Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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University of California ANR wildfire experts

Dry, hot summer days mean fire weather in California.
UC ANR wildfire experts are stationed around the state and can answer questions on a diversity of issues related to the prevention, impacts, aftermath, and generally, the science of wildfire in California.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is a division of the University with scientists based on three UC campuses and in UC Cooperative Extension offices serving all California counties. UC ANR conducts research and shares research-based information with the public about wildfire, agricultural production, environmental stewardship, water policy, youth development and nutrition. 

Travis Bean
UC ANR Cooperative Extension weed specialist at UC Riverside
Management of invasive plants that introduce or alter fire regimes
(951) 827-5130
travis.bean@ucr.edu

Van Butsic
UC ANR Cooperative Extension specialist at UC Berkeley
Land change science including fire and land use planning
(510) 666-5400
vanbutsic@berkeley.edu

Mike De Lasaux
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Plumas and Sierra counties
Wildfire fuel reduction on small forest parcels, forestry and watershed management
(530) 283-6125
mjdelasaux@ucanr.edu

Sabrina Drill
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor for Los Angeles and Ventura counties
Plant arrangement, building design and maintenance to reduce fire risk, invasive weeds and pests contributing to fire risk
(626) 586-1975
sldrill@ucanr.edu

Maggi Kelly
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resource monitoring specialist
Geographic information science, mapping forests
(510) 642-7272
maggi@berkeley.edu

Susan Kocher
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor in the Central Sierra
Fire adapted communities, fire hazard mitigation in forests, post fire restoration
“Living with Fire in the Tahoe Basin” website, http://www.livingwithfire.info/tahoe/
(530) 542-2571
sdkocher@ucanr.edu 

Chris McDonald
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor
Desert species, invasive plants and fire
(909) 387-2242
cjmcdonald@ucanr.edu

Richard Minnich
Professor of earth sciences, UC ANR Agricultural Experiment Station, UC Riverside
Fire ecology of Southern California, Baja California, and temperate Mexico; exotic plant invasions, climate change.
(951) 827-5515
minnich@ucr.edu

Max Moritz
UC ANR Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He is located in Santa Barbara County.
Wildland fire, fire modeling, fire effects, shrubland ecosystems and spatial patterns of fire disturbance, climate change adaptation
mmoritz@berkeley.edu

Malcolm North
Associate professor of Forest Ecology, UC ANR ecologist
Forest recovery
(530) 754-7398
mpnorth@ucdavis.edu

Lenya Quinn-Davidson
UC Cooperative Extension Area fire advisor - Northern California
Fire ecology and management
(707) 445-7351
lquinndavidson@ucanr.edu

Dave Rizzo
Plant pathology professor, UC ANR pathologist
Fire and infectious disease
(530) 752-0300
dmrizzo@ucdavis.edu

Kimberly Rodrigues
UC ANR Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor 
Public participation in resource management
(530) 750-1283
karodrigues@ucanr.edu

Mark Schwartz
Environmental science professor at UC Davis and UC ANR ecologist
Forest plot mapping
(530) 752-0671
mwschwartz@ucdavis.edu

Tom Scott
UC ANR Cooperative Extension area natural resources wildlife specialist for Southern California
Conservation of wildlife, wildlife management at the urban-wildland interface, and response of plants and animal species to fire
(951) 827-5115
thomas.scott@ucr.edu

Scott Stephens
Professor of fire science and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach at UC Berkeley, UC ANR fire scientist
Fire ecology, fire behavior, wildfire, fuels treatments, forest mortality, fire policy
(510) 642-7304
sstephens@berkeley.edu

Bill Stewart
UC ANR Cooperative Extension forestry specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley and co-director Center for Fire Research and Outreach
Economics of fire prevention and fire suppression programs
(510) 643-3130
billstewart@berkeley.edu

Yana Valachovic 
UC ANR Cooperative Extension forest advisor in Humboldt and Del Norte counties and member of the Northern California Fire Science Consortium hub
Home and landscape design considerations for wildfire, prescribed fire, forest health and prescribed fire, wildfire and fuels in redwood, Douglas-fir and tanoak forests, fire education
(707) 445-7351
yvala@ucanr.edu

For more information, contact: Jeannette Warnert, (559) 240-9850, jewarnert@ucanr.edu and Pam Kan-Rice, (510) 206-3476, pam.kanrice@ucanr.edu

Posted on Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 3:45 PM
Tags: wildfire (12)

Apps for Ag Hackathon invites tech ideas to improve the food system

 

Last year's winners Giving Garden at work. Food and agriculture innovators are invited to compete for $10,000 and other prizes at the 2017 Apps for Ag Hackathon July 28-30 at The Urban Hive in Sacramento.

Winners receive $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place and $2,500 for third place 

Food and agriculture innovators, farmers and entrepreneurs are invited to compete for $10,000 and other prizes at the 2017 Apps for Ag Hackathon July 28-30. Contestants will gather at The Urban Hive in Sacramento to create new ways to apply technology to improve the food system.

At the hackathon, anyone with an idea for technology that would simplify a task for farmers or consumers can team up with people who can turn the idea into something functional. It can be a mobile app, device or a machine.

“Apps for Ag is not just about technology and agriculture, it's about bringing together uncommon collaborators from all kinds of backgrounds and organizations to solve problems and create innovation that transform our food supply and the system behind it,” said Gabriel Youtsey, chief information officer for University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, which is hosting the hackathon.

“We're incredibly excited to be working with The Urban Hive to host the event and to collaborate with those in the burgeoning tech and innovation scene in the Sacramento area,” said Youtsey. “Food and agriculture are natural focus areas for innovators and entrepreneurs in our region and we hope to help foster more of that growth.”

Gabriel Youtsey describes how participants will present ideas, form teams, build their software or machines, then pitch their inventions to judges.

To inspire the innovators as they develop their food and agriculture ideas and technology, a few speakers will kick off the hackathon with their perspectives.

Last year's Apps for Ag winner Deema Tamimi, CEO and founder of Giving Garden, will talk about challenges facing the food system. A veteran farmer will discuss the hurdles farmers face today and the potential for technology to meet their needs. Joyce Hunter, former deputy CIO at the USDA will give a brief talk about the power of open data and how it can be used to solve some of our greatest agricultural and food challenges.

Following opening remarks, participants will present their ideas, form teams and begin to build their software applications and pitch decks over the next two days. Expert mentors will assist the teams and food will be provided throughout the event. On Sunday, July 30, at 4 p.m. the teams will present their apps to a panel of judges at the California State Fair. Members of the public are welcome to attend.

Judges include Joshua Tuscher of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs; Robert Trice, investor and founder of The Mixing Bowl Hub; Jenna Rodriguez Product Manager at Ceres Imaging, Ann Dunkin, CIO of County of Santa Clara, California; Nicole Rogers, director of marketing and communications for Nugget Market; and Jessica Smith, vice president of Strategic Partnerships at AngelHack.

The three top teams will be awarded cash prizes and resources to help turn their technology into a business. The winning team will receive $10,000, second place gets $5,000 and third place gets $2,500.

The Apps for Ag Hackathon will be held at The Urban Hive in Sacramento. Register for free at http://www.apps-for-ag.com.

To learn more about the hackathon, visit http://apps-for-ag.com/hackathon or email questions to info@apps-for-ag.com.

Apps for Ag hackathon finalists in 2016 after judging. The three top teams will be awarded cash prizes and resources to help turn their technology into a business..

Apps for Ag is a food and agriculture innovation event series hosted by University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) and sponsored by IO Labs, The Urban Hive, California Community Colleges and the California State Fair.

Support for the hackathon is also provided by Sacramento and Davis community businesses and organizations: Valley Vision, The Mixing Bowl, Farmer Veteran Coalition, AngelHack, Nutiva, Google Cloud Platform, Royse Law Firm, Hot Italian, GTS Kombucha, Startup Sac, AgStart, StartupGrind Sacramento, Future Food, Internet Society San Francisco Bay Chapter, Sacramento Food Co-op, Balsamiq and YouNoodle.

The Apps for Ag series will soon become a part of The Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship (The VINE), UC ANR's statewide initiative and network for food and agriculture innovators, researchers, investors and agencies slated to launch in late 2017.

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 3:04 PM

UC helps cattle ranchers estimate costs and returns of beef production

A red angus cow grazes in a pasture with her calf.
The cattle industry in California has undergone dramatic changes over the last few decades. International competition and opportunities, new regulatory requirements, fluctuating feed costs, changing consumer demand, economies of scale and competing land uses all affect the bottomline in cattle ranching. Ranchers have experienced increasing production costs while revenue has not kept pace with costs.

To help ranchers make business decisions, new cost studies for beef cattle production have been released by UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension.

Sample costs and returns for beef cattle production in the northern Sacramento Valley are presented in these studies. The studies are titled “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Cow–Calf Production,” “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Yearling/Stocker Production” and “Sample Costs for Beef Cattle, Finished on Grass.”

"These studies are useful to new and experienced ranchers, lenders and other agribusiness companies, as well as government officials, researcher and students who want to know basics of ranch practices and the costs and returns that can be expected for a well-managed operation,” said Daniel Sumner, director of the UC Agricultural Issues Center. “The studies show ranges of net returns under alternative price scenarios to help indicate sensitivity of returns to cattle market conditions."

The analyses are based on a hypothetical well-managed ranching operation using practices common to the northern Sacramento Valley. The three studies are based on a herd of 300 cows and bred heifers, 60 yearling heifers and 15 bulls. An 11 percent cull rate is applied to the herd. An 89 percent calf crop with three percent mortality before weaning is assumed.

All rangeland and pasture is rented per animal unit month. Ranging analysis tables show net revenue over a range of prices. The costs, materials and operations shown in this study will not apply to all ranches. Ranchers, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors, and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.

Free copies of these studies and other sample cost of production studies for additional commodities are also available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost studies program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension, both of which are part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For more information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Donald Stewart at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or destewart@ucdavis.edu; Larry Forero, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for  Shasta and Trinity counties, at lcforero@ucanr.edu, or Jeff Stackhouse, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Humboldt and Del Norte counties, at jwstackhouse@ucanr.edu.

NOTE: Corrections were made on July 19, 2017, to “2017 Beef Cattle Yearling/Stocker Production in the Sacramento Valley” and “2017 Beef Cattle Finished on Grass in the Sacramento Valley” to show interest calculated for 6 months as stated in the narratives of both studies, instead of 12 months.

 

 

 

 

Posted on Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 10:43 AM

UC Vice President Glenda Humiston to testify before House Ag Committee June 22

UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston will testify before the House Committee on Agriculture June 22 about the value of university agricultural research.
Glenda Humiston, University of California vice president for agriculture and natural resources, will speak before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture about the importance of university agricultural research and innovation at a June 22 hearing scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. EDT (7 a.m. Pacific Time).

Humiston is one of six higher education witnesses who will speak at the hearing, which is being held as Congress considers provisions of the 2018 Farm Bill. 

The hearing takes place at the Longworth House office Building in Washington, D.C., and will be streamed live and recorded on YouTube.

In announcing the hearing, the chair of the House Committee on Agriculture, Michael Conaway of Texas, said ag research has been essential to U.S. gains in productivity over the past century.

"With the global population expected to reach 9.7 billion by 2050, U.S. production agriculture will continue to be asked to produce more with fewer resources and the best way to do that will be through strategic investments in agricultural research," Conaway said. "I look forward to hearing from university leaders about the opportunities and challenges they face in ensuring American agriculture remains a world leader in cutting-edge technology and research.”

Following are highlights from Humiston's prepared remarks:

  • A recent study found the return on investment for federal funding of the public land-grant system averages 21:1, corresponding to annual rates of return between 9 percent and 10 percent.

  • With the University of California (UC) Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) serving as a vital partner, California's $47 billion agricultural sector continues to make California the nation's top agricultural state.
  • In the past fiscal year, UC ANR has served more than 1.4 million adults and youth directly, published about 1,800 peer-reviewed journal articles and filed more than 20 patents.
  • Federal and state funds are leveraged to secure federal competitive grants, grants from private industry, and other gifts and awards for research at the nation's land-grant universities.

  • Although progress is being made to incrementally increase appropriations to the USDA Agriculture and Food Research Initiative, it remains funded at considerably less than the $700 million authorized in the previous two Farm Bills.

Humiston will explain that universities are uniquely set up to allow collaboration among experts in different subjects to solve complex problems and she will give a few examples of multidisciplinary projects, including development of a product to improve the shelf-life of fresh produce and reduce food waste: 

“James Rogers studied flexible solar cells at UC Santa Barbara and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. A radio program on world hunger gave the materials scientist his “aha!” moment in 2012. His work on thin-film polymers from solar cells, coupled with information from UC Cooperative Extension, led to an invisible, edible and tasteless barrier that can protect food crops and dramatically improve longevity of produce freshness – using waste plant parts often left on the farm. Apeel Sciences now supports 71 employees and hits shelves this summer, when some of the world's largest avocado producers start using it.”

For a transcript of Humiston's full prepared remarks, see http://ucanr.edu/files/264186.pdf.

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources researchers and educators draw on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Posted on Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 1:31 PM
Tags: Farm Bill (3), Glenda Humiston (9)

Broccoli and lettuce cost studies released by Agricultural Issues Center

Iceberg lettuce in the produce section of a market.

New studies with sample costs to produce and harvest iceberg lettuce and broccoli for fresh market in Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties have been released by UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension. Vegetable growers may find these useful for estimating their own production costs and potential returns on investment.

“These studies have an expanded section on labor, which includes information on California's new minimum wage and overtime laws,” said Laura Tourte, UC Cooperative Extension farm management advisor in Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties, who co-authored the study.

Broccoli plant in the field.
The analysis is based on a hypothetical well-managed farming operation using practices common to the Central Coast Region. The costs, materials and practices shown in this study will not apply to all farms. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.

Both studies assumes a farm operation of 1,500 non-contiguous acres of rented land. The hypothetical iceberg-lettuce farm has 250 acres planted to iceberg lettuce. The lettuce is hand-harvested into 42-pound cartons containing 24 film-wrapped heads. The hypothetical broccoli farm has 500 acres planted to broccoli. The broccoli is hand-harvested into 21-pound bunch cartons.  On each farm, the remaining acreage is assumed to be planted to other cool season vegetable crops.

The authors describe the assumptions used to identify current costs for production material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead. Ranging analysis tables show net profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

Free copies of “Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Iceberg Lettuce in the Central Coast - 2017” and “Sample Costs to Produce and Harvest Broccoli in the Central Coast - 2017” and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.

The cost and returns studies program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension, both of which are part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact Jeremy Murdock of the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651, Richard Smith UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Monterey County, at (831) 759-7357 or Tourte at (831) 763-8005.

Posted on Monday, June 5, 2017 at 5:14 PM

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