Highlights from the 2020 World Ag Expo

A cow at Fiscalini Dairy

We were back at it this week in Tulare, CA at the 2020 World Ag Expo. We shared some of our adventures with you last year, but this time around we’ve got even more to report!

The Show

The World Ag Expo (or farm show, for those in the know) is the biggest outdoor ag expo around. Each year, over 100,000 attendees visit to see the latest and greatest in farming technology. From harvesters to soil microbes, no area of farming is too big or too small, and California farmers are always looking for new ways to farm smart.

Netafim USA’s booth featured familiar blue tanks (selfie for scale!) and a team of folks to help answer questions about the SDI-E system and all forms of drip irrigation.

The good news? We’re helping dairy producers farm smart and protect their local groundwater supplies. Our manure subsurface drip irrigation system (SDI-E) is ready for prime time, and Netafim USA’s presentation on Wednesday at the show was the culmination of over five years of tests, data, documentation, partnerships, field days and outreach. Domonic Rossini presented the results and the road to adoption to a standing-room-only crowd on Wednesday 2/12.

The Future of SDI-E 

We updated you last year on the exciting news that the National Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) are cost-share funding SDI-E at 75% of total project costs, which makes the system less expensive to implement than conventional subsurface drip irrigation. This translates to big savings for dairy farmers who need to find ways to grow feed crops for their cows and manage their manure nutrients. NRCS support is critical to industry uptake, and we’re grateful to NRCS and the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the support.

Our biggest job now is to get the word out! 6 California dairies have SDI-E systems in the works, and the scaling potential doesn’t stop at state lines. Netafim’s hard at work adapting the system for ag producers across the nation, and we’ll be at the California Dairy Summit at the end of March to talk to even more folks about SDI-E and its potential.


The dream team! Sustainable Conservation’s Ladi Asgill, John Cardoza, Ryan Flaherty, Ashley Boren and Netafim’s Domonic Rossini (center left) at the show post-seminar.

More thank-yous are in order! Thanks to our three pilot dairies for taking the plunge with us. It takes time, ingenuity and capital to improve the way we farm for natural resources stewardship, and without the innovators and risk-takers, real change wouldn’t be possible. Thanks to our project partners for helping us gather, analyze and synthesize data, and keep the project running through its critical years of testing. And, thanks to our amazing staff for their time, dedication and perseverance in doing what we do best: forging lasting solutions to help California build a secure, plentiful water future.

You can learn more about SDI-E here and here, and make sure to follow us on social media for updates as we chart California’s clean water future!

This material is based upon work supported by the Natural Resources Conservation Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, under number 69-3A75-17-53. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.