Results of Initial California BMP Challenge Promising
The first year of AFT’s BMP Challenge field trials in the San Joaquin Valley of California have proved to be a success, with no reported loss of crop yields due to the use of new beneficial management practices (BMPs) that reduce water pollution and climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Six growers of forage corn altered their cultivation and fertilization routines on 600 acres under agreements that promised to indemnify them for any economic loss they might suffer because of reduced yields.
These agreements take the risk out of trying BMPs, a major reason producers say they are reluctant to do it. The first year results seem to show that the risk of yield losses for corn producers in the Valley is minimal, which hopefully will encourage other growers to try BMPs without indemnification. This season, AFT and its partners Sustainable Conservation and the for-profit company AgFlex, have expanded the trial to 24 producers and 1,400 acres of forage corn, and are planning to conduct new trials for processing tomatoes and salad greens.