- Author: Jeffrey P Mitchell
Several CASI members recently took part in a planning workshop that was held at the University of Arizona's Maricopa Agricultural Center to consider and develop opportunities for working together on joint research aimed at coupling advanced technologies and practices for high efficiency and resource-conserving vegetable production systems for California, Arizona, and New Mexico. 28 people took part in the meeting that included farmers, university and NRCS participants from these three states along with a colleague from Iowa State University. The meeting occurred as a follow-up to a similar sort of regional planning session that was held in Salt Lake City, UT in 2014 that brought together farmer, NRCS and land-grant university representatives from 18 of the western states in the US to share information related to high residue, conservation agriculture production systems. The goals of the meeting in AZ were to develop ideas and a joint research proposal aimed at maintaining the competitiveness of vegetable farms in these three states while simultaneously developing practices that address uncertainties of climate change, energy costs, and labor and water shortages. The practices that were discussed are designed to increase production system efficiency while also providing opportunities for testing alternatives that have not yet been applied to the production challenges of high-value vegetable production systems such as the use of a variety of conservation agriculture practices and principles that have been successfully been used in several regions of the world for various agronomic crops.
To view a short clip of some of the people attending this important planning meeting click the link below.