Scientists need more information about how farmers use nitrogen fertilizers before the state imposes new regulations, reported Tim Hearden in Capital Press. Hearden's story was based on a study published in California Agriculture journal.
Nearly 600,000 tons of nitrogen fertilizer is sold in California each year, but sales figures are not an accurate indicator of how it is used.
Imposing regulations without supporting data could fail to address the problem while damaging agriculture, said Tom Tomich, co-author of the study and director of the
Doug Parker, director of UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources, highlighted the importance of ensuring safe drinking water for residents of California's rural communities at a nitrogen management forum June 12 in Sacramento, reported Capital Public Radio.
"Currently there's a real problem of safe drinking water -- and we need to fix that system, and we need to do that quickly," Parker said. "But separately from that is how do we make sure we don't continue to have this problem in the future."
The Sacramento forum was one of two being hosted by the California...
Lettuce farmers can use less fertilizer - saving money, cutting back water use and reducing nitrate groundwater contamination risk - without sacrificing crop yield by employing a "quick test" developed by UC Cooperative Extension, the San Francisco Chronicle reported today.
With the quick test, growers can determine how much nitrogen is in the soil and use only as much fertilizer as their lettuce needs to grow.
UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Michael Cahn told reporter Julia Scott that he helped one company use 70 pounds less fertilizer per acre and get the same yield.
Escaped nitrogen from agricultural production has "huge potential to contribute to climate change," according to the director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis, Tom Tomich. He was quoted in "The Smog Blog," written by Mark Grossi of the Fresno Bee, in a post about $2.8 million in grant funding ASI received to research agricultural nitrogen. The story appeared in his blog last week and on the front page of the newspaper's Local News section yesterday.
According to an ASI news release announcing the new funding, many...