- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The state's top agricultural scientists will gather in downtown Fresno Feb. 6-7 for the American Society of Agronomy, California Chapter, 2018 California Plant and Soil Conference.
The conference comes at a key time for the California farmers and allied industries.
“There has been a flurry of new state regulation in recent years that the industry must contend with, increasing the needs for grower certification and training,” said Dan Munk, irrigation and soils advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County. “Never before has grower education and training been more critical for irrigated agriculture in the state.”
The conference will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel & Fresno Convention Center, 2233 Ventura St.
At 9:30 a.m. Feb. 6, California Secretary of Agriculture Karen Ross opens the event by providing her thoughts on how California agriculture can move forward given recent droughts, floods and increased environmental restrictions as well as increased grower reporting, certification and compliance requirements.
Following Ross's remarks, three speakers will discuss timely topics at the intersection of water and nutrient management. The speakers are:
Patrick Brown, UC Davis
Topic: Barriers to the adoption of recommended nutrient and water management practices
Sarah Beganska, UC Santa Cruz
Topic: Addressing groundwater recharge with an eye to water quality
Tim Hartz, UC Davis
Topic: Irrigation effects on nitrogen efficiency
The remainder of the two-day conference contains 12 sessions, presented by scientists from the University of California, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno State, Oregon State, NASA, USDA and industry. Session presentations are slated to cover nutrient management, emerging technologies for improved crop management, pest management, site-specific management, soil biology and soil health, sustainable use of water, applied crop management and managing farm energy.
More information and the complete agenda are available on the conference website, http://calasa.ucdavis.edu/
- Author: Sean Nealon, (951) 827-1287, email@example.com
Samantha Ying, an assistant professor of environmental sciences, will receive a $1.69 million grant from the University of California Office of the President that will allow her and her team to study the role of soil as it relates to how crops use water and respond to drought.
The grant is one of four awards totaling more than $4.8 million from University of California President Janet Napolitano's President's Research Catalyst Awards. The four winning projects were chosen from a pool of more than 180 proposals.
Ying will collaborate with researchers at UC Berkeley, UC Davis,UC Merced, Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and UC ANR research and extension centers.
California agriculture faces enormous challenges as climate changes and access to water is reduced and less predictable. California's recent drought is expected to cost the state over $2.7 billion with a loss of greater than 17,100 jobs in 2015 alone.
Soil, particularly soil carbon and its microbiome, plays a critical role in crop water use efficiency and crop response to drought. Physical, chemical and biological interactions in soil at the micrometer scale form soil aggregates that are critical in storing carbon and contain the small pores needed to retain moisture.
The grant will allow for the establishment of the University of California Consortium for Drought and Carbon Management (UC DroCaM), which will design management strategies based on understanding soil carbon, the soil microbiome and their impact on water dynamics in soil.
The team of researchers will conduct field and lab research on microbiological, biophysical, and geochemical mechanisms controlling soil aggregate formation and stability under different row crops (tomatoes, alfalfa, wheat), farming practices (carbon inputs and rotations) and irrigation methods (furrow and flood, microirrigation).
The field research will be conducted at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, West Side Research and Extension Center and Desert Research and Extension Center and the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility near UC Davis.
Ying's collaborators are: Kate Scow and Sanjai Parihk (UC Davis); Eoin Brodie and Margaret Torn (UC Berkeley); Asmeret Berhe and Teamrat Ghezzehei (UC Merced); and Peter Nico and William Riley (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory).
Napolitano launched the President's Research Catalyst Awards in December 2014. The program channels $10 million over three years to fund research in areas of strategic importance, such as sustainability and climate, equity and social justice, health care and basic discovery.
To qualify, projects must be multi-campus, multi-disciplinary efforts that offer research, teaching and learning opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. This year, applicants were also asked to incorporate public engagement and faculty mentorship components into the projects.
To view press release visit: http://ucrtoday.ucr.edu/33686