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Paso Robles Soil Health Project Looking for Participants

The Paso Robles Wine Country Alliance and Upper Salinas Las Tablas RCD is working with a team of California soil scientists and extension agents (Dr. Cristina Lazcano, Dr. Kerri Steenwerth, Dr. Charlotte Decock, Mark Battany and others) to study soil health, and the potential for carbon sequestration in vineyard soils of Paso Robles. Our goals include developing real metrics for what a “healthy soil” is for premium wine grapes, and as we learn, educating our members and all growers on what practices best impact soil health, carbon sequestration, and a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in our vineyards. This study is funded through the American Vineyard Foundation. We are now recruiting collaborating growers in the Paso Robles AVA. Are you willing to participate in the next phase of this exciting research project?

BACKGROUND

In the last years there has been a big push for growers to incorporate practices that improve or preserve soil health. However, there are not yet clear guidelines on how much the health of a particular soil can be improved given certain management practices. There is also no information on how soil health may be important for wine grape production as compared to other crops. This project aims to determine the variability of soil health indicators (soil organic matter, infiltration etc.) in areas with different soil types and climate in Paso Robles.

GROWER COMMITMENT

  • Allow our researchers to collect soil samples and perform soil health assessment during the 2022 late winter months (aiming for February 2022). They would like to sample from blocks that have high vs. low soil health/vigor. (approx. 2 hours needed).
  • Participate in an interview (approx. 1 hour long) to discuss what aspects of soil health you consider important for wine grape production, and the practices that you are using to promote soil health. Interviews can be done at the time of sampling, or at a different time either in person or remotely (through Zoom).
  • Approx. 3 hours total time commitment
  

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

  • At all times, the researchers will adhere to strict COVID-19 safety protocols as directed by the CDC, OSHA and adhering to the specific practices that each grower has in place for your operation.
  

Thank you in advance for your consideration, If you are willing to participate or have any questions please contact Dr. Lazcano, Assistant Professor of Soil Ecology, Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California Davis at clazcano@ucdavis.edu.

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