whole orchard recycling

Grant Funds Grower’s Whole Orchard Recycling

Daniel CooperCalifornia Corner

whole orchard recycling

Grower John Gless owns a citrus orchard in California’s Kern County, which has greater citrus production than nearly any other county in the state. In 2020, he was looking to replace his old orchard and improve the orchard’s soil health through the conservation management practice of whole orchard recycling.

With whole orchard recycling, orchard trees are chipped and spread back into the field evenly. Once chips are incorporated into the soil, the field can be replanted with a new citrus orchard. This practice improves soil health, nutrient levels, soil structure and water retention, resulting in healthier orchards. 

Gless applied for the California Department of Food and Agriculture’s (CDFA) Healthy Soils Program Incentive Grants, funded through California Climate Investments. He received an award of $94,825 to implement whole orchard recycling in his 110-acre orchard.

The grower’s project resulted in greenhouse gas reduction benefits, estimated at 26 metric tons of CO2 equivalent. Additionally, using whole orchard recycling serves as an alternative to burning orchards, preventing the release of particulate matter that otherwise would harm health. 

It has been over three years since Gless’s orchard was replanted, and he is proud to report that the orchard is looking great for its age. He noted that all varieties of citrus trees planted are doing well after implementing whole orchard recycling, and that leaf tissue analyses are showing healthy trees.  

“Farming is tough, but participation in the Healthy Soils Program greatly supported my farming business,” Gless said. “I am very thankful to the program funding.”

His project is just one example of how CDFA’s Healthy Soils Program and California Climate Investments are supporting California growers and California’s agricultural industry, one project at a time.

Learn about a $5 million California Farm Bureau project funded by Healthy Soils in California.

Source: California Climate Investments

Share this Post

Sponsored Content