Cotton Tillage Machine Helps Clean Valley Air

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This one-pass farm tool makes it easy for growers to comply with new air quality regulations.

In the San Joaquin Valley of California air quality is a top priority. The U. S. Environmental Protection Agency declared this rich agricultural region a "non-attainment" area under the federal Clean Air Act. The culprit is particulate matter of 10 microns or smaller (PM10) from dust and diesel engine exhaust. Although they were exempt in the past, the law now requires farmers to reduce PM10 to clean the Valley's air, one of the worst in the nation. Farmers must choose specific conservation management practices (CMP) that include conservation tillage, a method of working the soil that cuts down on the number of trips over the field. This system reduces the amount of PM10 dust particles that enter the air.

A company in Bakersfield, Interstate Equipment & Mfg. Corp., builds a patented one-pass tillage machine for cotton growers. After the cotton crop is harvested, the Interstate Shredder-Bedder digs down into the soil and extracts the entire cotton plant and root, crushes and shreds it and reshapes the same beds all in a single pass over the field. The shredded plant residue decomposes quickly and becomes vital organic matter to enrich the soil and help prevent wind and water erosion. Growers can then plant the following crop back into the previous beds. Two and four-row machines are available with larger self-propelled, multi-purpose units in the works. The Shredder-Bedder is ideal for "controlled-traffic farming" and is adaptable to global positioning systems technology (GPS).

Eliminating multiple tillage operations such as heavy disking and plowing dramatically reduces PM10 dust emissions. Additional benefits of conservation tillage include less air pollution from diesel engines, less fuel usage, less soil compaction and better water penetration. Recent tests by the University of California show substantial savings for growers who use this system.

Concern for the quality of life in the San Joaquin Valley is a high priority as the population continues to increase rapidly in this agricultural area. Conservation tillage technology helps clean the Valley's air. The Interstate Shredder-Bedder makes it easy for cotton growers to comply with new California CMP regulations. This farming system is friendly to the environment and a model for the future of sustainable agriculture.

For additional information contact:

Al Ruozi

Interstate Equipment & Mfg. Corp.

P.O. Box 70296

Bakersfield, CA 93387-0296

phone 661-322-6659

fax 661-322-7448

In business for over 56 years, Interstate Equipment & Mfg. Corp. is a family-owned research and development company dedicated to preserving farmland through conservation agriculture.

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Marilyn Robolino
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