CDFA Database Highlights Growers’ Use Of Conservation
As the clock ticks closer to
Thanksgiving, it’s a popular time to recognize farmers for the fruits,
vegetables, meats, grains and dairy products they produce throughout the year,
according to the American Farmland Trust. However, it is also important for the
public to understand the significant environmental benefits farmers also
produce by using conservation practices on their land. These practices help
protect water quality in streams and lakes, provide vital wildlife habitat, and
contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.
To highlight both the
environmental and economic benefits of implementing these conservation
practices on California farms, the California Department of Food and
Agriculture (CDFA) recently compiled an interactive
database of the many ecosystem services—defined by the CDFA
Environmental Farming Act Science Advisory Panel as “the multiple benefits we
gain from farming and ranching”—currently being produced by California farmers
The new database provides
detailed information on nearly 400 farms implementing conservation practices
across the state. The database can be sorted by keyword, county, crop type, and
ecosystem services provided (such as pest control and nutrient management).
The database “is a fantastic
tool for farmers looking for information on a variety of conservation
practices,” explains American Farmland Trust’s Environmental Consultant, Steve
Shaffer. “Examples of everything from efficient irrigation practices to
building soil fertility are now at farmers’ fingertips with this database.”
In addition, American
Farmland Trust is working in California to increase the adoption of Beneficial
Management Practices (BMPs) that yield the ecosystem services profiled in the
CDFA database. We work closely with CDFA, the USDA Natural Resource
Conservation Service (NRCS), and farm and ranch organizations across the state
to promote BMPs that meet the “triple bottom line” of farm profitability,
environmental sustainability, and community responsibility.
American Farmland Trust’s
recent work includes:
- Ag Vision Stewardship
Case Studies that compliment the CDFA database by providing a more
in-depth look at the environmentally-beneficial agricultural practices being
used by California family farmers and ranchers.
- BMP Challenge to adopt
conservation practices on California farms through our yield guarantee program.
- Published report with recommendations for increasing the use of improved
irrigation and nutrient management practices among California’s many specialty
- Conservation Practices
Resource Guide for growers who want to learn more about NRCS conservation
Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops (SISC): member. SISC released its first suite of working metrics that provides a system for
measuring sustainable performance throughout the specialty crop supply chain,
including farms growing fruits, nuts, and vegetable crops.
Source: American Farmland
Labels: American Farmland Trust, CDEFA EnvironmentalFarming Act Science Advisory Panel, CDFA interactive database, Clean water and wildlife habitat on California Farms