Tracy Mumma

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University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources published a feature on California almond farmer Rob Schuh, who with his son-in-law Andrew Carroll is practicing regenerative farming on 210 acres of almond orchards in Chowchilla, California. Schuh began incorporating compost in 2015 and cover cropping in 2016, while also reducing inputs of synthetic fertilizer and chemical pesticides. These practices were part of an ecosystem approach that produced significant economic benefits and also helped Schuh rekindle his interest in farming. A 16-species cover-crop mix helps the soil hold water and reduces irrigation needs. Here are some details from the post: "For irrigation, Schuh has a mix of microsprinklers and double-line drip, and also floods once a month when water is available. Since beginning to cover crop, he has noticed better water retention and infiltration in his soil. He has reduced his irrigation sets from 48 to 36 hours. Even in years where no surface water is available, he still gets decent cover crop stands in the middle of his rows from just rainwater."
Wow @Tracy Mumma! I read through the article and found this family is saving $38,973 annually from the cover crops alone. That includes the additional expense of cover crop seed and management labor, minus the fertilizer, pesticide and herbicide applications. I wonder if I can get a hold of them to run a story for Soil for Water…

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