Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative
University of California
Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative


Our Goal

The main objective of the Nitrogen and Irrigation Initiative (NII) is to improve nitrogen and irrigation management in California by closing the information access and training gap. UCANR advisors and specialists will work with Staff Research Associates (SRAs) to deliver educational content, training, and consultations to growers and their consultants in the San Joaquin Valley and Central Coast. The NII is a collaborative program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the University of California, Davis.

Our Approach

We are working directly with growers, farm workers and consultants to improve nitrogen use and irrigation efficiencies. UCANR County Advisors and specialty-hired employees are working together with growers to deliver science-based, practical information for on-farm nitrogen and water management. 

UC Delivers

Improving water use efficiency is increasingly important as California agriculture confronts water shortages. Changing tillage and crop residue practices could help. In regions of the world where no-tillage systems are common -– such as Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay, Canada, Western Australia, the Dakotas, and Nebraska -– generating and preserving residues are an indispensable part of management and sustainable production. Residues reduce erosion, provide carbon and nitrogen to soil organisms, and reduce soil water evaporation, along with other advantages and drawbacks. The water conservation value of crop residues and conservation tillage has not been evaluated in the warm, Mediterranean climate of California. This study measured the effects of residues and no-tillage on soil water evaporation in California conditions.

Read about: Surface residues and no-tillage reduce soil water evaporation | View Other Stories

Our Activities

We consider four main activities to achieve our goals: 

Educational Resources 

Continue to develop printed materials, videos, blogs, infographics to share with growers who can then relate and apply such practices to their specific operation.  

On-Farm Trials 

Coordinate on-farm demonstrations to promote locally appropriate best irrigation and nitrogen management practices to conserve resources and improve irrigation and nitrogen use efficiency.  

Training Events 

Conduct outreach activities (e.g., webinars, workshops, field days, trainings, one-on-one field visits) to increase knowledge and skills of enhanced nitrogen and irrigation practices and emphasize how practices increase on-farm efficiency.  

Grower Consultations 

UCANR academics and SRAs will conduct individualized on-farm grower consultations to make recommendations and assist with implementation of recommended practices. 

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