Research by UC Cooperative Extension has shown there are even more production improvements to be realized with the incorporation of conservation agricultural systems in processing tomato production. Using conservation agriculture in processing tomatoes is the focus of the third installment of the Conservation Agriculture Systems Documentary, available on the program's website today at http://CASI.ucanr.edu. (The video is also posted below.)
Using conservation agricultural systems, tomato growers stand to cut production costs by $70 to $140 per acre, reduce fuel use and dust emissions and increase soil carbon by growing winter cover crops.
In the video, Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, shows a research trial where no-till tomatoes grown in cover-crop residue is demonstrated side-by-side with no-till tomatoes in a field where a winter cover crop was not grown.
Mitchell will be available to answer specific questions about conservation agriculture at the annual Twilight Conservation Agriculture field day to be held at 4 p.m. Sept. 13 at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center, 17353 W. Oakland Ave. in Five Points. To register, go to: http://ucanr.edu/TwilightRegistration. For more information about the field day, see the field day announcement.
Video three is posted below:
To view segments one and two of the Conservation Agriculture documentary series, go to the table of contents.
The presentations provide information about the evolution of CASI, its recent research and development work on conservation agriculture systems and its new capacity-building initiatives to increase the adoption of competitive and sustainable production systems in California’s Central Valley.
The videos can be viewed using a computer, smart phone, iPad or other tablet. The following presentations are available:
Introduction to Conservation Agriculture Cropping Systems 12:51
Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis
The History of CASI: Conservation Agricultural Systems Innovation 18:00
Ron Harben, California Association of Resource Conservation Districts
CASI's Merge with the Conservation Tillage Workgroup 21:19
Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County
History of California's Center Pivot Industry and CASI's 21st Century Goals 6:58
Harold Hughes, Overhead irrigation specialist with Reinke Mfg. (retired)
KEYNOTE: Adapting to Change: Agriculture in the 21st Century 38:32
Dino Giacomazzi, dairyman/farmer, Hanford, Calif.
Sprinklers and Applications on Pivots 12:35
Dan Schueler, Southwest District Manager, Senninger Irrigation Inc., Clovis, Calif.
California's Historic 40-year Stalemate of its 5 million acres of gravity irrigation systems 8:55
Jerry E. Rossiter, President/CEO CISCO Ag, Atwater, Calif.
In addition to researchers, the seven-minute video spotlights farmers and industry representatives with solid experience implementing the basic principles of conservation agriculture in California. Those principles are minimum soil disturbance, preservation of crop residues, diverse crop rotations, use of cover crops, integrated pest management, precision irrigation and controlled or limited mechanical traffic on soils.
“I saw a bumper sticker one time that said, ‘Stop treating your soil like dirt.’ That’s been my mantra now,” Yolo County farmer Fritz Durst says in the video. “I look and see what does my soil need, and that’s what I try to do.”
Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, said conservation agriculture integrates soil management and water management practices.
“One of the things we’re finding is that, by preserving residue on the surface, we’re actually decreasing the amount of evaporation substantially during the season, thereby increasing water use efficiency,” Munk says.
Ron Harben, CASI executive board member, adds that, “It all starts by looking at conservation tillage as objectively as possible.”
Subsequent videos in the documentary series will do just that. The next episode, to be released Monday, Aug. 13, focuses on maintaining crop residues. Research has shown that residues from the previous crop or a winter cover crop helps improve the soil and reduces evaporation from the surface.
A complete table of contents for the six-part video documentary series is available online at http://ucanr.edu/documentary.
The San Joaquin Valley boasts many of America’s most innovative farms. However, in terms of conservation agriculture practices – such as using little or no tillage, maintaining crop residues on the soil surface, and irrigating with buried drip or overhead systems – the most important agricultural region in the world is lagging behind.
To introduce more valley farmers to the benefits of conservation agriculture practices, Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) produced a six-part documentary featuring California farmers, UC researchers and agency representatives. The series premieres Aug. 6 on the CASI website (http://CASI.ucanr.edu) with a 7-minute segment that lays out the theoretical principles and the scientific basis for conservation agriculture. Additional segments will be released each Monday for five weeks thereafter.
Throughout the series, viewers will meet farmers who are implementing conservation agriculture successfully and profitably on their Central Valley farms. The 6- to 10-minute episodes review the core principles and practices associated with conservation agriculture systems and provide examples of successful local adoption.
After the six-week series airs, viewers, farmers and others interested in conservation agriculture are invited to the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Fresno County for the annual Twilight Conservation Agriculture Field Day, Sept. 13. The event, which begins at 4 p.m. and concludes when darkness falls, is free and includes a barbecue dinner. Viewers can get clarification on points from the video series and meet many of the farmers and scientists featured in the documentary, plus get a first-hand look at conservation agriculture research currently under way.
To register for the Twilight Field Day go to http://ucanr.edu/TwilightRegistration. The West Side Research and Extension Center is at 17353 W. Oakland Ave., Five Points.
“Our goal with the video series is to reach a wider audience of farmers with our research results and on-farm success stories, which show conservation agricultural practices can help make farmers more competitive and sustainable in the long run,” said Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
The Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation documentary series includes the following episodes:
Aug. 6: “Introduction to conservation agriculture” – The first video defines conservation agriculture and outlines its increasing credibility in the global context.
Aug. 13: “Maintaining crop residues” – California farmers have tended to adopt “clean cultivation” systems, but research has shown that maintenance of residues from the previous crop or a winter cover crop helps improve soil and reduces evaporation from the surface.
Aug. 20: “Conservation agriculture in tomato production systems” – These systems cut production costs, reduce dust emissions and store more carbon in the soil.
Aug. 27: “Conservation agriculture in dairy silage production systems” – Three dairy farmers committed to conservation agriculture systems in their silage production share their secrets and success.
Sep. 3: “Minimum tillage systems” – This video features examples of a number of reduced pass or ‘pass combining’ tillage systems that have been developed during the past decade.
Sep. 10: “Coupling conservation tillage with overhead irrigation” – Overhead irrigation systems, such as center pivots, are particularly useful when coupled with conservation tillage.
For more information, contact Mitchell at (559) 303-9689 or firstname.lastname@example.org.