Integrating Livestock in Orchard Crops
The five soil health principles include keeping the soil covered, minimizing disturbance, adding diversity, maintaining living roots, and integrating livestock. California Ag Solutions helps specialty crop growers incorporate these principles, and president Silas Rossow has been amazed at what one tree crop farmer in particular has been able to achieve.
Rossow… “The amount of water we've applied has been significantly less. So about 60% of what our normal water application is. Much less inputs and like almost zero nutrition applied. Very little insect issues, no fungal pressures. So when you look at the end of the day, that one producer is probably within about 10 to 15% of what net revenue is on a lot of these other high input production systems. So, you know, it makes you scratch your head sometimes it's like, wow, I'm doing all this work, spending all this money per acre and I can generate some revenue, but there's some other things if I let the soil do what it's supposed to do and manage the system differently. There's some things that I can learn and actually get pretty close to the same net revenue. That's one of those things that scratch your head and it's like, how is this happening? As an agronomist that these things, I guess don't always make sense when you really understand it's a biological system.”
Rossow said this farmer has incorporated livestock throughout much of the year.