USDA Offers Disaster Assistance to Farmers and Livestock Producers in California Impacted by Floods

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Flooded Strawberry field

From the USDA

California agricultural operations have been significantly impacted by the recent floods throughout the state. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has technical and financial assistance available to help farmers and livestock producers recover. Impacted producers should contact their local USDA Service Center to report losses and learn more about program options available to assist in their recovery from crop, land, infrastructure and livestock losses and damages.

“Production agriculture is vital to the California economy, and USDA stands ready to assist in the recovery from these catastrophic flood events,” said Zach Ducheneaux, Administrator of USDA’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), who met with disaster-impacted producers last week in Fresno, Yuba, Salinas Valley and other areas.  “I assure you that USDA employees are working diligently to deliver our extensive portfolio of disaster assistance programs and services to all impacted agricultural producers. We’re also proud of recent updates FSA made to disaster assistance programs that allow us to improve our response to California producers.”

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SBA Positioned to Assist California Businesses and Residents Affected by the Statewide Winter Storm

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Low-interest federal disaster loans are now available to California businesses and residents as a result of President Biden’s major disaster declaration, U.S. Small Business Administration’s Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman announced.

The declaration covers Merced, Sacramento and Santa Cruz counties as a result of severe winter storms, flooding, landslides, and mudslides that began Dec. 27, 2022.

“With President Biden’s declaration, SBA is working closely with FEMA and our state and local officials on the ground to deliver expedient disaster recovery loans and support that will aid Californians impacted by these severe and devastating winter storms, flooding and mudslides,” said Administrator Guzman. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the families who have lost loved ones, and I urge affected residents to stay safe and heed the guidance of local emergency officials. As the state faces continued rainfall and heightened risks of flooding and mudslides, the SBA is committed to providing the full breadth of our resources to help small businesses and communities recover and rebuild stronger than before.”

Businesses of all sizes and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory and other business assets. SBA can also lend additional funds to businesses and homeowners to help with the cost of improvements to protect, prevent or minimize the same type of disaster damage from occurring in the future.

For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations of any size, SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster. Economic injury assistance is available to businesses regardless of any property damage.

Disaster loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property.

Interest rates can be as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.375 percent for private nonprofit organizations and 2.313 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years. Loan amounts and terms are set by SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.

To be considered for all forms of disaster assistance, survivors must first contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency at www.disasterassistance.gov. As soon as Federal-State Disaster Recovery Centers open throughout the affected area, SBA will provide one-on-one assistance to disaster loan applicants. Additional information and details on the location of disaster recovery centers is available by calling the SBA Customer Service Center at (800) 659-2955.

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Winter Storm Reminders, Resources, and Reporting

Reporting Storm Related Damage Growers that have sustained damages due to these recent storms, need to report damages to the Sacramento County Agriculture Commissioner’s office with the Report of Loss Form.

Form can be found online at https://agcomm.saccounty.gov/Pages/default.aspx
Completed Report of Loss Forms may be hand delivered or mailed to either office below, or emailed to agcomm@saccounty.gov
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APHIS Hosting OSHV-1 Webinar

APHIS Hosting OSHV-1 Webinar   At the request of U.S. aquaculture, the US Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), is pleased to offer an informational webinar on ostreid herpesvirus-1 (causative agent of Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome [POMS]). This TEAMS webinar offering is open to everyone with an interest in shellfish health.  
 
Date/Time: Monday, December 12, 2022 at 2 p.m. EST/1 p.m. MT/12:00 p.m. CT/11 a.m. PT. 
 
Presenter: Dr. Collen Burge, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
 
To Join at the day and time of the webinar:
By computer, mobile app or room device:
Click here to join the meeting
Meeting ID: 258 740 504 30
Passcode: 5rTxiy
Download Teams | Join on the web
 
Or call in (audio only)
 
+1 202-650-0123,,589769757#   United States, Washington DC
Phone Conference ID: 589 769 757#
Find a local number | Reset PIN
 
Learn More | Meeting options
 
For more information on OSHV-1, APHIS offers these resources:

Frequently Asked Questions: Infection by ostreid herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) microvariants, sometimes referred to as Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndrome (POMS)

Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 Information Sheet

Potential Introduction Pathways of Ostreid Herpesvirus-1 (OsHV-1) in the United States 

Optimizing surveillance for early disease detection: Expert guidance for Ostreid herpesvirus surveillance design and system sensitivity calculation, Gustafson et al. 2021

If you have questions, please contact Kathleen H. Hartman, Senior Staff Veterinarian – Aquaculture Health, USDA APHIS, Veterinary Services, Kathleen.H.Hartman@usda.gov.

Research Funding for New Faculty

California Sea Grant is now soliciting applications for one-year research projects by early-career faculty. Proposals, up to $60,000, will support the research of a new faculty member employed at a California-based university to address topics aligned with California Sea Grant’s strategic plan and state priorities. This year additional emphasis will be on proposals that respond and target objectives specific to our Resilient Coastal Communities and Economies and Sustainable Fisheries and Aquaculture focus areas. Please read the full Request for Proposals for details and application instructions. Read More

Webcast & Report – Offshore Aquaculture in Southern California

Just in time for National Aquaculture Week, the Aquarium of the Pacific, Sea Grant, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released the second report of their Offshore Aquaculture Workshop series. This workshop continues the conversation with Federal and State agencies about how to improve regulatory confidence in aquaculture operations. The workshop introduced a model as a possible tool for decision making, and includes information on animal health management, protected species concerns, and a summary of the permitting process.

Webcast speakers include Dr. Jerry Schubel, president and CEO, Aquarium of the Pacific; Dr. James Morris, marine ecologist, NOAA’s National Ocean Service and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science; and Dr. Paul Olin, aquaculture specialist, California Sea Grant and the University of California, San Diego, Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

Watch the webcastRead the reports.

Upcoming Webinar – Regulatory Costs of U.S. Aquaculture Businesses

The United States Aquaculture Society, National Aquaculture Association and North Central Regional Aquaculture Center are offering a free webinar focused on the regulatory costs incurred by bait and sportfish farmers. Many aquaculture producers and scientists have long pointed to an excessively burdensome regulatory environment in the United States as a constraint to growth and development of aquaculture. However, there has been little research done to determine the magnitude of the specific costs incurred by aquaculture producers as they comply with regulations.

This 1-hour webinar will present results of the first-ever study to measure the specific costs of regulations and how these costs affect U.S. baitfish and sportfish farms. While this study focused on baitfish and sportfish farms, results are likely to be of interest to the broader aquaculture community and to state regulatory agencies. New studies under development to similarly measure regulatory costs on U.S. West Coast shellfish growers and trout and salmon farmers will also be discussed.

Date and Time: Tuesday, September 27, 2016, 3:00 PM Eastern.

Duration: 60 minutes.

To Register: https://zoom.us/webinar/register/1b9f24b2117490ab7c24e00bf0acd2b8

Presenter: Dr. Carole Engle is an Aquaculture Economist with more than 35 years of experience in the analysis of economics and marketing issues related to aquaculture businesses. She has worked in 19 different countries, has published over 112 scientific articles, serves as Executive Editor of the Journal of the World Aquaculture Society and Editor-in-Chief of Aquaculture Economics and Management.

 

Upcoming Funding Opportunity -Macroalgae Cultivation

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA–E) intends to issue a new Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) in November, 2016, for the development of cultivation technologies benefiting the production of macroalgal-biomass (seaweeds) in the ocean. These technologies are expected to be deployed and support cultivation of macroalgal-biomass for the production of commodity fuels and chemicals. The primary challenge is to dramatically reduce capital and operating cost of macroalgae cultivation, while significantly increasing the range of deployment by expanding into off-shore environments.

The Teaming Partner List is being compiled to facilitate the formation of new project teams. ARPA-E intends to make the Teaming Partner List available on ARPA–E eXCHANGE (http://ARPA–E-foa.energy.gov), ARPA–E’s online application portal, in September 2016. Once posted, the Teaming Partner List will be updated periodically, until the close of the Full Application period, to reflect new Teaming Partners who have provided their information.

Read more below from the ARPA announcement.

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Public Comment open for Seafood Watch Standards until Sept 18.

Courtesy of Seafood Watch And Monterey Bay Aquarium:

Seafood Watch assesses the sustainability of fisheries and fish farms by compiling relevant science-based information and evaluating that information against our standards. We periodically revise our standards to ensure we take into account developments in the scientific understanding of the impacts of fisheries and aquaculture operations, as well as in our understanding of what producers and managers can do to mitigate those impacts.

We are now collecting public comments on proposed modifications to the Standard for Wild Fisheries and Standard for Aquaculture. All comments on other areas of the standards will be considered during the next Seafood Watch Standards Revision process in 2019. This fourth public comment period will end September 18, 2016. We greatly value your input into how we can better meet our objectives in assessing fisheries and fish farms. We encourage you to view background information on the revision process and submit comments by visiting our website. The solicitation for this public comment period is under the heading Public Consultation 4.

Our intent with these changes is to improve clarity and ease of use of the standard, but there are two areas which could potentially be more substantive. These are 1) when to use the Unknown Bycatch Matrices in Criterion 2 in the Standard for Wild Fisheries and 2) the appropriate assumed percentage of harvested farmed fish byproduct used for further protein production in Criterion 5 in the Standard for Aquaculture. Comments on these aspects in particular would be useful.

The Aquaculture Standards and Comment Form can be found on the website with further instructions.

2017 Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant Town Hall Webinar – August 30th

NOAA is hosting a new webinar to share more information about this year’s Saltonstall-Kennedy Grant process. This webinar will discuss the grant application process, including the mandatory pre-proposal process in advance of a full proposal submission.

Date and Time: Tuesday, August 30, 2016 3:00 pm EDT

Call-in and webinar details, along with more information about the SK Grant, can be found at NOAA’s Website.

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