Fruit and nut growers can get updates on pests and diseases at a series of morning meetings in Ceres. The University of California Cooperative Extension will host the meetings from 7 to 8 a.m. on the first and third Wednesday of each month, starting March 17 and running through June 16. They will be at My Garden Restaurant, formerly the Peach Tree, 2535 E. Whitmore Ave. More information is at 525-6800.
Farmers are invited to a March 25 event in Merced to learn about water issues and how to make irrigation more efficient. It will deal with the supply outlook, regulations and other issues in the Northern San Joaquin Valley. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the University of California Cooperative Extension, 2145 Wardrobe Ave. The spon- sors include the Ecological Farming As- sociation and the East Merced Resource Conservation District. The $20 fee includes lunch. People planning to attend are asked to register by Friday. More information is at http://agwaterstewards.org or 831-763-2111.
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Organic farmers, and those moving toward this approach, have until Friday to apply for the latest round of federal incentives for organic production. The Natural Resources Conservation Service will pay 75 percent of the cost of practices that avoid the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The cap is $20,000 per year or $80,000 over six years. More information is at agency offices: 491-9320 for Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties, 472-7127 for San Joaquin and Calaveras counties, and 722-4119 for Merced and Mariposa counties.
The dairy industry, water supplies and olive oil will be among the topics at the 2010 Spring Ag Outlook Conference, set for March 25 in Visalia. The event's sponsor, the California Chapter of the American Society of Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers, also will release its annual report on farmland values. The cost is $175 for society members, $200 for nonmembers and $50 for students and retired members. People planning to attend should register by Friday. More information is available at www.calasfmra.com or 368-2672.
To submit items about agribusiness, call 578-2385, send a fax to 578-2207, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.