The California Farm Demonstration Network is hosting a four-part series on California soils. This series will feature four speakers, each with extensive knowledge of California soils through the lens of farming and agriculture. Speakers will be covering various topics, including composting, orchard recycling, soil sampling, testing for microbial dynamics, and more.

When: March 24, April 21, May 19, June 16.

Bring your lunch! Each session will be 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Where: Online via Zoom. Register for each session below.

​Meet the Speakers

Part 1

“What happens to soil properties when you add compost or cover crop?”

March 24, 2021. 11:00 – 12:30

Presenter: Dr. Eric Brennan  is a research horticulturist at the USDA-ARS in the Salinas Valley.

Discussion: Dr. Brennan will present research findings on the effects of winter cover props and compost addition on readily decomposable soil carbon and total soil carbon in a long-term study conducted over eights years of intensive, organic vegetable production in Salinas, California. He will also discuss nitrogen dynamics in the system.

CEUs: CCA (1.0 units in soil and water management, and 0.5 credits in nutrient management)

Click here to view recording.

Part 2

“What are the benefits of whole orchard recycling, including disease control?”

April 21, 2021, 11:00 – 12:30

Presenter: Dr. Brent Holtz is a UCCE farm advisor and farmer in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Discussion: In this presentation, Dr.Holtz will zero in on management challenges of whole orchard recycling, the benefits to the soil/new orchard, and carbon sequestration. He will discuss incorporating whole orchard recycling with anaerobic soil disinfestation to control replant disease.  

CEUs:CCA (1.0 credits in soil and water management, 0.5 in IPM) and PCA

Click here to view recording.

Part 3

“How can we pull a soil sample for meaningful results?”

May 19, 2021. 11:00 – 12:30

Presenter: Jessica Chiartas is a soil sampling and outreach expert and UC Davis Ph.D candidate in Soils & Biogeochemistry.

Discussion: In this presentation, Jessica will zero in on how to collect a representative sample (year after year), how to handle and process samples, what metrics to test for, what methods to use and more. She will talk about different approaches to and uses of sampling, ways to minimize error, and how to match what you are measuring to what you are hoping to understand.

CEUs: CCA (1.5 credits in soil and water management)

Click here to view recording

Part 4

“How do we properly test for soil microbial dynamics?”

June 16, 2021. 11:00 – 12:30. 

Presenter: Dr. Jennifer Moore is a Research Soil Scientist at USDA-ARS in Corvallis, Oregon, and recently from American Farmland Trust.

Discussion: In this presentation, Dr. Moore will zero in on what you can test for and what it would tell you about soil microbial dynamics, and will lead a discussion about what meaningful information you can use about soil microbial dynamics on your farm.

CEUs: CCA (1.5 credits in soil and water management)

Click here to view recording

California Farm Demonstration Network was established with a vision to increase the adoption of economically viable resource conservation methodologies in California’s agricultural systems. Partners include California farmers and ranchers, a variety of public and private sector partners, and the locally based efforts of the following organizations: California Association of Resource Conservation Districts; California Department of Food and Agriculture; Natural Resources Conservation Service; California Farm Bureau Federation; University of California at Davis; and University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources. 

This meeting series is being organized on behalf of the CFDN by the California Association of Resource Conservation Districts. Questions can be directed to Sara Letton, sara-letton@carcd.org, 530-303-8880.