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Farming root zone topic of field day event
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With the drought carrying on with no foreseeable end, sustainability and conservation practices are more crucial than ever.


To help farmers and agricultural land managers learn more about these practices that will combat the drought by saving both water and money, the East Stanislaus Resource Conversation District is hosting a Field Day.


“We’ve done field days in the past, but this is the first one concerning organic matter in trees and vines,” said East Stanislaus watershed coordinator Jorge Alvarado. “Since we’re in a drought, and the drought doesn’t seem to be going away, the key word is sustainability. We’re looking at farming the root zone to keep orchards alive.”


With an underlying theme of “farming your root zone,” those who attend Tuesday’s event will interact with a number of area specialists and discuss soil and water management issues specific to the county.


Those slated for attendance include John Duarte of Duarte Nursery, Daniel Schellenberg from the University of California, Davis Department of Plant Science. Guests will also receive information regarding technical assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resource Conversation Service.


One item that guests will truly become familiar with are the benefits associated with using compost in the top five to 30 inches of soil, otherwise known as the root zone.


“The whole concept is farming with the root zone,” said Alvarado. “By placing organic matter into the root zone, soil health will be greatly improved.”


As organic matter that has been broken down and recycled as a fertilizer, ESRCD reports that compost can potentially increase soil organic matter, moisture retention, soil microbial activity and allows nitrogen to be more accessible to plants.


“This event shows the community that agriculture in the valley here is active. We are trying to do our best in order to be proactive stewards of the land,” conclude Alvarado.


The event will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday at 2118 Golf Road. To RSVP or to obtain additional information, call 491-9320, ext. 139 or email