water efficiency Tag

Field studies at University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Desert Research and Extension Center revealed that drip irrigation is not only more water efficient, but it can also dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the soil. In comparison to furrow irrigation, drip irrigation in alfalfa reduced per-yield soil carbon dioxide emissions by 59%, nitrous oxide by 38%, and nitric oxide by 20%. For sudangrass, drip irrigation decreased water demand by 49% and reduced soil emissions of nitrous oxide by 59% and nitric oxide by 49%. Researchers point out that the state of California offers financial incentives to help growers...

University of California, Davis, researchers tested eight commercial varieties of grape rootstocks under drought conditions to identify traits that might indicate drought resistance. They found that rootstocks with a lower capacitance (less root shrinkage) were better able to maintain photosynthesis during drought than other rootstocks. "This research gives us a new trait to target for breeding more drought tolerant rootstocks," study co-author and Ph.D. student Gabriela Sinclair said. ...

Related ATTRA Publication: The Irrigator's Pocket Guide As some California farmers struggle with drought conditions, many Central Coast farmers can provide models of successful water conservation, reports the Monterey Herald. Farms that were threatened by saltwater intrusion decades ago have developed strategies for farming successfully with less water, such as recycling wastewater, using drip irrigation, and choosing crops that require less water. Some farmers use dryland techniques to produce crops that don't need to be watered for months at a time. Improving soil organic matter can also help the soil hold water longer....

California carrot growers were lacking information on irrigation and nitrogen application for carrots that was specific to the local climate conditions. Researchers with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources conducted experimental trials and gathered data from commercial fields to develop key recommendations of when—and at what rate—to irrigate and apply fertilizers in the low desert environment. The best management practices can help growers improve efficiency and reduce nutrient leaching, helping promote water quality....

In this episode, Colin Mitchell, a sustainable agriculture specialist based out of NCAT’s Southwest Regional Office in San Antonio, Texas, is joined by Jeanne Merrill, policy director at the California Climate and Agriculture Network (CalCAN). Colin and Jeanne discuss different “Climate Smart Agriculture” tools and policies in California, including the Healthy Soils Program; the State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program; the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program; the Sustainable Agriculture Lands Conservation Program; the Alternative Manure Management Program; and the Climate Adaptation Program. They also discuss carbon markets, water quality trading, and other issues. Related ATTRA Resources: Publications Payments for Ecosystem Services Agriculture, Climate Change, and Carbon...