- Author: Jeffrey P. Mitchell
February 6, 2022
Expert weed ecologist, Dr. Anil Shrestha, of Fresno State's Department of Viticulture and Enology, has begun two exhaustive investigations of weed prevalence and diversity at the organic farm of USDA NRCS CIG Project farmer member, Phil Foster. The study involves four cover crop treatments that include Merced rye, Pacheco triticale, Phil's 'go to' mix of Phacelia, millet and faba bean, and the SJV morning glory suppression mix of Cary Crum that other CIG farmers are also trying at their farms. Each cover crop is laid out in fifteen-foot wide strips that are replicated throughout the field three times. Shrestha took his first set of data on February 3rd at the Santa Ana ranch study site and plans to return in two weeks for additional observations there as well as at Phil's San Juan ranch location where a similar replicated study is underway. Suffice it to say that ample very interesting data will stem from these monitoring efforts and that even in the initial sampling there seemed to be rather striking differences between the cover crops in terms of weed counts. A plot plan of the study that Phil prepared and a short video clip of the sampling methodology used by Dr. Shrestha are provided below. A link to a You Tube link of the video of Dr. Shrestha's sampling technique is provided here as well.