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More farmers using dust-reducing techniques

Farmers in the Central Valley are increasingly turning to "conservation tillage," a variety of practices that reduce soil disturbance and cut down on dust, according to a story in the Modesto Bee over the weekend.

The story, written by John Holland, said producers in nine valley counties were surveyed by the Conservation Tillage and Cropping Systems Workgroup, an alliance of farmers, researchers and industry representatives coordinated by UC Davis Cooperative Extension specialist Jeff Mitchell. The survey found that 64,613 acres were being cultivated using some form of conservation tillage in 2004; and 416,035 acres were in CT in 2008.

"My philosophy is that good environmental stewardship must be profitable to be sustainable," workgroup member and Hanford-area dairy farmer Dino Giacomazzi was quoted in the story. "Our conservation tillage program has been helpful to our family business during these hard economic times."

Merced County UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Maxwell Norton posted a comment about the story on the Modesto Bee website.

"The contribution of agriculture to reducing dust pollution over the last 30 has been huge: less burning, less tillage of all types, cover crops in orchards and vineyards are commonplace, nut harvesting equipment is getting better, and roads are being treated," Norton wrote.

A CT system following tomatoes and before cotton planting.
A CT system following tomatoes and before cotton planting.

Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2010 at 10:49 AM

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