This post was republished with permission from the author. The original was published in the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau ‘Between the Furrows’ Newsletter, January 2014.
By: Jessica Hill & Rich Casale, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Resource Conservation District (RCD) of Santa Cruz County addresses local natural resource issues and economic needs of our community by providing a range of conservation services, including water and nutrient management services for local growers under their Conservation Agriculture Program. Program assistance is year round and includes: Farm Water Quality Planning; Agricultural Order Compliance Assistance (English/Spanish); and Spanish/ English assistance to growers and partners with program development; project implementation; and workshop planning. There are a variety of services offered through the program to improve water quality and conservation as well. These services include: soil nitrate leaching monitoring and training using soil nitrate quick test kits; Hortau soil probe loaner program connected to the Wireless Irrigation Network(WIN); water use monitoring assistance using flow meters; distribution uniformity(D.U.) evaluations for irrigation systems; technical help including free seed and straw for erosion control on farm roads and fields; storm water runoff monitoring and training; and row arrangement design assistance that includes a written summary, map, field indicators, and coordination with the tractor driver. The Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) also provides free technical advice and financial support for these programs. For more information about the RCD’s Conservation Agriculture Program call: (831)464-2950 Ext 23 or 15 or contact NRCS at (831)475-1967. Note: NRCS and the RCD of Santa Cruz County are non-regulatory agencies and equal opportunity employers and providers.