- Author: Jeffrey P. Mitchell
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.