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Environment

AgPresidents' members are environmental stewards of agriculture land, water, plants and animals and know how to do more with less while providing quality care and attention to their precious resources.

Some examples of the many environmental improvements and benefits of agriculture include:

  • One of the greatest benefits from rice farming in the Central Valley is the environmental gains that accrue to wildlife. 
    California ricelands provide valuable open space and habitat for 230 species of wildlife, many of which are species of special concern, threatened or endangered.  This is especially important today, given that 95 percent of California’s historical wetlands in the Central Valley are now gone.  California rice fields provide habitat and nourishment for approximately seven million ducks and geese migrating along the Pacific Flyway each year.  Ricelands are increasingly crucial to hundreds of thousands of shorebirds that nest in the fields year round.  For example, recent studies have shown that California ricelands currently provide more than half of the nutritional requirements of wintering waterfowl in the Sacramento Valley.  These rice fields, along with adjacent wetlands, are designated as Shorebird Habitat of International Significance by the Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network. It is what these growers are doing in the annual cycle of rice production that creates this critically important habitat within the Pacific Flyway.  Ricelands provide more than 230,000 acres of equivalent wetland. In other words, this amount of new wetlands habitat would have to be created to support the same waterbird populations that California’s ricelands support today.  Acquiring and restoring this amount of land to create wetland for wintering waterfowl populations would initially cost about $2 billion and about $35 million annually for upkeep.  Rice fields provide a substantial wildlife resource benefit that comes essentially free to the public as long as California rice remains viable.  To learn more about California ricelands and the environment, read the California Rice Commission report.
     

  • Citrus growers are practicing environmental stewardship and crop sustainability through the use of Integrated Pest Management (IPM). 
    California fresh citrus has been a viable industry in the San Joaquin Valley for over 100 years and has grown to be a $2 billion industry.  Citrus growers are on the forefront of innovative crop management and food safety standards in order to ensure only the highest quality fruit reaches the consumer.  Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an innovative and effective approach to modern pest management practices that is widely used in the industry.  IPM strategies conserve inputs and take into account environmental conditions and biological resources in order to preserve the vitality of the crop while enhancing the natural ecosystem within the grove.   An IPM program is specifically adapted for each grove depending on multiple cultural factors including geography, ecosystem, and soil and plant health.  The use of beneficial insects as natural predators and selective use of soft pesticides have contributed to more effective pest treatment plans that preserve environmental and crop quality.  Sustainability efforts encompass practices that “result in conditions that that help meet current and future human needs, preserve environmental quality, responsibly use resources, and support economic viability.”  Most citrus groves can go years without being sprayed as a result of IPM techniques and when pesticides are used, residues are virtually non-existent.  Citrus growers recognize that less chemical applications are better for the quality of the fruit, the environment, worker safety, and also attribute to greater financial viability.  IPM practices are adapted to meet the needs of growers, consumers, and the environment.

  • California Dairy Inc. is committed to becoming the world’s leading source of sustainable dairy nutrition and has voluntarily committed to regularly assess our performance and set benchmarks for improvement.

    • Download the latest report here.​

  • Check out the latest Dairy Cares Newsletter here.