Jeff Borum, California Soil Health Specialist for the East Stanislaus Resource Conservation District, visited TomKat Ranch recently to install monitoring cameras at the Conservation Field Trial site where we applied compost earlier this year. The application of just a ¼ inch of compost is predicted to help restore the health of this field, conventionally farmed until 2011, by jump-starting the soil’s microbiology and keeping the microbes well-fueled with carbon.

The cameras will assist in the visual monitoring of the forage growth. The time lapse feature allows us to take a photo every day at high noon so we can see the growth differences between the control plot and the trial over time. Metal posts were marked with zip ties every 25cm for a cost effective and reliable way to measure grass growth.  We look forward to sharing the growth progression sometime this spring.