Growers in California are being left with their agriculture waste and lighter pockets. Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Brent Holtz says cogeneration facilities provided important disposal of agricultural waste for growers, and a little boost to a producer’s income. When growers remove an orchard, for example, these facilities would pay the producer for the organic matter. Funding for cogeneration plants has dried up and those facilities have since closed.
Holtz recently held a demonstration (watch the video of the demonstration) where a large machine grounded up whole trees that then distributed that organic matter back into the soil. The big question from growers at the demonstration was the cost of the machine or service, and Holtz said it isn’t a cheap option.
Holtz says the Extension’s research is continuing, as it wants to look at all aspects of the process. The Extension hopes to quantify the carbon offset of this practice and that could make it a little more feasible for producers.