Almond Growers Are Asked to Get Survey in on Organic Matter Amendment Use
October 15, 2014
Survey Seeks to Understand How Growers Use Amendments
By Kyle Buchoff, California Ag Today Reporter
Now that the almond harvest is nearly complete, growers can dig through their mail and see if they received a survey from UC Davis. The survey seeks to understand how growers are using organic matter amendments, which can consist of animal manure or composted or uncomposted green waste.
Daniel Schellenburg is a Post Doctorate Scholar at UC Davis’ Department of Plant Sciences, and is in charge of distributing the survey. He told us, “We sent out the first survey about mid-summer, and now that we are moving into the post-harvest season, we thought it was a good time to follow-up with them before displaying the results for growers to see at the Almond Conference in December.”
Schellenburg made it clear that the survey is not targeting organic growers: “With this survey we are trying to reach out to all growers because we are looking at this practice as in integrated approach to nutrient management. We are looking to combine the use of these materials, and see how growers are using them in their program.”
Schellenburg added that growers are interested in nutrient availability, so as researchers his team is not just looking at the nutrient availability found in the amendment, but also how the microbial life contained in the carbon based material interacts with these nutrients in the field.
“For example, sandy soil in the valley suffers from nutrient leaching, which can lead to environmental degradation,” said Shellenburg. “This study might show, however, that these amendments may help to retain the nutrients.”
Shellenburg noted that the results may touch upon the growing interest in slow release formulation.
If you have not received the survey, you can participate by going to the official website: http://growersurvey.ucdavis.edu/
The survey keeps all responses private.