Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District

We inspire and partner with our community to protect the natural resources and agricultural future of our District.


Save the Date!

MAR9_SRCD_VineyardSoilHealthSymposiumFlyer-2018

Vineyard Soil Health Symposium
March 9, 2018
9am-12 Noon
Sonoma County Farm Bureau Office
3589 Westwind Blvd., Santa Rosa, CA 95403

Presentations from grower panels on practices that can help improve vineyard soil health and sequester carbon: cover crops, compost, alternative tillage practices, and planting hedgerows.

Our website < http://sonomarcd.org/get-involved/&gt; will be updated with more symposium details and a registration link will be available by late January 2018.

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Why are America’s farmers killing themselves in record numbers?

The suicide rate for farmers is more than double that of veterans. Former farmer Debbie Weingarten gives an insider’s perspective on farm life – and how to help

Photo Credit: Audra Mulkern

Last year, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that people working in agriculture – including farmers, farm laborers, ranchers, fishers, and lumber harvesters – take their lives at a rate higher than any other occupation. The data suggested that the suicide rate for agricultural workers in 17 states was nearly five times higher compared with that in the general population.

After the study was released, Newsweek reported that the suicide death rate for farmers was more than double that of military veterans. This, however, could be an underestimate, as the data collected skipped several major agricultural states, including Iowa. Rosmann and other experts add that the farmer suicide rate might be higher, because an unknown number of farmers disguise their suicides as farm accidents.

The US farmer suicide crisis echoes a much larger farmer suicide crisis happening globally: an Australian farmer dies by suicide every four days; in the UK, one farmer a week takes his or her own life; in France, one farmer dies by suicide every two days; in India, more than 270,000 farmers have died by suicide since 1995.

Continue.

Source:  The Guardian, December 6, 2017.

This series was created in partnership with The Economic Hardship Reporting Project, a nonprofit dedicated to support reporting on American financial struggle.


Soil Power! The Dirty Way to a Green Planet

The last great hope of avoiding catastrophic climate change may lie in a substance so commonplace that we typically ignore it or else walk all over it: the soil beneath our feet.

The earth possesses five major pools of carbon. Of those pools, the atmosphere is already overloaded with the stuff; the oceans are turning acidic as they become saturated with it; the forests are diminishing; and underground fossil fuel reserves are being emptied. That leaves soil as the most likely repository for immense quantities of carbon.

Now scientists are documenting how sequestering carbon in soil can produce a double dividend: It reduces climate change by extracting carbon from the atmosphere, and it restores the health of degraded soil and increases agricultural yields. Many scientists and farmers believe the emerging understanding of soil’s role in climate stability and agricultural productivity will prompt a paradigm shift in agriculture, triggering the abandonment of conventional practices like tillage, crop residue removal, mono-cropping, excessive grazing and blanket use of chemical fertilizer and pesticide. Even cattle, usually considered climate change culprits because they belch at least 25 gallons of methane a day, are being studied as a potential part of the climate change solution because of their role in naturally fertilizing soil and cycling nutrients.

Continue here.

Source:  Jacques Leslie, The New York Times, December 2, 2017