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Posted: March 7, 2020

Learn latest B.C. research on irrigation and soil management

On March 12, a one-day symposium in Creston will bring together researchers, producers and industry specialists to network and share information and recommendations about irrigation and soil management approaches.

The cost of agricultural inputs, increasing drought conditions in the summer, and heightened awareness about sustainable production practices are making irrigation and soil management top of mind for local farmers.

Producers are interested in seeing more demonstration research happen in the Kootenay-Boundary regions, and researchers and industry specialists want to hear from producers about their production questions and management challenges for soil and water. The symposium is an opportunity for producers to connect with researchers and learn about existing resources to support production targets.

Across the province, farmers and researchers have been working together to field test management approaches, including several new research projects underway in the Kootenay-Boundary region.

The symposium will feature information based on these projects:

• Dr. Louise Nelson, professor in Biology at UBC Okanagan, will present research on optimizing water use in Okanagan cherry orchards while maintaining fruit quality for export.

• Dr. Catherine Tarasoff will present on her field trial in Erickson, which is looking at orchard mulching to optimize water use. This trial is part of a project to assist producers in conducting their own on-farm research to see how best to optimize irrigation and soil management.

• The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) will share results on the Erickson Water Demand Study that will inform future changes to agricultural water rates in the RDCK.

• Andrew Bennett of Living Lands Consulting will discuss a new project for the Kootenay & Boundary on tools and resources for water optimization.

• Dr. Sean Smukler and his team from UBC will focus on improving soil nutrient management in organic vegetables. They will discuss results from multi-year soil management projects and research underway at four farms in the RDCK. A hands-on session will introduce tools and strategies to apply nutrient management practices for your own farm.

The event is free. Thursday March 12, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. at Creston Hotel. Includes lunch.

Register at kbfa.ca/events or contact Rachael Roussin at 778-771-5851.

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