Some Central California growers are exploring the use of cover crops and no-till methods to save water and improve the soil. Sabrina Hill reports.
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Cotton growers learn more about no-till and cover crop methods at a field day last week. Tomato grower Jonathan Guido gave a presentation along with cotton grower Danny Ramos.
“It’s my two years into it with Danny,” Guido said. “Planting cover crops was our first experience and then slowly getting rotations and breaking rotations from cannery tomatoes and planting single-line 60s of cotton.”
Guido says they’ve seen good results so far.
“Really the first year of doing the no-till cotton last year was single line 60 inch cotton,” he continued. “But it was obviously full of tillage, conventional tillage. Now we’re doing minimal till, and seeing good benefits with it as far as irrigation reductions, less water usage, less weed pressure, from the cover crop covering over the surface layer of the soil and losing less evaporation from the warmer days. Under the minimal till, we’ve applied about two more inches of water than we have the no-till.”
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