Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
University of California
Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation

Conservation agriculture news

UCD Undergrad, Anna Gomes, Shares Research on Tradeoffs of Cover Crop Water Use in NRI Project Study!

April 27, 2018 


UCD undergrad Anna Gomes
Anna Gomes, a senior student in Agricultural Education at UC Davis, presented the research project that she is working on at the 2018 Undergraduate Research Conference that was held on the UC Davis campus on April 27th.  Her work focuses on tradeoffs associated with using cover crops in annual cropping systems and is based on data from the CASI National Research Initiative (NRI) Project that has been underway since 1999. 


Locations of farm and field station cover crop water use monitoring sites

Anna's presentation provided findings from the past two years of intensive soil water content monitoring during the winter cover crop growing period.  She has been working with a large team of collaborators that includes Dan Munk, UCCE Advisor in Fresno County, Daniele Zaccaria and Samuel Sandoval-Solis, UCCE Water Management Specialists at UCD, Alyssa DeVincentis, graduate student in Sandoval-Solis's lab, Sloane Rice, Junior Specialist in Zaccaria's lab, Khaled Bali, UCCE Water Management Specialist at the Kearney Agricultural Center in Parlier, and a number of long-time local farmer, private sector and NRC partners who've been involved with the work in various ways.  This team is working at a number of farm sites throughout California's Central Valley to determine impacts of growing cover crops on soil water storage during the winter.   The research team hopes to have their data published by the end of summer 2019.


UCD cover crop water use study team. (L to R) Jeff Mitchell, Samuel Sandoval-Solis, Sloane Rice, Anna Gomes, and Alyssa DeVincentis




Posted on Tuesday, May 1, 2018 at 8:10 AM

Down on the Farm with Tom and Denesse Willey

January 5, 2018

KFCF 88.1 FM Fresno


The hour-long “Down on the Farm with Tom Willey” radio program for January 5, 2018 is now posted at our CASI website.  In this segment of Tom's monthly program, he is joined by his farming partner, Denesse, and the two of them talk about their farm and the successful small business that they had at T & D Willey Farms for so many years in Madera, CA.  The tables are turned on the show's usual host, Tom, this time with guest host, Jeff Mitchell, having a nice conversation with his good friends, Tom and Denesse.

Posted on Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 8:14 AM

Advantiv’s Ed Noma visits CASI’s NRI Study in Five Points

Ed Noma
April 20, 2018

VP of New Business Development of the Fremont, CA based company, Advantiv Technologies, Inc., Ed Noma, took time to visit the CASI NRI Project site in Five Points, CA and to talk with Jeff Mitchell about the sorts of agricultural technology services that Advantiv is seeking to provide to farmers in California.  Ed came across our CASI Workgroup through his visit of the UC ANR display site at this year's World Ag Expo in February where Workgroup members Jessica Chiartas and Brenna Aegerter were hosting visitors and providing live demonstrations of water stable soil aggregates using soils from the NRI Project study field.  We invited Ed to take part with us at the upcoming Food for Thought Showcase of UC Davis's World Food Center that our CASI Workgroup will be participating in on June 4th at the Robert and Margrit Mondavi Center beginning at 4:00 PM.  Several CASI Workgroup folks will be joining us for this event.

Posted on Monday, April 23, 2018 at 11:57 AM

CASI ANR team begins two new CDFA soil health projects!

April 18, 2018

Soil Health Team
Healthy soils project locations.
Seven UC ANR Advisors along with UCD professor, Will Horwath, and CE Specialist Jeff Mitchell, have been awarded two new projects by CDFA's Healthy Soils Program.  The work will be conducted in the four Central Valley counties of Sutter/Yuba, San Joaquin, Merced and Fresno with local farmer partners.  In addition, work will be conducted at the longstanding NRI Project field in Five Points.  The ANR Advisor team consists of Sarah Light and Amber Vinchesi from Sutter/Yuba, Brenna Aegerter and Michelle Leinfelder-Miles in San Joaquin, Scott Stoddard from Merced, and Dan Munk in Fresno County.  Two students in the Department of Soils and Biogeochemistry will work with the ANR team to collect soil and greenhouse gas emission data from each farm demonstration evaluation site.   Farmer partners will be including cover crops into their farm crop rotations and this practice will be compared with a no cover crop control system.  The team held a kick-off planning meeting at the UCCE offices in San Joaquin County on April 17, 2018. 

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 8:09 AM

Organic Amendment Suppliers Visit NRI Project in Five Points!

S. Martin and B. Louder of Arable One
April 4, 2018

Scott Martin and Braeden Louder of Arable One, an organic amendment supplier out of Utah, visited the CASI NRI Project field in Five Points to learn about the work that is underway on biological diversity and reduced disturbance food production systems. 




Posted on Thursday, April 5, 2018 at 8:50 AM

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