- Author: Jeffrey P Mitchell
On June 24, 2016, about 40 visitors came to the public field day at Sano Farms in Firebaugh, CA and learned about the innovative, climate-smart, and reduced disturbance production systems that they have developed over the past 13 or so years for processing tomatoes. In the fall of each year, Sano and Sanchez grow a cover crop mix that consists of several species. They are now thinking of planting the cover crop flat, without beds. In the following spring, they come in with a 5-row (25 ft wide) cover crop roller that cuts and crimps that standing cover crop and knocks it down on the surface of the soil. They then run a Wilcox-Agriproducts Roller-Cutter implement that cuts the cover crop into pieces. Finally, they use a Wilcox-Agriproducts Performer reduced pass implement to reshape their tomato planting beds ahead of tomato transplanting. They unveiled the 25-ft wide cover crop roller and talked about a variety of soil improvements that they've seen as a result of the practices that they now employ. For instance, fertilizer inputs have been reduced by about half since they've been on this management program.