Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation
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Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation

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Organic farmers, Steve and Ben Beck of Kings River Produce in Hanford, CA, visit CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA!

February 22, 2019

Local organic farmers, Steve and Ben Beck of Kings River Produce of Hanford, CA took part in CASI's Friday soil tour open house viewing program at the longstanding NRI Project field in Five Points on February 22nd.  The father-son farming team grow a range of organic vegetables at their extensive acreage near Coalinga and adjacent to the Naval Air Station Base in Lemoore.  They were keen to exchange ideas for soil care and soil function improvement with CASI's Jeff Mitchell who took them out to see how soils have changed after twenty years of no-till and cover crop management at the NRI site.  We have invited the Becks to take part in our CIG organic reduced disturbance project and we look forward to ongoing interactions with them in the future!

Steve and Ben Beck of Kings River Produce of Hanford, CA visit the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019
Steve and Ben Beck of Kings River Produce of Hanford, CA visit the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Steve and Ben Beck of Kings River Produce of Hanford, CA visit the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019.

Posted on Wednesday, February 27, 2019 at 3:39 PM

Laton, CA Holder brothers tour NRI Project site in Five Points, CA!

February 22, 2019

Brady and his brother, Riley Holder, farmers in Laton, CA in California's San Joaquin Valley, came out to Five Points where they visited the NRI Project fields as part of CASI's Friday soil tour program and they also sat down with CASI's Jeff Mitchell to plan their application for a project with CDFA's Healthy Soils Program (HSP).  The two brothers are hoping to submit a project proposal to CDFA for the state agency's new round of Healthy Soils Program projects.  In their application, they hope to receive funding from the HSP to enable them to set up a farm demonstration of cover cropping in their farm's corn and alfalfa rotation fields.  They discussed details of their application with Mitchell and intend to prepare the final aspects of their proposal during the coming two weeks.  

Brady Holder (right) and brother, Riley, visit CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019
Brady Holder (right) and brother, Riley, visit CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Brady Holder (right) and brother, Riley, visit CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 at 10:15 AM

Paicines Ranch machinery experts visit NRI Project field in Five Points!

Paicines Ranch machinery experts visit NRI Project field in Five Points!

February 22, 2019

Machinery experts, Ky Cooper and Marc Luff of Paicines Ranch, visited CASI's NRI Project field in Five Points and examined a number of Workgroup pieces of equipment as part of the Friday open house soil tour series that has been underway at the site since February 15th.  Cooper and Luff work together at Paicines with farm manager, Kelly Mulville, on new reduced disturbance regenerative agriculture approaches.  The three of them recently also took part in the CIG Project planning meeting at Paicines that preceded the cover crop workshop that many CIG participants attended.  They were specifically keen to learn what CASI farmers and researchers have done in the past with reduced disturbance crop production approaches for a range of crops.  With CASI's Mitchell, they inspected an array of reduced disturbance implements including no-till drills and planters, two cover crop rollers, a number of strip-till implements, no-till transplanters and high residue cultivators.  Then, they also examined the NRI Project field and the differences in soils that now exist in the four systems that have been evaluated in this study since 1999.  CASI looks forward to continued dialogue and interactions with Luff, Cooper and Mulville about reduced disturbance production techniques and we thank them for their visits to our CASI site in Five Points!

Marc Luff (second from right) and Ky Cooper (right) of Paicines Ranch along with Luff’s parents visiting the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019
Marc Luff (second from right) and Ky Cooper (right) of Paicines Ranch along with Luff’s parents visiting the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Marc Luff (second from right) and Ky Cooper (right) of Paicines Ranch along with Luff’s parents visiting the NRI Project field in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Marc Luff of Paicines Ranch examining conservation agriculture equipment at CASI’s equipment yard in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019
Marc Luff of Paicines Ranch examining conservation agriculture equipment at CASI’s equipment yard in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Marc Luff of Paicines Ranch examining conservation agriculture equipment at CASI’s equipment yard in Five Points, CA, February 22, 2019

Posted on Monday, February 25, 2019 at 9:56 AM

Reduced disturbance organic farming group takes part in cover crop workshop at Paicines Ranch, February 7th – 9th, 2019!

February 17, 2019

About fifteen members of the CIG (Conservation Innovation Grant) Project on organic reduced disturbance farming systems took part in a very stimulating three-day workshop on cover cropping that was sponsored by Paicines Ranch February 7th to 9th. The group in attendance consisted of about 100 farmers from all over California and from many other states and countries. CASI members who took part included Scott Park, Kelly Mulville, Patrick O'Neill, Tom Willey, Monte Bottens, Jesse Sanchez, Rich Collins, Paul Muller, Andrew Brait, Daphne Miller, Phil Foster, Jessica Chiartas, Cindy Daley, Lee Altier, Tim LaSalle, Peter Donovan, Cary Crum, Silas Rossow, Seth Rossow, Rosie Burroughs, and Jeff Mitchell. In addition, other CASI associates including Eric Brennan, Jim Leap, and Darryl Wong also took part in the CIG Project's planning meeting on the 7th of February that preceded the cover crop program on the other two days. The workshop was extremely stimulating and provided much for our CASI group to consider and to learn more about. Scott Park was a program presenter along with Green Cover Seed's Keith Berns, Ian and Diane Hagarty of Western Australia, and Christine Jones, also of Australia. Much of the content that was showcased and discussed by program speakers consisted of their experiences and thoughts related to achieving improvements in soil function deriving from specific practices and attention to soil biology. Needless to say, there will be an awful lot for the CIG group to consider in the future related to what they saw and heard in this workshop!

Jessica Chiartas and Tim LaSalle talking about what they’ve heard during the cover crop workshop at Paicines Ranch, February 7th through 9th
Jessica Chiartas and Tim LaSalle talking about what they’ve heard during the cover crop workshop at Paicines Ranch, February 7th through 9th

Jessica Chiartas and Tim LaSalle talking about what they’ve heard during the cover crop workshop at Paicines Ranch, February 7th through 9th

CIG team that took part in the project planning discussion at Paicines Ranch on February 7th 2019, ahead of cover crop workshop
CIG team that took part in the project planning discussion at Paicines Ranch on February 7th 2019, ahead of cover crop workshop

CIG team that took part in the project planning discussion at Paicines Ranch on February 7th 2019, ahead of cover crop workshop

Monte Bottens and Jesse Sanchez in Paicines Ranch pasture as part of a field walk during the February 8 and 9 cover crop workshop
Monte Bottens and Jesse Sanchez in Paicines Ranch pasture as part of a field walk during the February 8 and 9 cover crop workshop

Monte Bottens and Jesse Sanchez in Paicines Ranch pasture as part of a field walk during the February 8 and 9 cover crop workshop

Paicines Ranch cover crop workshop participants examining soil health in Paicines Ranch pasture
Paicines Ranch cover crop workshop participants examining soil health in Paicines Ranch pasture

Paicines Ranch cover crop workshop participants examining soil health in Paicines Ranch pasture

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 10:51 AM

Pamela Rodriguez of CDFA’s Organic Program visits CASI’s NRI Project field site as part of Friday Open House educational series in Five Points!

February 15, 2019


Pamela Rodriguez, a Special Investigator with CDFA's Organic Program in Fresno, took time to visit CASI's NRI Project field on Friday, February 15th as part of the ongoing open house program showcasing soil health that is underway through June of 2019. Rodriguez works out of the Fresno CDFA office and has major responsibility for inspections of organic farms throughout much of the State. She was hosted by CASI's Jeff Mitchell, who took her out to the long-term NRI Project field where he showed her changes that have been detected in soil function and appearance due to twenty years of soil care management that includes the use of cover crops and no-tillage. Then, Mitchell also provided her with a presentation of the history of the NRI Project and a summary of the project's primary outcomes and findings since it was initiated in 1999. CASI is very grateful to Pamela Rodriguez for taking time to visit our site in Five Points!

Pamela Rodriguez of CDFA’s Organic Program in Fresno, CA visited CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA on February 15, 2019
Pamela Rodriguez of CDFA’s Organic Program in Fresno, CA visited CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA on February 15, 2019

Pamela Rodriguez of CDFA’s Organic Program in Fresno, CA visited CASI’s NRI Project field in Five Points, CA on February 15, 2019

Posted on Tuesday, February 19, 2019 at 9:56 AM

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