As growers in the Central Coast region face increased regulation of nitrogen discharges from their farms, they need new ways to capture excess nitrogen and reduce erosion. While winter cover cropping is a highly effective way to scavenge soil nitrate and prevent leaching, the need for intensive management of residues can discourage growers from using this strategy.
A USDA Agricultural Research Service organic researcher, Eric Brennan of Salinas, is studying an approach that involves planting cover crops into the furrows between beds. This practice provides many benefits, including decreased soil erosion and nutrient loss, improved receiving water quality, and increased infiltration into groundwater, which recharges aquifers.
CCOF-certified organic farmers Javier Zamora of JSM Organics and Roy Fuentes of Fuentes Berry Farms will be featured presenters in a September 16 webinar that will provide more information on this strategy.
Webinar organizers note that this is a timely topic because now is a good time to make planting decisions before winter storms arrive.
Additional speakers will be Dr. Eric Brennan, USDA-ARS; Laura Murphy, Resource Conservation District of Monterey County; and Pam Krone, California Marine Sanctuary Foundation.
Date and Time: September 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.