Cooperative Extension, Sutter-Yuba Counties
University of California
Cooperative Extension, Sutter-Yuba Counties

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Wood Chipping of Prunings to Reduce Air Pollution and Build Soil Organic Matter
Since the passing of The Federal Clean Air Act amendments of 1990, the San Joaquin Valley (SJV) has not met the national ambient air quality standards for particulate matter of 10 microns or less (PM-10). In response, the SJV Unified Air Pollution Control District restricts the burning of agricultural wastes, and further restrictions are likely. Wood chipping is an alternative to burning that would not contribute to air pollution and would add valuable organic matter to soils. If wood chips could be shown to not interfere with harvest or take nutrients needed by trees, then growers would be more likely to chip their prunings.

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