The Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) of the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) is pleased to announce the award of almost $800,000 in grant funds to agricultural organizations and universities this year. These grants will fund four projects that will improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of using fertilizer in California agriculture and will advance farmers’ understanding and implementation of best management practices for agricultural fertilizers.
- A System Nitrogen Balance for Container Plant Production – Department of Plant Sciences, University of California Davis
This research will improve our understanding of the nitrogen cycle in container production nurseries and develop mitigation strategies for minimizing nitrogen discharge. The results of this project will assist growers in making nitrogen management decisions and improving nitrogen use efficiency.
- Training on Crop Management that Integrates Climate, Soil and Irrigation System Data to Minimize Nutrient Loss and Optimize Irrigation Efficiency – East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District
Through sessions held in both English and Spanish, this project will provide training on crop management that integrates climate-based data, soil-based data and irrigation system data to minimize nutrient loss and maintain optimum irrigation efficiency. The training will increase producers’ and irrigators’ knowledge of the interconnectivity between nutrient management and irrigation system efficiency. This project will also provide in-field evaluations of water, soil and nutrient management, leading to property-specific recommendations and training.
- Assessment of Harvested and Sequestered Nitrogen Content to Improve Nitrogen Management in Perennial Crops – Kings River Watershed Coalition Authority
Producers in the Central Valley are now required to implement management practices that protect groundwater quality from nitrogen fertilizer leaching beyond the reach of crop roots. Project researchers will study six crops, and the ratio between crop yield and nitrogen removed as a metric to improve nutrient management planning.
- Evaluation on Nitrogen Uptake and Applied Irrigation Water in Asian Vegetables Bok Choy, On Choy, Chives, Daikon, and Lemongrass – UC Cooperative Extension
This project will illuminate nitrogen uptake patterns for a number of important Asian vegetable crops. Through the improvement of water and nitrogen use efficiency, farmers will receive an economic and environmental benefit by reducing nitrate leaching. Ultimately, this information will lead to a better understanding of nitrogen fertilization and irrigation management among disadvantaged Asian farmers.
For more information, please visit the FREP website at http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/FREP. Since 1990, FREP has granted more than $17 million through 220 projects focusing on efficient plant nutrient use and the protection of California’s environment. A database of completed research is publically available at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/go/FREPresearch.