Jan 9, 2020
California includes organics in $1.5M fertilizer research grants

mug shot
Joji Muramoto is the first Cooperative Extension specialist dedicated to organic agriculture. Photo: Carolyn Lagattuta

The California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Fertilizer Research and Education Program (FREP) recently announced more than $1.5 million in grant funds addressing nutrient management.

Grantees include an organic research project. The grants are being awarded to agricultural organizations and universities as a result of the FREP Grant Program 2019 grant cycle.

These grants will fund seven research projects to improve the efficiency of nitrogen (N) fertilization in California agriculture, reduce the associated environmental impacts, and advance farmers’ understanding and implementation of best management practices (BMPs) for fertilizer application in farmlands.

Funded Research Projects include “Developing a Nitrogen Mineralization Model for Organically Managed Vegetable Farms on the Central Coast” by Joji Muramoto, University of California Cooperative Extension.

Muramoto’s project will create a database of organic fertilizers and amendments, crop residues and soil organic matter, cataloging the rates at which Nitrogen becomes available as these materials decompose, according to a press release from CDFA.  The principal investigators will use this information to develop an N mineralization model for organic vegetable production in coastal California that can be integrated into CropManage, a decision-making tool for irrigation and nutrient management.

Above, Joji Muramoto is the first Cooperative Extension specialist dedicated to organic agriculture. Photo: Carolyn Lagattuta


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