Version 2, Issue 20
Chinese Delegates Consult NRCS
on Coachella Valley Agriculture
by Kevin Carpenter, Soil Conservationist, Indio Service Center
Sixty delegates from the State Farms and Land Reclamation
Bureau of the Ministry of Agriculture Peoples, in China,
visited the Asian Pacific Business Institute at Cal State Los
Angeles and the USDA Indio Service Center.
NRCS Conservationist Raul Alvarado welcomed the group
to the USDA Indio Service Center, and explained the scope
of NRCS technical assistance and programs.
A slide show was presented to introduce the delegation to the challenges farmers and communities face in the Coachella
Valley, and to demonstrate how NRCS and the Coachella Valley Resource Conservation District partnership develops unique
solutions to area-wide problems.
Successful Coachella Valley farms require technical assistance and
financial incentives from NRCS for expertise in soils, irrigation
technology and drainage essential to the desert environment.
The tour visited some of these farms that work with NRCS. The first
stop showed the packing and shipping of winter vegetables at Golden
Acre Farms near Thermal, California. The group then headed to the
Oasis Date Gardens to eat lunch and sample the many varieties of fruit
produced by one of the world’s most important palm trees (Phoenix
The tour also stopped by the table Grape production at Brighton
Distributing in La Quinta, California. General Manager Chacho
Gomez allowed the group to see up-close the specialized
irrigation and barley cover-crops that are necessary to induce
winter dormancy of grapevines in the desert.
The group’s last stop included precision planting and irrigation
projects at the following tour stops: Irrigation of broccoli (furrow
irrigation) and celery (drip irrigation) at Golden Acre Farms in
Thermal; irrigation of carrots (sprinkler irrigation) at Grimmway
Farms in Oasis; orchard (citrus) and irrigation of tangerines