New Series of Nitrogen Management Advice Available

UC ANR Publishes Nitrogen Management Advice for Fruit, Nuts, and Other Crops

By Pam Kan-Rice UC Agriculture & Natural Resources

California growers can download a new series of publications summarizing efficient nitrogen management practices from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. The publications are designed to assist growers in complying with state regulations for tracking and reporting nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops, in an effort to prevent nitrogen from leaching into groundwater.

The science-based publications are associated with a series of trainings for growers and Certified Crop Advisers to develop efficient nitrogen management practices, an effort coordinated by UC ANR’s California Institute for Water Resources.

“Our role is to provide farmers, agricultural consultants and policymakers the best science possible for making decisions on managing and protecting California groundwater,” said Doug Parker, director of the water institute.

The free publications—created from training materials, lessons learned from the training sessions and from additional UC research—can be downloaded at http://ucanr.edu/nmgmtpublications.

The following publications are now available for download:

·         Principles of Nitrogen Cycling and Management

·         Irrigation and Nitrogen Management

·         Nitrogen Management for Nut Crops

·         Nitrogen Management for Deciduous Fruit and Grapes

·         Nitrogen Management for Citrus and Avocado

·         Nitrogen Management for Cool-Season Vegetables

·         Nitrogen Management for Strawberry Production

·         Nitrogen Management for Processing Tomato

·         Nitrogen Management for Corn on California Dairies

The publications were authored by Parker of California Institute for Water Resources; Patrick Brown, professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences; Allan Fulton, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Tehama County; Tim Hartz, UC Cooperative Extension specialist emeritus, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences; Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Fresno County; Daniel Geisseler, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, UC Davis Department of Land, Air & Water Resources; Michael Cahn, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; Marsha Campbell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor emeritus, Stanislaus County; Sat Darshan Khalsa, UC Davis project scientist; and Saiful Muhammad, UC Davis graduate student.

Developed in 2014, the training program has been offered at 11 different locations around the state, most recently in Fresno. More than 1,000 Certified Crop Advisers have taken the training.

“Based on course evaluations, the percentage of participants with good-to-complete understanding of nitrogen management increased after the training,” Parker said. “In addition, the participants found the presenters very knowledgeable and informative. Most importantly, the majority of participants felt they were better prepared to address nitrogen mitigation regulatory requirements after the training.”

The nitrogen management training curriculum was developed by a group of UC ANR faculty, specialists and advisors. The first day focuses on the nitrogen cycle in crop production systems, nitrogen sources, irrigation and nitrogen management, and nitrogen budgeting. The second morning covers annual and permanent crops and nitrogen planning practices.

For more information on the nitrogen management training materials, visit http://ciwr.ucanr.edu/NitrogenManagement.

The Nitrogen Management Training and Certification Program is a joint effort between the California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, California Association of Pest Control Advisers’ Certified Crop Adviser Program and the Regional Water Boards.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers and educators draw on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Celery Management Research

Andre Biscaro on Celery Management Research to Improve Water and Nitrogen Use

By Charmayne Hefley, Associate Editor

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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.

Celery“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.”

 

California CCA Certified Exam Feb. 6 2015 Registration Opens

Online Registration is Now Available Testing throughout the State

Crop consultants in California and Arizona have the opportunity until December 5, 2014 to register for the February 6, 2015 California CCA (Certified Crop Adviser) Exam.  The exam will be given at locations in Sacramento, Salinas, Visalia, Ventura, and Yuma.  Individuals can register for exam online.  An exam review session will be held in Sacramento on January 9, 2015, registration and session information will be available at www.capcaed.com.

There are more than 930 CCAs in California and Arizona, 80% of the California CCAs are also licensed pest control advisers.  CCAs have expertise in Nutrient, Soil, Water, Crop and Pest Management.  Growers interested in finding a CCA in their area can go the “Find a Professional” section of the International CCA program website.

Many California CCAs have received additional training in optimizing nitrogen management from the California Department of Food and Agriculture and University of California. The consultants that have completed this training are qualified to write Nitrogen Management Plans that are or will be required of growers by the regional water quality control boards.

The partnership between CCAs and growers is integral to protecting the environment and providing food and fiber for the world.   The program is a voluntary certification program that has been in existence for more than 20 years, administered by the American Society of Agronomy and overseen by a California board of directors.  More information on the California program is available at http://cacca.org/.

For more information contact Steve Beckley at (916)539-4107 or sbeckley@aol.com.