Students from UC Davis and CSU Fresno presented summaries of work they're involved with at the long-term NRI Project study site in Five Points, CA as part of a soil health tour stop for CDFA's Board of Food and Agriculture on August 8th. Anna Gomes, a UC Davis undergraduate student working with Drs. Daniele Zaccaria and Jeff Mitchell on her senior thesis (along with Stephanie Lew, an Environmental Sciences student also at UCD), and Aldo Garcia, a USDA-NIFA undergraduate research intern working with CSU Fresno professor, Dr. Anil Shrestha, and Jeff Mitchell, had opportunities to briefly share their research work with CDFA State Board members during their visit to the NRI Project field. CDFA Secretary Karen Ross, Deputy Secretary Jenny Lester-Moffitt and CDFA Science Director, Dr. Amrith Gunasekara, were part of the tour group as well as a range of Board members who are appointed by the Governor. UCCE Fresno County Advisor and long-term CASI member, Dan Munk, welcomed the group and led the presentation program at the NRI field that included an introduction to the project's outcomes and findings that was provided by Jeff Mitchell, a discussion of efforts related to reduced disturbance production practices by CASI member and Leopold Conservation Award recipient, Dino Giacomazzi of Hanford, CA, and a summary of an innovative private sector strip-till and precision planting service by Silas and Matt Rossow of California Ag Solutions of Madera, CA. Long-term CASI member and supporter, Eric Kueneman, former Global Director of FAO's Conservation Agriculture programs in Rome, Italy, also took part in discussions with the CDFA visitors. In addition, the group discussed opportunities for scaling up the adoption of improved performance, conservation agriculture, healthy soils and climate smart systems through efforts that are underway with the California Farm Demonstration Network.
New CASI video available on "Twenty years of no-tilled double-cropped cotton and wheat in Goodyear, AZ" at https://youtu.be/04XJR1tzuGI
For over twenty years, Ron, Robert, and Earl Rayner of Goodyear, AZ have been perfecting a very interesting and successful system of no-tilled double-cropped cotton and wheat at A Tumbling T Ranches in Goodyear, AZ. Their motivations and techniques for this highly innovative system, as well as the many very interesting things that they've learned over the years about how best to implement the practices that they employ are now chronicled in a 41-minute video that is available at the You Tube link above.
The video captures quite a lot of very good innovation and also sheds light on many very important aspects of conservation agriculture including risk management, the overall value of reduced disturbance residue-preserving practices, along with things that the Rayners have learned over the years related to water use efficiency, soil function, and farm sustainability.
Special thanks to Ron Rayner for taking the time to share the many years of dedicated effort in this video.
A shorter, revised version of the video will be available later this year following the 2017 cotton harvest.
Ghezzehei hails originally from Eritrea where he tells us, “We don't have traditional last name; thus, my son's last name is my dad's first name just like my last name is my grandfather's first name.” Essey is a sixth-grader at a Merced elementary school.
Following their visit to the NRI Project field, Teamrat, Essey, Samuel and Jing joined NRI Project representative, Jeff Mitchell, for a traditional CASI hospitality lunch at El Ranchero Café in Five Points where the group had a chance to talk with local Westside farmers and learn more about the water shortage issues they face.
- Author: Diana Nix
Links to two short introductory videos on the California Farm Demonstration Network are now available at the CASI website http://casi.ucanr.edu/.
The first one is about 8 minutes long and presents a number of the farmers and features of the Network. The second one is a shorter, 3 minute, introduction to the Network.
The California Farm Demonstration Network is an partnership between the California Farm Bureau Federation, the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the University of California, Davis, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service and the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts to expand the adoption of improved performance, conservation agriculture farm production practices and systems in California. It relies on a series of local hubs showcasing various farm demonstrations of a wide range of conservation agriculture, climate-smart, and healthy soils systems are being evaluated.
Full video link:
The group was keen to see how the garbanzo planting that they had helped with had turned out and also how the 2017 no-till sorghum is performing. Monte Bottens, Matt and Silas Rossow, and Cary Crum of CAS took part along with three other members of the Madera headquarters crew. The tour visit allowed everyone to view the rather dramatic and surprising growth of the no-till sorghum which seemed to be taller and more vigorous than this year's standard tillage systems.
In addition, the group also visited this year's trial of no-till cotton that was established in standing rye cover crop using row unit-mounted DAWN ZRX's. These implements roll standing cover crops and allow seeding all in the same operation.
Now is a very good time to visit the NRI Project field as there is much to see related to the performance of the no-till crops this season.