RCD Demonstration Project

The Upper Salinas – Las Tablas Resource Conservation District (USLTRCD) is partnering with Vineyard Professional Services (VPS) to implement conservation practices (i.e. no-till and cover crops) on multiple ranches in northern San Luis Obispo County. The goal of the project is to develop a better understanding of the outcomes of different soil health conservation practices based on feasibility, cost, and ecological benefits. The project will entail a total of four (4) ranches with 419 vineyard acres of healthy soil conservation practices applied.

The project will lead to an increase of soil organic matter, improved soil water retention, and carbon sequestration. The USLTRCD will develop baseline data and ongoing monitoring of the project to measure the effectiveness of each conservation practice applied. Assessment of baseline site conditions such as soil class, average annual precipitation, and soil organic matter (SOM), implementation of NRCS soil health conservation practices, and monitoring of conditions found at each vineyard ranch, will yield useful information such as the cost benefit and ecosystem rewards. These will then be demonstrated to other stakeholders in the area by way of workshops and a site-tour to each vineyard to increase the efficacy and application within the region.

This project is funded through the California Department of Agriculture, Office of Environmental Farming and Innovation.

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