Growing Returns

Selected tag(s): drip irrigation

How “fertigation” is helping this citrus grower beat the drought

WP_20150922_010A common misperception is that citrus season is in the summer, but peak citrus season is actually happening right now.

California grew over 90 percent of U.S. lemons last season, but the severe drought in 2015 caused a 9 percent dip in domestic lemon production compared to the previous growing season. This meant higher costs for farmers, consumers – and the planet.

In honor of peak citrus season, I asked Bakersfield citrus grower John S. Gless how he’s getting more crop per drop of fertilizer and water through “fertigation,” why efficiency and sustainability practices are good investments, and why land stewardship is a core part of farming. Read More »

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California’s salad bowl tosses up new ideas in sustainability

EDF’s Robert Parkhurst participated in the 2014 California Educational Fellowship, organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and its alumni.

EDF’s Robert Parkhurst participated in the 2014 California Educational Fellowship, organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation and its alumni.

I recently had the unique opportunity to learn firsthand how central California farmers are constantly changing the way specialty crops are grown, squeezing more from fewer resources and reducing their impacts on the environment.

I joined a handful of other ag policy experts in a visit to the Salinas Valley, considered “the salad bowl of the world,” where we learned about the current issues and complex challenges facing the state’s farmers and ranchers. The trip was organized by the California Agricultural Leadership Foundation.

Running about 90 miles from Monterey to San Luis Obispo, the Salinas Valley alone grows more than 85 percent of the nation’s artichokes, 55 percent of the nation’s lettuce and 30 percent of the nation’s strawberries. It also leads the state of California in the production of broccoli, celery, mushrooms and cabbage.

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