Conservation agriculture news
Soil microbiologist and ecologist from New Zealand's LandCareResearch tours CASI's NRI Project in Five Points, CA!
Renowned soil ecologist, Gwen Grelet, who works as a researcher with LandCareResearch in New Zealand, visited the NRI Project field and had a very interesting and mutually-enriching conversation with CASI hosts, Tom Willey and Jeff Mitchell on June 12, 2019. She received a fellowship from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in France, to conduct investigations and to make connections with people and groups around the world who're working in various ways to scale up the adoption of conservation, or regenerative agriculture food systems. She is in California for about a month and is taking part in workshops and meeting a variety of people such as Tom Willey in Madera, CA, the entire team at Paicines Ranch, and David Johnson and Christine Jones when they conduct a training event on compost later this month at Chico State University. I believe that we in CASI have much in common with the work that Gwen is spearheading and it was not only a lot of fun for Tom and me to host her last week, but we also certainly hope that we will stay in close communication and connection with her well into the future. She clearly has a lot of very good ideas to share.
Gwen Grelet of New Zealand’s LandCareResearch and Tom Willey of CASI at the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA June 12, 2019
June 7, 2019
CASI hosted a group of newly-hired UC ANR and NRCS soil health experts for an introduction to the study site in Five Points, CA, demonstrations, and discussions related to what the project has learned since its beginning back in 1999. The group included four soil health Advisors who are working in a joint agreement between UC ANR and CDFA as part of the Healthy Soils Project and five NRCS people including Fresno Area Office Agronomist and long-time CASI member, Rob Roy, the new Area Three soil scientist, Luis Alvarez, and three soil health conservationists who work in the Visalia office. CASI's Jeff Mitchell hosted the group and provided them a presentation on the history and findings that have come from the NRI Project field, a viewing of equipment that has been used in the long-term no-till and cover crop study, a visit to the field and a close look at how soil has changed during the course of the study due to different management systems being implemented, and finally, a tour of the field station's shop where a new implement for cutting cover crops was being prepared.
The ANR visitors had just completed a week-long training session that had been organized by Doug Parker and other University experts in Davis. The new UC-CDFA soil health Advisors will be working directly with farmers and prospective participants in the State's Healthy Soils Program demonstrations and they will be helping farmers to prepare their applications for the Healthy Soils Program.
UC ANR and USDA NRCS soil health experts visiting CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA June 7, 2019
Nine NRCS and UC ANR soil health experts meeting with Senior Mechanic, Mark Strole, who is showing the new cover crop cutter that is being tried in the NRI Project field this spring
Newly-hired UC ANR and NRCS soil health experts meeting in Five Points, CA to learn about the longstanding NRI Project and its findings
New review article on conservation agriculture systems now published in CAB Reviews and available as open-source pdf document
A recently-published article on conservation agriculture systems is now available as an open-source pdf document as part of the online series, CAB Reviews, using the link here. https://www.cabi.org/cabreviews/review/20193184383 The article is authored by Don Reicosky, Dwayne Beck, Eric Kueneman, Judee Fisher and Jeff Mitchell. It is 25 pages long and has 191 citations. The review summarizes the history of how agricultural systems have come to be what they are today and identifies ways in which these systems will need to be improved to meet future food security challenges. It describes the development of food production system options that have been proposed in recent decades and shows that the core principles and concepts of what are widely regarded as conservation agriculture systems provide an important unifying framework. Evidence is provided for why these systems, when flexibly applied and in ways that mimic natural ecosystems, provide a best-bet approach for moving forward. It highlights a series of examples of conservation agriculture systems being applied around the world and concludes by issuing a call to action aimed at developing and more widely adopting food production systems that look long-term, mimic natural systems, and transcend jargon.
May 17, 2019
Andrew Molinar, Product Development Manager, and Keith Heidecorn of Locus Agricultural Solutions of Solon, OH, visited CASI's long-term NRI Project field in Five Points, CA on May 17th as part of the project's ongoing series of open-house Fridays. They viewed the four tillage and cover crop management systems that make up the NRI study and expressed interest in joining the large CIG Project that CASI is leading with several organic vegetable farmers in California.
Andrew Molinar (left) and Keith Heidecorn of Locus Agricultural Solutions visit the NRI Project on May 17th 2019
April 2, 2019
Two irrigation experts, Alex Flores of Yardney Water Filtration Systems in Riverside, CA, and Moises Luna of Agrivalley Company in Fresno, CA visited the longstanding NRI Project field in Five Points on April 2, 2019 to discuss with CASI's Jeff Mitchell efforts to upgrade the NRI field's irrigation filtration system. Flores and Luna work with farmers throughout the San Joaquin Valley on irrigation system design and filtration and they graciously offered to help the NRI Project site with state-of-the art irrigation system technologies and equipment for the 2019 season. Our NRI Project team extends our sincere thanks to both Alex and Moises for their visit, time and support!
Moises Luna (left) of Agrivalley Company and Alex Flores of Yardney Water Filtration Systems visit the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA April 2, 2019