Research Project: Train the Trainer: A Nitrogen Management Training Program for Growers. Klassen, P. et al.
Status: Second year of a three year study
Issue: Growers who belong to California’s Central Valley Water Quality Coalitions and who are in designated high vulnerability areas are under new Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) requirements to keep “on farm” a certified Nitrogen Management Plan (NMP) to track nitrogen fertilizer applications. One of the options growers have for certification of their NMP to is take an approved training program and self-certify their plan. The coalitions, with funding from FREP, are instituting a grower training program (adapted from the Certified Crop Advisor nitrogen management training developed by the University of California) for Central Valley growers.
Methods/Locations: As of March 31, 2017, the coalitions have hosted 51 grower certification meetings throughout the Central Valley of California.
Main findings: As of March 31, 2017, 2,681 growers have attended the training and 79% of them passed the exam.
Potential Impact: There are 25,000 growers in the Central Valley and less than 1,000 CCAs, Professional Agronomists, etc. statewide who can certify NMPs. The professional certifiers are also not evenly distributed throughout the Valley. This program will help to assure that all of the acreage that needs a certified plan will be covered. Completing NMPs should help growers use nitrogen more efficiently and reduce the amount of nitrate that leaches into groundwater.
Full Project Report: https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/is/docs/15-0392-Klassen.pdf