The Glenn County RCD’s CDFA Healthy Soils Program Demonstration Project, titled "Using Cover Crops to Advance Soil Health and Reduce Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases" aims to demonstrate how planting cover crops in olive orchards may advance soil health, increase carbon sequestration, and positively impact farming operations. With this project, partners California Olive Ranch and Chico State’s Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems hope to highlight opportunities for cover cropping while demonstrating the soil health benefits through a three year trial [2021-2023].
The demonstration of cover cropping in olive orchards is important because olives are a major commodity in Glenn County and in California. California leads the nation in olive production while Glenn and Tehama County farmers account for 45.1% of California’s olive production by gross value (page 26 of the CDFA California Agricultural Statistics Review 2017-2018).
Soil health indicators being monitored in this project include:
- soil organic matter
- total soil carbon
- total soil nitrogen
- water infiltration
- bulk density
The first On-Farm Field Day was held in May 25, 2021: Cover Crops, Carbon & Drought For Growers & Partners