• CDFA Now Accepting Applications For Healthy Soils Program Technical Assistance Grants - Monday, February 26, 2018 at

  •  From the CDFA:

    SACRAMENTO, February 26, 2018 The California Department of Food and Agriculture is now accepting grant applications from non-profits, universities and California Resource Conservation Districts (RCD) offering technical assistance to farmers and ranchers who are interested in applying to the state’s Healthy Soils Program (HSP).

    "If we are to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and improve the health of California's soil, we must do everything we can to help our farmers and ranchers apply to our programs," said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. "Leveraging our partnerships with the academic community, non-profits and RCDs is key in getting more individuals to apply."

    Applicants may apply for funding up to $5,000 and must meet several requirements, including: one-on-one application assistance, technical assistance and internet access for application submission.
    Detailed information on funding, eligibility and program requirements can be found at: www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/healthysoils/IncentivesProgram.html

    Applications must be submitted by email no later than March 9, 2018 5:00 p.m. PST. Grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The HSP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that puts billions of Cap and Trade dollars to work reducing GHG emissions, strengthening the economy, and improving public health and the environment – particularly in disadvantaged communities. The Cap-and-Trade program also creates a financial incentive for industries to invest in clean technologies and develop innovative ways to reduce pollution.  California Climate Investments projects include affordable housing, renewable energy, public transportation, zero-emission vehicles, environmental restoration, more sustainable agriculture, recycling, and much more.  At least 35 percent of these investments are located within and benefiting residents of disadvantaged communities, low-income communities, and low-income households across California.  For more information, visit the California Climate Investments website at: www.caclimateinvestments.ca.gov.

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  • Keeping the Greens Green at Sherwood Country Club - Sunday, January 28, 2018 at

  • Agromin was recently asked by Sherwood Country Club members to address localized bare and wet spots throughout the golf course. The Sherwood course, located in Lake Sherwood near Thousand Oaks, is among the top private courses in California, and hosts the PGA tour. Quality turf is a critical requirement for this premier course.

    Soil samples taken from the bare spots and surrounding areas determined that the soil was low in organic matter, high in total salts and high in sodium chloride. The high salt content (electrical conductivity, "ECe") at 7.5 dS/m, degrades the health of most grasses. The sodium adsorption ratio (SAR) came in at 7.95. Levels above 4 will degrade the structure of clay-containing soils (eliminate the porosity) so the soil does not drain well.  

    Our solution is to apply a proprietary blend of compost and biochar. The impacted area is double aerated using four-inch deep tines. The blend is broadcast using a compost spreader and drug into the soil. Subsequently, the soil will be leached pushing the salts below the root zone. 

    Biochar will be filled into the aeration holes, which creates porosity in the soil. Compost further enhances soil porosity, also known as soil "structure." The amendment in the plugs will provide a place for the salts to go below the root zone. The compost in the blend will bring soil organic levels from below one to over three percent, the concentration known to maximize soil health and plant performance. The biochar will stabilize the compost for the long term so it does not degrade. 

    Both the biochar and the compost can hold a significant amount of water, so they will "soak up" water in the low areas. Because the material is applied through the soil profile--from surface through to below the root zone--it will provide a path for water evaporation. Within a few months, the dry spots should be gone, and grass will have grown where there was none before.

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  • Agromin Converts Over 6 Million Tons of Green Waste Into Compost - Thursday, January 25, 2018 at

  • Agromin, a California manufacturer of earth-friendly compost products made from organic material, has recently reached a milestone--composting over 6 million tons of green waste into compost since the company began operating in 1993. It took 23 years to reach the 5 million ton mark in August 2016 and only 1 1/2 years more to surpass 6 million tons.
    Agromin has expanded its operations to include recycling facilities in Ventura, Orange, San Bernardino and San Diego counties. In 2017 alone, Agromin converted over 500,000 tons of green waste into compost.
    According to EPA calculations, the impact of converting 6 million tons of organic materials is equivalent to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (carbon dioxide) by 737,731 metric tons or consuming almost 83 million less gallons of gasoline. "By composting, carbon dioxide is kept out of the atmosphere where it would absorb heat and lead to atmospheric warming," says Bill Camarillo, Agromin CEO. "Everyone who puts organic materials in their green recycling barrels is doing their part to help the environment."
    Organic recycling also has a sustainability benefit. "By recycling, we're creating a sustainable loop. The green waste is made up of plants, trees, grass clippings, leaves and other green materials that would otherwise have been dumped into landfills. Once it goes through the composting process, growers, landscapers and backyard gardeners add the compost back into the soil to grow more plants and trees. It's a continuous, sustainable loop."
    Microorganisms compost the materials. No chemicals are added. Agromin inspects the composting materials daily, making sure that it is the correct temperature (about 145 degrees) and the ingredients are properly balanced. Agromin's composting process requires at least 45 days from receipt of materials to finished compost.
    Agromin products contain no biosolids or animal waste. Agromin's Compost 100 is an organic compost approved for use in certified organic production or food processing and handling according to the USDA Program rule. It is popular with organic growers and is also available to consumers.
    For more information, go to www.Agromin.com, https://www.facebook.com/agromin.

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