April 27, 2019
The “cover crop that was almost not planted” until very late last December 2018 due to persistent rains and wet conditions, turned out to be an award-winner this month with truly impressive growth and cover. The CDFA Healthy Soils Project field that Vincent Andreotti has been working on with UCCE Advisors, Amber Vinchesi-Vahl and Sarah Light, along with neighbor farmer mentors, Scott and Brian Park, receives the top recognition in the ‘beautiful sight' category of this year's cover crop ratings. Couched within view of the famed Sutter Buttes, Andreotti's vetch cover crop provides a stunning example of cover cropping as a means to improve soil function – the approach that is being evaluated by Vinchesi-Vahl and Light as part of their Healthy Soils Project monitoring. Biomass and % nitrogen data are not yet in from the two UCCE Advisors who've been spearheading the study's evaluation, but the Andreotti field takes this spring's ‘beautiful sight' recognition “hands-down”, according to UC project partner, Jeff Mitchell, who had the good fortune to see the field on April 15th. “Yes, the ‘beautiful sight' category is a bit of a sticky one,” Mitchell acknowledged. “But if you were out there to see it, you'd surely know why this field so richly deserves this designation and recognition.” Congratulations go out to Vincent Andreotti up in Sutter County!
*”Beautiful sight” category for California cover crops 2019
Author - CE Cropping Systems Specialist