Assessment of Nitrogen Flows on Diversified Organic Farms: A Road Toward Enhancing Soil Health from the Ground Up

Photo of farmer tending the soil

Timothy Bowles, Assistant Professor of Agroecology, UC Berkeley

Soil health is a central part of organic farm management. This project seeks to determine how diversification practices such as crop rotations and cover crops that build soil health influence nitrogen availability from soil organic matter. This is particularly important to consider when determining the timing and choice of organic fertilizer application on diversified organic farms. The goal of this project is to provide farmers in Yolo County, California—an area with a high concentration of diversified farms—with both technical support and a community of practice that allows for more informed decision-making about nutrient management.

Impact: More precise information for making informed decisions about fertilizer application, ultimately reducing added costs and environmental impacts associated with nutrient losses from organic fertilizers.