Friday, February 2, 2018

Central Valley Program Promotes Sustainable Farming Practices for Local Growers

Good environmental stewardship and profitability can go together to provide quality products that our state is proud of. 

Cynics may think otherwise. But a group of Valley almond, cotton and alfalfa growers have proven they can protect our water, soil and air while making a good living. These growers are part of a unique program that promotes sustainable farming.

Coming off another successful year, the San Joaquin Sustainable Farming Project is recruiting new almond, alfalfa and cotton growers in Merced, Madera and Fresno counties for the 2018 season. The program is looking to expand its reach in the Lower San Joaquin River Watershed.

Sounds interesting?

Well, growers can learn more about the program during a field day from 10 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Feb. 15 at the Firebaugh Mendota United Methodist Church, 1660 O Street, Firebaugh. Tom Casey of the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office and Orvil McKinnis of the Westside San Joaquin RiverWatershed Coalition will provide updates about 2018 pesticide regulations and the watershed. By enrolling in the program, growers learn valuable strategies to improve yields while becoming better environmental stewards in today’s tough economic and regulatory climate. Sponsored by the Sustainable Cotton Project (SCP), the program connects growers with some of the state’s leading University of California extension advisors and researchers.

Over the years, the program and its growers have gained recognition nationally and internationally.  Growers will receive these benefits:

·         SCP field scouts who work with growers’ existing pest control advisors to augment field scouting.
·         Six field days per year focusing on pest and crop management issues, crop diseases and management, biological farming and water and regulatory issues.

·         Access to top UC farm advisors and integrated pest management experts who will help farmers deal with current issues ranging from pest and disease management to irrigation.

·         Best Management Practices implementation planning and annual hedgerow seeds and beneficial insects, when needed.

For more information or to inquire about enrolling, please contact SCP Director Marcia Gibbs at (530) 370-5325 or  marcia@sustainablecotton.org