Moe, J. 2020, WASH HOUSE NEWS - Issue No. 7 - November 2020, Desert Farming Initiative, University of Nevada, Reno

Here is the latest DFI newsletter on produce safety and on-farm risk management extraordinaire – last one for 2020! WASH HOUSE NEWS shares lessons learned and the latest information from the world of produce safety every other month. This issue includes a FOCUS on Agricultural Water.

FOCUS: Agricultural Water and Produce Safety

This article focuses on managing the quality of water on produce farms to ensure that it does not become a vector for food borne illness. If pathogens such as E. coli and Salmonella in water contaminate produce that is bound for market, both public health and the longevity of the farm can be at risk. Included is an overview of the best practices for managing agricultural water systems, key resources for testing water, and options for correcting water quality issues.

NEWS AND SCIENCE

National produce safety news:

Produce safety news from DFI:

  • As food insecurity has increased significantly this year (over 30% increase in demand at food pantries in our region), DFI has been striving to supply pantries with more fresh produce and coordinate with other organizations that are doing so. Part of this work has been spreading the word that produce safety is a top priority when serving vulnerable populations.
  • Another key update from the farm on produce safety has to do with… cold storage! Production at the farm has expanded significantly over the past 2 years. We have outgrown our one walk in cooler and Coolbot shed and were excited to receive a CARES Act grant this Fall to improve and expand our storage capacity. Not only does this position us to do more to support the regional food system, but this new space will exemplify storage standards for produce safety and quality. The new cooler is easy to clean and sanitize and is completely sealed off from pests, not to mention being more energy efficient and ergonomic for DFI staff.

TRAINING

GET YOUR ON-FARM READINESS REVIEW!

Are you ready for a Produce Safety Inspection? DFI offers free On-Farm Readiness Reviews for Nevada fruit and vegetable growers. These give farmers a better understanding of what they can expect from upcoming NDA produce safety inspections. It's best to schedule a visit during harvest periods - now is the time! We are offering remote reviews by phone to reduce risks associated with COVID-19. Contact us for more information!

The Desert Farming Initiative (DFI) began in 2013, and is a collaboration between the University of Nevada, Reno (UNR), College of Agriculture, Biotechnology, and Natural Resources, Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station (NAES), and Cooperative Extension. DFI is a diversified organic farm at UNR comprised of hoop houses, a propagation greenhouse and 3 acres of row crops.  Currently DFI grows over 80 varieties of fruit and vegetables for local wholesale and retail markets, as well as food security programs in Reno/Sparks and Tahoe region. DFI supports hands-on student learning, advancement of desert crop production, farm extension, and the sustainability of the regional food system.

Desert Farming Initiative contact for produce safety: Jill Moe, Education Program Coordinator

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