Posts Tagged: fertilization
The Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) works extensively with the nation’s farmers and ranchers to protect soil, water, air, plant, and animal resources while meeting production goals.
Working with agricultural producers allows NRCS to promote conservation practices approximately 1.4 billion acres of the privately held land in the United States. About 92 million acres of land in our country is tended by home gardeners. In an effort to promote conservation on these lands, NRCS has partnered with other organizations to produce, Backyard Conservation: Bringing Conservation From the Countryside to Your Backyard.
This full-color and informative online resource highlights 10 conservation activities that can be used in your backyard, shared spaces, and public places too.
- Trees add beauty and so much more.
- Trees, shrubs, and other plants can provide homes and food for wildlife.
- A backyard pond will likely become the focal point for all your backyard conservation.
- Wetlands filter excess nutrients, chemicals, and sediment and provide habitat for a host of interesting creatures.
- Composting turns household wastes into valuable fertilizer.
- Mulching cools, protects, and enriches the soil.
- Apply only those nutrients the plants can use. (See our previous post on soil test kits to help you get accurate test results.)
- Terracing makes flower and vegetable gardening possible on steep slopes.
- Drip irrigation and other water conservation practices can save water and money.
- Early detection and treatment of pests means a healthier growing environment.
Backyard Conservation from NRCS can help people create beautiful and healthy environments! Photo from NRCS resource.
Agricultural innovation and technological advances have been harvested from UC Davis over the last century. As advances are achieved, our growing global population applies pressure for researchers to achieve more. California is a top world-wide producer of agricultural products, and California researchers work hard to find new and better ways to produce food.
The UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) does much to contribute towards this effort. The recent CA&ES Outlook: Feeding a Hungry Planet highlights current research and innovations to provide agricultural producers knowledge and technology needed to make better, faster, and economically sound decisions. This work is focused towards agriculture, conservation, and economics. The articles are interesting and provide much food for thought.
- Everyone needs to eat, and our global population is growing quickly. Economists have documented substantial long-term benefits of agricultural research.
- To continue feeding a growing population we have two options: increase yields on land already in production, or expand agriculture onto new land.
- UC researchers are developing “precision agriculture”, which used global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), wireless networks, and innovative sensor technology to deliver precise amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides for individual plants or small blocks of plants. This individualized management will save growers money and lesson the potential environmental load possible from excess fertilizer and pesticide use.
- Using GPS, a mechanical weeder has been developed. This will save growers money and reduce the need for herbicide use. On-campus testing has been successful and the weeder will be tested in a commercial field next year
- Increasing biodiversity on and near the farm provides many benefits towards increased food production while increasing the sustainability of farming systems.
Learn more about these topics and many others in the Fall/Winter edition of CA&ES Outlook. To find out more about UCD’s College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, or to view previous publications please visit their website.
UC’s recently updated Lawn Diseases: Prevention and Management publication packs a lot of knowledge in an easy to digest compact format.
From the publication:
“Maintaining a healthy, vigorously growing lawn is the best way to prevent a severe disease outbreak in turfgrass. Each square foot of turf contains about 500 to 1,000 individual plants, each requiring optimum amounts of water and fertilizer, the right mowing regime, and an aerated, well-drained soil. If any of these factors are missing or in excess, the grass may become stressed and more susceptible to disease.”
The authors provide tables to help detect disease and irrigation requirements. Tips to avoid lawn disease from happening can be found throughout this free resource.
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UC ANR) has recently released a new priced publication, Cover Cropping for Vegetable Production: A Grower’s Handbook.
Written by a collaborative of UC researchers, including Ventura County Farm Advisor Oleg Daugovish this handbook brings together the expertise of many.
- Introduction of cover crops for vegetables and their uses
- Botany and species selection
- Agricultural soil ecology
- Water management and impacts on water quality
- Soil nitrogen fertility management
- Soilborne pathogens
- Plant and soil nematodes
- Cover crop management
The NCAT Sustainable Agriculture Project provides “high value information and technical assistance to farmers, rancher, Extension agents, educators, and others” throughout the United States.
Founded in 1976, this nonprofit organization works to “promote self-reliance and sustainable lifestyles through wise use of appropriate technology. Its programs deal with sustainable and renewable energy, energy conservation, resource-efficient housing, sustainable community development, and sustainable agriculture.” These resources are available in Spanish.
Their information is organized under 14 topic areas:
- What is sustainable agriculture?
- Energy alternatives
- Beginning farmer
- Field crops
- Horticultural crops
- Livestock & pasture
- Local food systems
- Marketing, business & risk management
- Organic farming
- Pest management
- Soils & compost
- Water management
- Other resources
A variety of funding opportunities are available.