Inspection Services Blog

Now Accepting Proposals for 2020 Fertilizer Research and Education Program Grants

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) is now accepting proposals for the 2020 grant cycle. FREP’s competitive grant program funds research and education to advance the efficient use of fertilizer materials and reduce environmental impacts associated with them. Two Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are being released for 2020: The Regular RFP includes …


Recap: The 2019 FREP/WPHA Nutrient Management Conference

The 27th annual Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) and Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) Conference took place in Fresno, California, on October 28-30, 2019. Speakers from industry, academia and agricultural consulting provided pioneering information on nutrient and irrigation management in California agriculture. Below you will find highlights of some of the talks at this year’s conference. The PowerPoint presentations …


Registration Now Open for 27th FREP/WPHA Nutrient Management Conference

The California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) and the Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) will host their 27th annual fertilizer research conference at the DoubleTree Hilton Hotel in Fresno, California, on October 28-30. The event includes a farm tour on October 28. This conference brings together industry professionals and academic researchers to learn …


2019 FREP/WPHA Conference: Save the Date and Call for Posters

Every fall, the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) and the Western Plant Health Association (WPHA) host a nutrient management conference. The agenda focuses on the latest FREP-funded research results and practical applications of fertilizing materials for agricultural production in the state of California. On October 28-30, 2019, the FREP/WPHA Conference will be held …


Updated Fertigation Book

In California agriculture, there has been a gradual shift from gravity-fed irrigation to pressurized systems including micro-irrigation. Micro-irrigation systems have been implemented in over 60% of irrigated acreage in California and support a more intensively managed production system. The use of pressurized irrigation systems has made significant advancements possible, including more precise delivery of chemicals and nutrients to crops. Chemigation …


Developing Nutrient Budget in Citrus Groves

Research Update: Developing Nutrient Budget and Early Spring Nutrient Prediction Model for Nutrient Management in Citrus Project leaders: Patrick Brown and Douglas Amaral Project location: Fresno, Tulare and Ventura Counties Year of study: 2 of 3 Overview: Leaf analysis with critical value* interpretation is a common practice for determining nutrient applications in citrus. However, this practice can lead to over-application …


Nitrate Quick Test

The nitrate quick test (NQT) is a cost-effective tool that can be used in nutrient management planning to determine the residual soil nitrate concentration. The results from the test can be used to improve fertilizer management and assist growers in accurately meeting crop needs. Here is an outline of the steps for preparing soil samples, conducting the test and calculating …


Research Update: Examining the Capabilities of Biochar to Adsorb Ammonium

Project Title: Soil Biochar Amendment to Improve Nitrogen and Water Management Project Leader: Suduan Gao, Research Soil Scientist, USDA-ARS Project Location: San Joaquin Valley Year of Study: Two of three Overview: The goal of this study is to determine the overall benefits and best practices associated with the use of biochar, as a soil amendment, in vegetable crop production systems. …


Vacancies on FREP’s Technical Advisory Subcommittee

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is announcing three vacancies on the Fertilizer Research and Education Program’s (FREP) Technical Advisory Subcommittee (TASC). The TASC reviews and recommends research and education proposals for funding and implementation to the department’s Fertilizer Inspection Advisory Board. Applicants must demonstrate technical, applied, and scientific expertise in the fields of agronomy, soil science, plant physiology, …


Role of Mineralization in Farming

California growers have taken on an important role in their state’s broader efforts on climate change, including responding to regulatory requirements to improve their nitrogen (N) use efficiency and reduce their environmental impact. To meet these regulations, while maintaining crop yield and quality, growers must consider all potential N sources, including organic amendments and irrigation water. It is essential that …