Project Updates

Before and After: a picture is worth 1,000 words

Below are some photo monitoring pictures of project sites.

Low Water Crossing

 

Top Left: Stream crossing during winter flows 01/22/2008

Top Right: Same stream crossing after winter flows 02/26/2008

Left: Stream crossing re-created with sediment deposits from the creek - 05/28/2008

 

 

 

The pictures above illustrate a practice that often takes place in local almond farming: the annual creation of stream crossings with sediment from the creek.

The streams in this area do not run year-round. In fact, they only run during rain events when runoff from the foothills drains into the tributaries and onto the valley floor. Annually, these crossings are washed out (shown in Pictures 1 & 2) and re-created (Picture 3) after the heavy rains are done for the season.

These crossings are needed to allow farmers access to orchards that may be bisected by such a creek.

Through the Colusa Almond Project, we are addressing sediment at a few sites (such as the one pictured above) to showcase a few Best Management Practices (BMP's) that will reduce sediment in the waterways. One of the BMP's we will be using is the installation of low water crossings. These crossings will reduce the amount of sediment loading caused when the sediment created crossings (Picture 3) wash out, and to minimize streambed disturbance during the re-creation of these crossing, thus further reducing erosion within the channel.

Hedgerow

 

Top Left: Looking west during hedgerow installation.

Top Right: Looking west after mulching and installing irrigation to hedgerow.

Left: Hedgerow a few months after installation after plants have grown.

 

 

 

 

Through the Colusa Almond Project we are showcasing Best Management Practices (BMP's) that can be used in farming operations. One of these BMP's is the installation of hedgerows.

Hedgerows offer many benefits to a farming landscape by utilizing unused farm edges. They stabilize the soil and reduce the risk of erosion; out-compete weeds while (over time) reducing the seed bank (reducing the need and cost to spray or cultivate); they act as windbreaks to protect crops from wind and dust damage; reduce pesticide use by providing habitat for beneficial insects thereby reducing costly pesticide spraying; and much more!

In this project, each site includes some type of insectary hedgerow, or multi-row insectary hedge planting of to reduce erosion, pesticide and herbicide runoff, and create habitat for beneficial insects to increase crop productivity through the free pollination services that they offer!

We are using hedgerows in this project to yield the many benefits described above... namely to reduce erosion.

If you would like to learn more about this project or other BMP's that can be utilized, call the Colusa County Resource Conservation District Office at: (530) 458-2931 x3.