Andre Biscaro on Celery Management Research to Improve Water and Nitrogen Use
By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor
Ongoing research continually improves the agriculture industry. Andre Biscaro, agriculture and environmental issues advisor at the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles and Ventura Counties, described current trials in celery management research, sponsored by the California Celery Research Advisory Board.
“We’re monitoring water and nitrogen use based on best management practices,” Biscaro said. “We evaluate ‘best management’ practices using the soil nitrate quick test. That gives us a really good estimate of how much nitrogen is in the soil, and we can accomplish the test in just about an hour.” The trial also incorporates data from weather stations to calculate the amount of applied water.
“This trial and research actually monitors the amount of water and nitrogen we’re using and how much yield we’re getting under various best management scenarios,” Biscaro said, “and compares our practices to what the grower usually does.” Ultimately, the trial will help determine the yield of a celery field using best management practices, and how much water and nitrogen are required to achieve that yield.
Biscaro said the grower he has been working with to conduct the trial was already highly successful with soil and water management in the specific celery field under study. “He really knew what he was doing, and the nitrogen management was quite decent as well. So I believe there are opportunities for improvement in the industry, but the grower was actually doing quite well in this particular field I monitored.”