Equipment Development

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A modified Orthman 1tRIPr performs multiple tasks in a single pass through the field, including; bed center strip-tillage, fertilizer and herbicide application and sweeping crop residue from the furrows as a pre-tomato transplant operation. (Photo by Kathy Bryant.)

Collaborations between Russell Ranch research farming staff and agricultural equipment manufacturers have resulted in creative modifications to existing equipment, focused on reducing energy inputs into California's crop production systems. California's challenging climate variations, soil conditions and water limitations have dramatically increased the awareness and need for greater tillage options. Regional growers have embraced tillage strategies developed at the Russell Ranch by adapting the new operational sequences, modifying existing equipment or purchasing new equipment to accomplish their energy reduction goals. Equipment demonstrations at the Russell Ranch provided growers with various options to deal with crop residue and cover crops in conventional and organic systems, on a diversity of farm scales.