Forums offered - June 2012
UC ANR California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR) and CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP)
June 11 at the California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento
Please note: The June 11 Forum was rescheduled from June 12. Please note the date and location change.
June 18 at the UC Cooperative Extension Office, Tulare
Who should attend?
Growers, dairy operators, agency representatives, agricultural commissioners, policymakers and other concerned community members. The events are free and open to the public. Preregistration is required.
Objective is to:
- Provide an educational forum on nitrogen use and management in agriculture
- Discuss management of agricultural nitrogen and gain an understanding of how management of agricultural nitrogen is proceeding
- Discuss the role of policy in nitrogen management
- Explore solutions to nitrate in groundwater
- Explore the need for additional research and education
UC Cooperative Extension specialists will describe methods of managing nitrogen on dairies and cropland. Members of the agricultural industry and representatives of statewide and regional programs will discuss the practical aspects of adopting nitrogen management practices. To wrap up the sessions, Parker will present a case study on the effects of policy on nutrient management in the Chesapeake Bay region in the Northeast and lead a discussion of the role of policy in nitrogen management in California.
The report “Addressing Nitrate in California’s Drinking Water” released in March by the State Water Resources Control Board concluded that more than 90 percent of human-generated nitrate contamination of groundwater in the Tulare Lake Basin and the Monterey County portion of the Salinas Valley has come from agricultural activity.
Plants need nitrogen to grow, but nutrients that are not used by the crop may move below the root zone. Nitrate, a byproduct of nitrogen, may infiltrate to groundwater.
“The report found that farmers have already begun employing numerous techniques to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizer available in the soil,” said Doug Parker, director of the California Institute for Water Resources and leader for the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources water strategic initiative. “At the forums, we will be discussing how those efforts are proceeding and exploring additional solutions to protect groundwater quality. We’ll be asking the agricultural community what additional research and education they need from UC.”