As we prepare for the 2024 Salinas Biological Summit in June, Jacqui and I were delighted to be back in California two weeks ago.

During this visit, we joined 100 growers at ‘The Nexus of Soil Health and AgTech: Field Day at Braga Fresh’ in Soledad. A Western Grower Science event, the day featured presentations and in-field demonstrations of some of the latest agtech solutions being deployed by growers in the Salinas Valley.

The venue was appropriate. Braga Fresh is a family-owned property, growing fresh conventional and organic product across 20,000 acres in several different locations. The Field Day also provided me with a unique opportunity to meet and engage with a number of growers 1-2-1. The problems and challenges they face are familiar; labor, water, regulation and the ever-increasing cost of inputs.

One of the key themes that emerged from yesterday’s Field Day was the increasing interest in regenerative agriculture. A number of speakers provided science-based evidence which demonstrated its benefits for both soil and plant health. This in turn was supported by on-farm data that provided the hard numbers on ROI returns – typically to be earned 2-3 years after a system-based regen strategy had been implemented.

Many of the growers attending the Field Day are attending the Salinas Biological Summit in June. Increasing regulation (another key theme yesterday) around reducing synthetic chemical use means that growers are having to look at alternative inputs to improve plant health (& yield) as well as manage pest and disease damage to crops. The Salinas Summit ProgramSpeakers and launch of the Platform10 Global Partner Network and its international component in June are well-timed to meet this need.