goods. Shopkeepers often mingle with their customers, offering trade secrets and recipe ideas. Additionally, local farm families supported by farmers markets generally offer supreme customer service to
Save money. Farmers markets may sell organic produce at a cost comparable or even lower than other retailers. That’s because local farmers don’t have to transport their items as far as retailers whose foods were shipped from faraway places.
Any time of the year is perfect for grabbing a tote bag and browsing the wares at a nearby farmers market, where shoppers are bound to find something fresh, unique and delicious.
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Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018 — 9
Facts And Figures On Farm Safety According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, agriculture is among the most hazardous industries. Fatal and nonfatal injuries pose a significant threat to farmers, including the many young people who work on farms. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, in an effort to promote productive and safe workplaces, supports programs that conduct research on injuries associated with agriculture as well as pesticide exposure, pulmonary disease, musculoskeletal disorders, hearing loss, and stress. Studying the results of such research, compiled by NIOSH, may compel veteran and novice farmers to further emphasize safety measures
and promote practices that can reduce risk for accidents on the farm. Estimates indicate that there were roughly 2.1 million full-time workers employed in production agriculture in 2017 and between 1.4 and 2.1 million hired crop workers employed annually on crop farms in the United States. An estimated 893,000 young people under 20 years of age resided on farms in 2014. More than half of those young people performed farm work, and an additional 266,000 youth were hired to work on farms in 2014. Each day, roughly 100 agricultural workers suffer injuries that cause them to miss time at work. In 2014, 12,000 youth were injured on farms,
and 4,000 of those youths could trace their injuries to farm work. In 2016, 417 farmers and farm workers died from work-related injuries. Tractor overturns and other transportation incidents were the leading cause of death for these farmers and farm workers. A rollover protection system, or ROPS, is a structure, similar to rollcages and rollbars in cars and trucks, intended to protect farm equipment operators from injuries caused by overturns or rollovers. NIOSH notes that an ROPS is the most effective way to prevent overturn deaths. Despite that, in 2014, only 62 percent of tractors used on farms in the U.S. were equipped with an ROPS.
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10 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
Farmers And Ranchers Bring The Holidays To The Table Fall’s turn to shorter days and cooler weather also brings holiday celebrations that focus on food and family. It’s appropriate then that fall also brings the celebration of National Farmers Day where we honor the hard-working people who bring food to the table. In California, where we produce 19 percent of the nation’s milk supply, over a third of the country’s vegetables and two-thirds of the country’s fruits and nuts, it’s easy to stay local when shopping for the holiday table. And, with over 76,000 farms and more than 25 million acres of land dedicated to farming and ranching, buying California growth and raised products means supporting members of the community who create jobs and contribute to the local
economy. A cheese board, plate or course is an easy way to celebrate and support local farmers and ranchers. It also makes a delightful, satisfying addition to any holiday meal or celebration. A typical cheese course contains just a few ounces of cheese per person, accompanied by another food, often seasonal fresh fruit, dried fruit and nuts along with thin slices of handmade bread or artisan crackers, cured meats, olives and more – all products available in abundance from California producers. Create a Californiathemed cheeseboard for your next gathering of friends or family by selecting three to five cheeses of varying flavors and textures. Many prefer three
because it doesn’t challenge the palate with too many flavors yet provides good variety and contrast. When selecting cheeses, create a range of flavors and textures from soft to hard and milk to sharp, even pungent varieties, such as: - A bloomy rind cheese such as Brie, Camembert or Formagella. - A soft or washed-rind cheese such as Teleme or Crescenza. - A semi-firm hard cheese such as Raw Milk Cheddar, Gouda, St. George or Toma. - A very hard aged cheese such as Dry Jack, Aged Gouda or Estero Gold. - A highly flavorful or pungent cheese such as Blue, Schloss or flavored and spiced cheeses. Pair cheeses with your favorite accompaniments.
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California Sweet Spice and Citrus Cheese board, clockwise from top left: Real California Brie Cheese, Olives, Dried Oranges, Real California Pepper Jack Cheese, Almonds, and Real California Burrata Cheese with Raspberries, Blackberries, Honey and Fresh Herbs. Look to California’s top agricultural commodities for inspiration: grapes,
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Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018 — 11
Interesting Facts About Pumpkins Halloween isn’t complete without jack-o’-lanterns, and jack-o’-lanterns can’t be made without pumpkins. Plenty of people are familiar with pumpkins thanks to their connection to Halloween and, of course, pumpkin pie, but few may know some of the more interesting aspects of this Halloween staple. Indigenous to the western hemisphere, pumpkins have been grown in North America for 5,000 years. But while they might be indigenous to the west, pumpkins can be grown in the eastern hemisphere as well. According to contributors to the online pumpkin resource Pumpkin Nook, pumpkins are more popular in southern China than northern China. History.com notes that pumpkin seeds do not have a long planting season. Ideally, seeds should be plant-
ed between the last week of May and the middle of June. That gives pumpkin lovers precious little time do their planting. Once seeds are planted, pumpkin lovers must wait somewhere between 90 and 120 days for the pumpkins to grow. That makes October a great and popular time to do some picking. Pumpkin weighoffs have become popular events in many communities. At such events, growers of giant pumpkins bring their largest ones to be weighed. In 2016, Belgian Mathias Willemijns grew a pumpkin that is believed to be the biggest ever grown. That pumpkin weighed an eye-popping 2,624.6 pounds. Pumpkins support heart health. Perhaps because they’re most often associated with pumpkin pie and pumpkin-flavored
beer, the health benefits of pumpkins might go unnoticed. But pumpkins are rich in antioxidants that can help prevent damage to the eye, and the potassium found in pumpkins can have a positive impact on blood pressure. Pumpkins also are a great source of beta-carotene, and some studies have linked diets rich in beta-carotene with a reduced risk of prostate cancer. According to Fruits & Veggies – More Matters, a health initiative aiming to promote increased consumption of fruits and vegetables, pumpkins are fruits because they are products of the seed-bearing structures of flowering plants. Pumpkins are part of the gourd family, which means they’re closely related to fruits such as cucumbers, honeydew melons and cantaloupes.
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12 — Farm & Ranch • Wednesday, October 24, 2018
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