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

Alfalfa and pasture are the most extensively grown crops in the intermountain region. Irrigation is required for maximum yield and profit but future irrigation water availability in the intermountain area is in question due to competing uses, primarily for endangered species preservation. The region's entire agricultural economy is threatened if water supplies for forage production are reduced. Agricultural water use has come under increased scrutiny and is often singled out as a primary contributor to the decline in anadromous fish populations in recent decades. The general perception of many non-farmers is that irrigation of pasture and alfalfa is a poor use of limited water supplies. Therefore, it is in the best interest of agriculture to use limited water resources as efficiently as possible.

Read about: Soil Moisture Monitoring Improves Irrigation Management | 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. 

Webmaster Email: