The Glenn County Resource Conservation District is hosting a Soil Health Workshop next week to discuss the benefits of cover crops, management challenges during a drought, and explore the concept of carbon farming.
According to a press release, the workshop will have two stops to examine different cover crop management options – people will be able to see cover crop implementation in an olive and walnut orchard.
The first stop of the day will be at the California Olive Ranch orchard in West Artois to examine a healthy soil demonstration project funded by the Healthy Soil program of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, according to the press release. Multi-species cover crops were planted in half of the orchard to improve the soil health of the orchard, sequester carbon in the soil and analyze the improvements. The Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems in Chico State will analyze improvements in soil health over three years of cover cropping.
The second stop will be at Leonard Loewen’s Walnut Orchard in Glenn. The group will examine options for cover cropping systems and explore several opportunities to capture more carbon on farms and ranches. The importance of carbon for soil health will also be discussed. Loewen has been managing the orchard to improve soil health for years and is currently working in partnership with Glenn County RCD on the county’s premier carbon farm plan, working to identify and quantify beneficial carbon practices for this orchard. nuts. Patagonia funded the creation of this carbon farm plan and the Carbon Cycle Institute is supporting the project. Some of the carbon farming practices that will be discussed include cover cropping, mulching, application of compost, whole orchard recycling, and nutrient management.
According to the press release, carbon cultivation practices are management practices that increase carbon sequestration and generally increase soil organic matter over time. Increasing soil organic matter improves soil water infiltration and water holding capacity, which is drought resistant.
CDFA’s Healthy Soils program funds the implementation of several conservation management practices that improve soil health and increase carbon sequestration. Practices include applying compost, reducing tillage, cover cropping, mulching, recycling the entire orchard, planting shelterbelts and hedges and more.
This project was supported by the California Climate Investments program, a statewide initiative that devotes billions of dollars in cap and trade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthening the economy and improving public health and the environment, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
The workshop will take place on May 25 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Space is limited.
RSVP to Glenn County RCD by phone at 530-934-4601 ext. 5 or by email at [email protected] to reserve a spot and receive directions to the orchards.