We will feature different farmers discussing their nutrient management efforts around their farm to feature innovative, creative, and high quality practices. As a way to increase the networks and engagement around nutrient management, farmers can volunteer to be a resource to people looking for more information on their practices.
These profiles do not serve as UC recommendations. Rather, they illustrate how different farmers throughout the state regard nutrient management as part of their overall farm management.
Farmer Profiles were created with the help of the Community Alliance with Family Farmers.
Tom and Dan Rogers Almond Orchard
The farming philosophy of the orchard is simple: take care of the soils and they will take care of the trees. To that end, Tom and Dan collect various data and monitor their soils and plant nutrient status to inform their irrigation and nutrient management programs. They believe strongly in protecting their natural resources and supporting the environment to produce healthy trees and quality almonds.
Scott Park Farming
Today, Scott’s main farming philosophy and approach to nutrient management is simple: "100% respect for the soil." Scott’s gears his practices towards keeping the soil healthy to support crop growth, increase water holding capacity and infiltration rates, and increase soil fertility. The nutrient management plan at Park Farming is based on rotational cropping, cover cropping, incorporating crop residue, and using organic soil amendments.
John Texeira - Lone Willow Farm
John Teixeira farms 90 acres of land bordering the San Joaquin River in Firebaugh, California. The land has been certified organic since 1991. One field also carries biodynamic certification, which will soon extend to the entire farm. The farm has evolved from producing organic cotton, heirloom tomatoes, and basil in the early years, to now focusing on producing pastured pigs, goats, and chickens in rotation with livestock feed, including alfalfa and corn.
Full Belly Farm - Diversified, Organic
Full Belly Farm is a diversified organic farm in the Capay Valley that produces over 80 different crops, from
Cover crops and compost provide the foundation for nutrient management at Full Belly. As Paul Muller explains, “We’re harvesting energy from the sun. The more we can keep plants growing in the ground, the more energy we can harvest.”
Charlie Starr Vineyards
Developing a nutrient management plan for grapevines requires testing vine nutrient status and understanding the nutrient requirements of the plant. Like most plants, grapevines take nutrients from the soil based on the stages of their development, and nutrient uptake curves have been developed to assist growers. By comparing the nutrient needs of the plant based on development stages with the results of the petiole samples from the vineyard, Charlie creates a nutrient management plan to provide the grapevines with the right amount of nutrients at the right time.
By matching his irrigation schedule to the evapotranspiration of the vines, and by using petiole samples and the nutrient uptake curves of the vines, Charlie is able to optimize his applications of nutrients and water to make sure that water and nutrients are staying on farm.