- Agronomic: corn
- Fruits: avocados
- Vegetables: okra
- Crop Production: fertigation, organic fertilizers
- Education and Training: on-farm/ranch research
Replacing imported fertilizers with local resources is among the highest research and educational priority identified by stakeholders statewide. The need for N solution fertilizer derived from local resources has been fulfilled through a previous Western SARE award (SW14-026) and meant to be as a supplemental application. The recipe became very popular, especially among organic growers, and they call it “Tankage tea”. The growers currently are using the recipe as a main source of N for annual crops and fruit trees. However, there is a need to determine if the recipe is meeting crop N requirements for optimum yields or if excessive application is causing environmental pollution. The proposal aims to estimate N application rate using a new bio-mineralization filtering system which allows for a 1-week extraction period, instead of the old filtering system limited to only a 1-day extraction period. On-farm trials will be conducted using various crops. Solution and soil samples will be analyzed to determine nitrate, ammonium, and total N. This will allow us to calculate 1) N application over a crop growth period, 2) crop yield, and 3) soil fertility changes over 2-years period. On-farm field days and workshops will be conducted statewide to disseminate the project findings. Video demonstration of the system setup and extension bulletins with project results will be published online. This project is expected to benefit grower’s profitability and local food production sustainability, by providing the crops with required N, reducing nutrient losses, and improving soil health and fertility status.