Conservation Tillage Production Generates Less Dust
PM monitoring tower
What Has ANR Done?In a variety of studies in the SJV starting in 2002, UC scientists compared dust generation in standard tillage (ST) and CT systems. In a comparison conducted at Five Points, Calif., dust emissions were reduced by about two-thirds in the CT system relative to ST through a cotton-tomato rotation. CT yields were maintained in this study for tomatoes, but were lower for cotton, primarily due to reduced crop stands. Work at two SJV dairy farms from 2003 to 2005 showed that CT corn and winter forage systems also may reduce emissions and that yields can be maintained for some CT approaches relative to ST. Initial findings indicate significant potential of CT production practices to reduce dust generation in common SJV cropping systems. UC researchers are working with valley farmers to improve the productivity and overall profitability of these and other CT systems.
Less dust from conservation tillageBecause of this work, SJV farmers are becoming aware of potential air quality benefits that may derive from CT. While CT currently is used on less than 2 percent of SJV annual crop acreage, UCANR's CT Workgroup has tracked increased use of CT practices during the past four years. The workgroup has been involved in more than 60 farm demonstrations, and its membership has grown from a handful of researchers in 1998 to over 540 UC, NRCS, farmer, private sector, and other public agency and environmental group members today. Access CT Workgroup information at http://groups.ucanr.org/ucct/.
Supporting Unit:UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences - CT Workgroup
Jeff Mitchell, CE Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org
Randal Southard, Professor,
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis, email@example.com