Extending Hedgerow Systems in California Agriculture

Project Overview

EW03-007
Project Type: Professional Development Program
Funds awarded in 2003: $60,000.00
Projected End Date: 12/31/2005
Region: Western
State: California
Principal Investigator:
Mark Cady
Community Alliance with Family Farmers

Annual Reports

Commodities

  • Additional Plants: native plants

Practices

  • Crop Production: windbreaks
  • Education and Training: technical assistance, demonstration, extension, farmer to farmer, networking
  • Farm Business Management: whole farm planning
  • Natural Resources/Environment: biodiversity, hedges - grass, grass waterways, habitat enhancement, hedgerows, riparian buffers, riverbank protection, soil stabilization, wildlife, hedges - woody
  • Pest Management: biological control
  • Production Systems: agroecosystems, integrated crop and livestock systems
  • Sustainable Communities: partnerships, sustainability measures

    Abstract:

    The goal of this project was to expand the use of hedgerows in California agriculture by increasing the knowledge base of agricultural resource professionals and providing them with tools to extend information about the implementation and benefits of hedgerows to farmers. A team of experts was formed to develop resource materials. Four workshops were conducted featuring a PowerPoint presentation, a toolkit entitled Hedgerows for California Agriculture: A Resource Guide, and a brochure to distribute to farmers. Four demonstration hedgerows were planted using funds from a Hedgerow Education Fund. A follow-up survey was conducted of workshop participants.

    Project objectives:

    The objectives of this project were to:

    1. Increase the knowledge of agricultural professionals (specifically Natural Resource Conservation Service, Resource Conservation District, Cooperative Extension Service, 4-H Advisors, Pest Control Advisors) about hedgerows as a system component that can:

    -help reduce pesticide use
    -increase on-farm biodiversity and on-farm habitat for beneficial organisms and wildlife
    -reduce wind erosion of soil
    -reduce water erosion of soil
    -beautify the environment
    -diversify farm products (incorporating herbs or flowers, for example)

    2. Extend the use of hedgerows as conservation and management tools to areas of California where they are not currently common.

    3. Create a hedgerow resource kit for farmers and agricultural professionals that can be easily utilized throughout the state.

    Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture or SARE.