(831) 464-2950

Best Management Practices on Farms and Ranches

The Pajaro Valley in southern Santa Cruz County supports a vibrant agriculture industry that supplies food to populations throughout the nation and even other parts of the world. In addition to its unique climate and favorable conditions for the crops grown here, the Pajaro Valley is also home to the Pajaro River and many tributary streams which feed into an alluvial floodplain and complex wetland network that borders the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

Most of the waterbodies in the watershed are impacted by nutrients, sediment, and other substances that can negatively impact the ecosystem. Long-term pumping of groundwater has contributed to overdraft of the groundwater supply. Increasingly frequent extreme weather events exacerbate these challenges.

RCD provides the agriculture industry with confidential site visits, technical and financial assistance to plan and implement best management practices that protect water and soil resources, support producers in meeting regulatory compliance requirements, and improve the efficiency of their production practices while optimizing yields.

We help growers and landowners with a wide range of practices that include:

  • Irrigation efficiency
  • Erosion control
  • Nutrient management
  • Cover crops
  • Vegetative treatments (filter strips, grassed waterways, hedgerows)
  • Carbon rich soil amendments (including assistance with nitrogen immobilization)
  • Tailwater and stormwater management
  • Improving water infiltration

Site visits and technical assistance are available in English and Spanish.

Contact the RCD for assistance.

Conservation benefit: Supports long-term groundwater sustainability, protects water quality and supports soil health and productivity.

California Department of Food and Agriculture
Natural Resources Conservation Service
University of California, Cooperative Extension

California Department of Food and Agriculture
California Department of Water Resources
Natural Resources Conservation Service
Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency
State Water Resources Control Board

Ag Resource Libary

RCD Contact:
Erin McCarthy
Sacha Lozano

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    Capitola, California 95010
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