California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

Agricultural Demonstration Projects

Pajaro River Watershed Project

Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council Partnership for Agriculture and Other End Users

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) (now known as the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery or CalRecycle) approved $70,000 at its June 1999 board meeting to fully fund a compost/mulch demonstration partnership headed by the Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council (CCRC&DC). The CCRC&DC teamed up with a private consultant, Buchanan Associates, compost producers, and vegetable growers in the Pajaro River Watershed to develop much-needed technical and economic data for farmers in a major agricultural region of the state.

This project was designed to address the needs of the compost processing and agricultural end-user communities by providing detailed data on soil properties and processes, and the integration of crop production data with detailed assessments of organic materials and their fate and impact on soils.

Goals

  • Develop agronomic and economic data on the effects of municipal organic products (yard trimmings, manure, and manure compost) used as soil amendments in different soils.
  • Quantify the impact of using compost on soil nitrogen and crop nitrogen use efficiency.
  • Demonstrate and analyze the cost-effectiveness of using yard trimmings mulch for erosion control.
  • Work with the U.S. Department of Agriculture‚Äôs Natural Resources Conservation Service and local Resource Conservation Districts to define a role for municipal organics products in their nutrient and soil conservation planning efforts.

Partnership Organization

  • Fiscal Agent: CCRC&DC.
  • Partnership Manager: Jeff Rodriquez, CCRC&DC Area Project Coordinator.
  • Project Manager: Marc Buchanan, Ph.D., Buchanan Associates.
  • Sponsoring Partners: CIWMB, CCRC&DC, Zanker Road Resource Management, Sunland Garden, five area grower co-operators.
  • Outreach Activities: The partnership held two field-day events targeted to growers, appropriate local agencies, municipal organic processors, and other land managers during the project term.

Project Components

  1. Development of Work Plan. The project manager worked with the CIWMB to develop a work plan. The work plan identifies the specific roles for each of the major partners and defines the shared coordination responsibilities.
  2. Develop and Disseminate Information. The project manager worked with the local Resource Conservation Districts, County University California Cooperative Extension offices, and local composters to develop an outreach program which targets growers and other land managers in the region.
  3. Conduct Field Days and Workshops. The partnership held two field-day events targeted to growers, appropriate local agencies, municipal organic processors, and other land managers during the project term.
  4. Evaluation of Project. The project manager assessed impacts of compost-mulch to evaluate potential benefits [nutrient use efficiency, soil stabilization] or negative impacts [nutrient supply] on soil and crops in the region.
  5. Final Report. A Compost Maturity and Nitrogen Release Characteristics in Central Coast Vegetable Production (#442-02-015) report characterizing three compost types produced within the Pajaro River Watershed green waste, blends of green waste and poultry manure, and poultry manure.

Purpose

  • Analyze the impacts of manure, manure composts, and yard trimmings composts on crop productivity, crop quality, and soil properties on three distinctly different soil types (sandy, loamy, and clayey.)
  • Analyze compost produced by combining yard trimmings and manure composts on crop productivity, crop quality, and soil properties.

Agricultural Demonstration Projects Home Page

Last updated: August 13, 2010
Organic Materials Management http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/
Contacts: http://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Organics/Contacts.htm