Documentary video on no-tillage in California being prepared
July 1, 2023
A video documentary featuring five of the CA and AZ farmers who have been part of the USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant project, "No-till network for California," is in the final stages of production and will be released in the near future through the University of California's Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center's You Tube channel.
The documentary will feature Eddie Sajian of Hanford, CA, Rick Adams of Laton, Paul Strojan of Farmington, Dr. Henri Carter MD of Yuma, AZ, and Cary Crum, of Fresno, CA and will show them describing details of the innovative approaches that they are working on to improve the overall performance of their agricultural production systems. The release date for the documentary is scheduled for late July 2023.
Soil health monitoring conducted at SJV reduced disturbance and cover cropped fields!
As part of the USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant, Creating a no-till network in California, extensive baseline soil sampling has now been done at several San Joaquin Valley farms that are employing the soil health management practices of no-tillage, strip-tillage and/or cover crops. These farms include sites at the diversified permanent and annual crop farm of Eddie Sajian in Hanford, CA, the dairy silage fields of Rick Adams near Laton, CA, the grazing pasture lands of Paul Strojan in Farmington, CA, cotton fields at Bowles Farming in Los Banos, CA, and tomato acreage of Woolf Farming in Huron. Determinations of soil carbon, aggregation, infiltration, and % residue cover have been done at each site and findings have been discussed with partner farmers for each location. In addition, participating farmers have been encouraged to begin conducting their own ongoing monitoring by using the assay techniques shown here. They were also provided with a PVC meter square quadrat to use in sampling surface biomass and a set of sieves as shown below that are used for determinations of soil aggregate stability.
CASI honored with SWCS 2022 Conservation Innovation Award - August 2, 2022
August 4, 2022
California's Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) Center was recognized as the recipient of the 2022 Conservation Innovation Award by the Soil and Water Conservation Society at their Annual Conference held in Denver, CO from July 31 through August 3rd 2022. Tom Willey, retired organic farmer in Madera, CA and long-time CASI member received the award on behalf of our entire group and also presented a summary of work currently being done by a group of California organic farmers on reduced disturbance systems. The 2022 Award recognizes many years of dedicated service that CASI members have provided in extending information and increasing the adoption of improved performance production systems in California since 1998 when the organization was founded. Tom also had the opportunity to meet USDA NRCS national Chief Tom Cosby at the Denver conference and he invited the Chief to meet with CA CIG Project organic farmers when he is coming to the state in September 2022.
May 30, 2022
The Lexicon of Sustainability's Gayeton visits Park Farming and Fully Belly Farm
Douglas Gayeyon, storyteller and creative force behind the Lexicon of Sustainability (https://www.thelexicon.org/) spent the better part of May 20, 2022 interviewing and photographing Scott and Brian Park of Park Farming in Meridian, CA and Paul Muller of Full Belly Farming in Guinda, CA as part of a book that he is working on that is going to be about regenerative agriculture. He had been trying to work with the Parks and Muller for quite some time due to the reputations they have for being progressive farmers who have been putting great efforts into further improving their already outstanding farming systems. The Parks, Muller and Andrew Brait at Full Belly are part of a broader group of California farmers who over the past three years have been exploring opportunities for reducing soil disturbance in their organic vegetable production practices. While at Park Farming, Gayeton photographed Park showing a variety of innovative equipment that he has created and acquired over the years, an organic carrot seed production field, a cover crop roller trial, and an elaborate demonstration field where the Parks are evaluating nine different types of reduced disturbance systems for tomato production. With Muller at Full Belly, he photographed Muller in one of his no-tillage fields and also captured images of Muller in an orchard where grazing sheep roam. Gayeton will return to capture additional photos of the Parks' equipment fabrication shop in the near future.
January 20, 2022
Undergraduate student, Jennifer Valdez-Herrera, took home the first prize award in this year's student poster competition of the California Weed Science Society that was held January 19th - 21st at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Sacramento, CA. Her poster titled, Potential of roller-crimper technology for weed suppression in annual crops, reported on the first four years of a study that has been conducted on the Fresno State campus under a center pivot irrigation system. The rolled cover crops are followed by strip-tillage planted silage corn. Five mixes, rye, an ultra high diversity mix from Green Cover Seed in Bladen, NE, a multiplex mix from Lockwood Seed and Grain in Chowchilla, CA, a faba bean and Phacelia combination, and a three-way mix of rye, peas, and purple vetch are replicated three times in about 300 foot strips throughout the field. A copy of Valdez-Herrera's poster is provided below and a short 56-second video showing the current stage of growth of the 2021 - 2022 cover crops may be seen at