BIFS Buy California Initiative Project


In January 2003, SAREP was awarded Buy California Initiative funds by the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the USDA to coordinate a project entitled Increasing the Adoption of Biologically Integrated Farming Systems in California Specialty Crops - Farmer-to-Farmer Outreach of Environmentally Sound and Economically Viable Practices. This outreach project built on the successes of SAREP's Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) program by enlisting experienced growers to inform a wider audience of farmers about the practices demonstrated in the prune/dried plum, walnut and dairy BIFS projects. Project outreach objectives were:

  1. Implement a commodity focused farmer-to-farmer outreach initiative that relies on the experience of a core group of farmers in biologically integrated farming system practices.
  2. Create and refine key educational tools and documents that will facilitate the farmer-to-farmer outreach program.
  3. Improve outreach efforts based on results of recent grower surveys.

Outreach Programs

Prune/Dried Plum BIFS Outreach Program

January 2003 - December 2005
Coordinator: Fred Thomas, CERUS Consulting
Adoption Team Growers: Dan Bozzo, David Crane, & Dick Jacobs

At a series of outreach events in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valley prune production region, farmer mentors presented to other farmers their experience and success with environmentally sound practices. Mentor farmers were part of a local adoption team that assisted in planning outreach events and reviewing outreach materials. The targeted audiences were farmers who also frequently grew peaches, almonds, and walnuts where cover cropping techniques may have also been applicable.

An outreach event addressing aphid control and pruning options for prune/dried plum growers was described in SAREP's Fall 2004 Sustainable Agriculture newsletter.

Outreach Materials

Walnut BIFS Outreach Program

Coordinators: Joseph Grant, UCCE San Joaquin Co. & Kathy Kelley Anderson, UCCE Stanislaus Co.
Adoption Team: Gary Barton, Mark Cady, Bert Crane, Cindy Lashbrook, Chris Locke, Jeannine Lowrimore, David Miller, & David Taylor

This project targeted walnut growers, pest control advisors, input supplier representatives, and other allied industry professionals in San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties. Outreach events focused on alternative walnut orchard management practices that were demonstrated in the walnut BIFS project.

A local adoption team of walnut growers and licensed pest control advisors with experience in biologically integrated orchard management identified five under-utilized alternative technologies to be promoted by this project: 1) nitrogen fertilizer use and budgeting, 2) walnut orchard floor management and cover crops, 3) pheromone mating disruption for reducing codling moth damage, 4) brush chipping and shredding to mitigate adverse effects of orchard operations on air quality, and 5) identification, biology, monitoring and control of key secondary pests.

Outreach Materials

Dairy/Forage Crop BIFS Outreach Program

Coordinator: Stuart Pettygrove, Dept. of Land, Air & Water Resources, UC Davis

Project collaborators developed a guide for California dairies in the Central Valley and in the North Coast/Bay Area dairy regions. By highlighting improved manure and forage management practices currently being used by farmers at both North Coast/Bay Area pasture dairies and at confinement-style dairies with large storage ponds in the Central Valley, we expect that this guide will encourage dairy farmers to adopt environmentally sound dairy forage production and manure nutrient management practices.

Further Information on Forage & Manure Management:

For more detailed BIFS outreach project information, see SAREP Funded Projects Database - search on Program Area: BIFS.