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Shelly Connor  |  Wild Farm Alliance  |  Watsonville

Subject: New Resource: Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds

Hello everyone,

I work with an organization called Wild Farm Alliance. Our mission is to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that protects and restores wild nature. We just released a new resource to help farmers support beneficial birds and manage pest birds.

You can find the new resource here.

Birds can help on the farm to keep pest insects, rodents and pest birds at bay. When habitat is provided for beneficial birds, bringing them closer to crops, farmers may be able to reduce pest-control costs. Beneficial birds can help with production in the same way as beneficial insects. This new resource includes:

  • Colorful Accounts of How Birds Can be Beneficial in Crops and on Pasture
  • USDA’s Historic Economic Ornithology Division
  • How Best to Manage and Co-exist with Pest Birds
  • Why On-Farm Habitat and the Surrounding Landscape Influences Pest Control
  • What Farmers Can Do to Make Farms More Bird-Friendly
... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Wildlife Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
01/30/19
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Eric Brennan  |  USDA-ARS  |  Salinas, CA

Subject: Videos on Cover crop juice & long term, cover crop research

Hi Folks,

Below are links to 3 new videos that I made that I thought might interest you. I presented them at the American Society of Agronomy annual meeting earlier this month in Baltimore. The cover crop juicing video was presented during a symposium focused on improving nutrient management in organic systems, and the other two videos were in a symposium focused on long-term cover cropping research. Take care, Eric

-Juicing cover crops.... Are you Nuts? Maybe, but hear me out! 11:16 Minutes

-Lessons from long-term cover crop research in the "Salad Bowl of the World" 10:31 Minutes

-A quick trip to the "Salad Bowl of the World", 4:54 Minutes

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Equipment, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
11/28/18, updated
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Eric Munro  |  Ananda Valley Farm  |  Half Moon Bay, CA

Subject: Tilling Wood Chips into Vegetable Beds

Our farm received a grant from the California Healthy Soil Initiative.

We are trialing tilling wood chips into vegetable beds.

Our 1st year trials and results can be seen on this video:

https://youtu.be/eFlgaPVTWwA

We've gotten some interesting results, which are summarized at 20:00 minutes into the video.

Overall it worked quite well and nitrogen tie-up wasn't a problem overall.

We even tilled in fresh Eucalyptus to see the effect. 1-2" was fine, no negative effects. 5" was a problem. But 5" of aged Eucalpytus mulch tilled in helped plant growth.

As part of our grant we must do outreach, so there will be a field tour on 10/20, Saturday from 11am to noon.

Please rsvp at AnandaValleyFarm@gmail.com

Also if you leave a comment here with your farm name we can count that against our required outreach.

Thanks

In Topics Soil Fertility Management

In General FarmsReach community

Comment 0
10/03/18
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FarmsReach Team  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA

Subject: Transitions: Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms

We’re excited and honored to share the last in our series featuring recently-retired, influential leaders in the CA sustainable agriculture movement: Tom Willey of T&D Willey Farms !

A long-time farmer, advocate and activist in the organic sector, Tom shares his reflections and ideas after 40 years of farming in California.

Topics include:

  • Industry Reflections
  • Opportunities & Advice for Smaller-Scale/Newer Farms
  • Responsible Relationships Between Older & Younger Farmers
  • Soil Management, Climate Change & AgTech
  • The Food Commons
  • Closing Remarks [to the next generation]

We posted both (meaty) Highlights as well as a full Transcript.

It’s always a treat to have a leisurely conversation with someone so knowledgable of the industry and steeped in the community. Thank you, Tom, for taking the time! We wish you all the best in your years of fun and discovery

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Water & Irrigation, Marketing & Sales, Certifications, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Weather & Climate Change, Policy

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Comment 0
09/07/18, updated
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Sally Negroni  |  Sikes Road  |  Dixon, CA

Subject: Cover crop selection for walnut orchard

Hello. I am trying to decide if I should change the cover crop mix on my walnut orchard that I am currently certifying organic. In the past I have planted vetches, clovers as well as some grains, and have managed it as a reseeding annual cover with a high mowing February to March, and closer mowing starting in May to June. My micro-sprinkler irrigation system covers most of the orchard floor, my trees are young and not providing much shade, and in the summer, I get lots of weedy grasses growing. I do a close mowing every month or even more often. I am thinking about planting a perennial clover mix (strawberry and white clover) because I would get more nitrogen benefit from that than the volunteer grasses. Perennial clovers are supposed to use more water, but the volunteer grasses are using water also, and since I can't use herbicides, and don't want to till, I don't have a clean orchard floor anyway. The

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting

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Comments 4
08/23/18

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  |  The Xerces Society  |  Sacramento commented

I've been doing a lot of work with cover cropping, including in walnuts, through a grant w/ the USDA. My focus is on designing multi-benefit cover crops, including soil health and insectary habitat. Email if you want more info: jessa.kay-cruz@xerces.org. Happy to share results.

08/24/18 10:05 AM

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Flying V Farmers  |  Flying V Farm  |  Placerville, CA

Subject: Seeking Garden Symphylan Guidance

Hi all,

My name is Grayson, myself and three others started a diversified fruit and veggie farm in Placerville CA this January.

We are learning that we have a Garden Symphylan (GS) infestation in parts of our veggie field. I have found them on the roots of crop plants, as well as lured them with potato slices. They have seriously damaged patches of direct sown spinach, killing or stunting plants just after germination, seems to be stunting growth on transplanted parsley and currently are attacking our direct seeded squash as it germs, killing some before they break the soil surface. It is presenting in patches, and is especially hindering direct sown crops. I have found them in numbers up to five per plant in the bad spots, and 15+ on some of the potato lures. It's definitely impacting our yields and causing us to worry about the suitability of the site.

After reading though some literature on GS it

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

In General FarmsReach community

Comments 19
06/02/18, updated

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  |  NCAT/ATTRA  |  Davis commented

So, I recall attending a Soil Food Web seminar back in 2002 in Santa Cruz, with Elaine Ingham, and we went to UCSC farm/garden, which has major symphylan infestation at the time, and Elaine claimed that the soil was "out of balance", and that symphylans only are primarily fungi feeders, which didn't match my, or Jim Leap's observations. I think symphs are opportunistic, feeding on fine plant roots and/or soil fungal mycelia, as the opportunities arise. Both Jim's and Mike M's experience underline the idea that incorporated cover crops provide large boost to population numbers, likely through symphs feeding on fungi, as well as the ease of transport in the upper layers of the soil, with so many transport routes (roots?) in the top soil layer from decaying cover crop residue. Because they migrate vertically in the soil profile, their population numbers can be pretty random, as Jim L mentioned. it's

... Read More
08/19/18 4:29 PM

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Katie Brimm  |  Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agriculture  |  Oakland, CA

Subject: Earn a Certificate in Applied Agroecology with MESA's online course

Greetings all,

Our Spring Cohort for the Applied Agroecology Program is open for enrollement - sign up today for the May 1st start date. We invite you to learn more about this opporuntity below. Please share widely with your networks that might be interested! This is also a great opportunity to offer your farm workers/interns/apprentices as well to supercharge their learning experiences.
Best,
Katie and the MESA Team

MESA'S Certificate in Applied Agroecology Program:

Farm Locally, Connect Globally.

The Multinational Exchange for Sustainable Agricultural (MESA) is proud to offer the Certificate in Applied Agroecology Program (CAAP), completely online! Our Certificate in Applied Agroecology is open-sourced, community based, with contributions from experts in the field, and builds both your technical knowledge and your theoretical framework of the socio-political aspects of farming.

Drawing

... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Certifications, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change, News & Events

In General FarmsReach community, North Coast Farmers Guild: Sebastopol, CA Women, Food and Agriculture Network

Comment 0
04/17/18
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Luis Duran  |  Agrobanana  |  Juana Diaz

Subject: Soil Test Interpretation

My fertilizer strategy is to satisfy my banana crop nutrient needs trough weekly fertigations. My crop looks healthy and vigorous but my soil test results show that some nutrients (P, K and S) are below adequate. Can this be expected since Im not trying to build up nutrient reserves but satisfying inmediate nutrient needs? What does "adequate" in a soil test really means? that my soil already has enough nutrient for the whole crop season?

Thanks, Luis

In Topics Soil Fertility Management

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Comment 0
03/04/18
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Shubham Jaiswal  |  Mordor Intelligence  |  Boston, MA

Subject: Discussion on Biostimulants market in Florida

Hi,

I would like your inputs on the following queries:

1. Do you use biostimulants? If yes, then what products do you use?

2. Would you like to use biostimulants? If yes, then what kind of biostimulants would you prefer?
3. Do you think Biostimulants are healthy for soil ?
4. If you are considering to use biostimulants then, what details do you need before starting to use the product?.
5. What are the major issues that arise during growing strawberry, tomato and other crops?

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Pest & Disease Management

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Comment 1
03/02/18
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  |  FarmsReach  |  Berkeley, CA commented

We saw your post requesting info from the farming market in Florida... 1) 99% of this community is in California, and 2) I see that you are a market research firm, which is not a good fit for this forum. May we suggest you contact farmers and ranchers in Florida directly. Best of luck.

03/02/18 11:41 AM

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Sally Negroni  |  Sikes Road  |  Dixon, CA

Subject: Liquid fertilizer vs. compost or manure

A question for organic orchard growers: are you more likely to use compost or manures to supply nitrogen, along with a cover crop, or apply liquid nitrogen in your irrigation water? A friend has been giving me dried horse manure from his operation, and I have also purchased compost. I'm trying to decide if I should buy a manure spreader for the dry material, or look into a pump system to apply liquid fertilizer. While it would be easier to calculate the application amount with the liquid, I could be getting other benefits with the compost or manure. Thanks for any input.

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Equipment

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Comments 4
01/25/18

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  |  Fruitilicious Farm  |  Watsonville, CA commented

We use cover crops, compost and bagged fertilizer on most of our trees, although some of the big older trees do not get all of this every year because their root systems are deep enough and the soil is built up enough. We do some foliar sprays and fertigation too, but mostly with seaweed and fish and micro-nutrients as needed. Although we hated to buy a manure spreader because we only use it once per year, we couldn't find one we could borrow or rent and with an orchard the commercial spreaders won't fit under the canopy, so we bit the bullet and bought one. It would be really great if regions with small growers could get together to share equipment like this.

01/28/18 11:08 AM

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