Seven CASI Workgroup members had the very good opportunity to host Dr. Doug Karlen, well-known soil scientist from the USDA ARS National Lab for Agriculture and the Environment in Ames, IA on March 5th in Davis, CA. The group included NRCSers Zahangir Kabir, Tony Rolfes, Hudson Minshew, UCD Soils PhD student, Jessica Chiartas, local Davis farmer, Rich Collins, Brazilian no-till vegetable researcher, Roberto Botelho, and Jeff Mitchell. Karlen was one of the first researchers back in the mid-1990's to publish research work on the soil quality, - now soil health, - concept. He also has conducted wide-ranging research on biofuel crops and tradeoffs associated with residue removal as energy feedstock material and soil function. This was the second recent trip Karlen has made to the area and the CASI group had a very good chance to talk with him about a range of open-ended topics including ideas for increasing the adoption of soil health or soil care practices, successful farm demonstration networks, and whether soils that have had considerable carbon inputs through cover crops along with reduced disturbance tillage might be less leaky and have lower emissions to the groundwater and the atmosphere than conventionally managed soils. CASI salutes Doug Karlen for the lively and very engaging dialogue we had with him!
Jeff Mitchell, Roberto Botehl, Doug Karlen, Hudson Minshew, Rich Collins, Jessica Chiartas, Tony Rolfes, and Zahangir Kabir (left to right)