- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
UC Cooperative Extension will train farmers June 6 at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points on the benefits of soil management and a systems-oriented approach for achieving healthy soil.
The free program runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and includes lunch. RSVP online at http://ucanr.edu/SoilMgmt. The West Side REC is at 17353 W. Oakland Ave., Five Points.
Science-based, long-term research information as well as practical testimonies of experienced farmers are key elements of the curriculum. The program will feature discussion on all components of soil biology, including bacteria, fungi, nematodes, weeds and soil macro fauna. Reduced disturbance tillage and the use of cover crops and compost will be showcased.
The training will be conducted at the site of an ongoing, 18-year research study at the West Side REC.
“In our side-by-side research plots, we have been able to clearly demonstrate the potential economic benefits of improved soil management,” said Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist and workshop organizer. “And that isn't the only reason to focus on soil health. Healthy soil practices will store more carbon, reduce dust emissions, and contribute to a sustainable farming economy in California.”
The June 6 program will include presentations of systems management goals and practices by four farmers, results based on published research by UC and USDA study investigators, and in-field observations of changes resulting from the improved soil management practices.
“This is an opportunity for Central Valley farmers, consultants, and agency people to learn in one setting how managing a farming system from an ecological framework impacts resilience, pest management, profitability, and overall production," said Scott Park, a Meridian, Calif., a farmer who will be part of the program.
4.5 CCA CEUs and 1.0 PCA CEUs are approved for the training. Please RSVP online at http://ucanr.edu/SoilMgmt. Click here for the full program (pdf).
Learn more about the sorts of conservation agriculture systems that are being featured in this soil management training at http://www.uctv.tv/sustainable-cal/search-details.aspx?showID=32353.