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Conservation tillage hits the airwaves

A series of conservation tillage workshops last month and a follow-up news release by UC Davis cropping systems specialist Jeff Mitchell resulted in a story about the event on a Fresno morning ag show on KMJ 580 am radio. The radio story is archived online, about midway through the hour-long broadcast.

Mitchell conducted a phone interview with host Sean Michael Lisle in which he
said national experts on no-till and strip-till came to California to encourage the state's farmers to try conservation tillage, which can conserve water, suppress dust, reduce runoff, lower labor costs, save fuel and sequester carbon.

"There is a growing interest now in these kinds of systems that potentially can reduce production costs and can have a number of adjunct benefits associated with them, and that would be quite new for California," Mitchell said on the program. "Currently in California, very little of the annual crops, row crops, field crops are grown with these kinds of practices."

Mitchell said the dairy industry has been particularly receptive to the idea.

"Our workgroup has documented some rather significant changes in tillage practices in the last 6 years," Mitchell said. "The adoption of these kinds of practices has actually gone up to about 20 percent of the acreage from about 2 percent in that time period."

More information on conservation tillage is available on the workgroup's Conservation Tillage and Cropping Systems website.

More savings can be realized by combining overhead irrigation with conservation tillage.
More savings can be realized by combining overhead irrigation with conservation tillage.

Posted on Monday, April 11, 2011 at 9:41 AM

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