- Author: Brad Hooker
Water sloshes from a fill hole atop the steel tank and strikes the dirt road in puffs of dust. With weathered hands, short nails and a once black felt cowboy hat, Adam Cline motors the water truck through the anxious herd. Piled on the floor beside him are several 40 pound bags of soybean meal, a more affordable protein supplement that protects the herd from malnourishment. Cline is fortunate: his cautious management strategies over the last two years will likely carry this operation through yet another drought year, without having to sell off any cows.
“Every rancher is equipped for an average drought,” he tells me. “But a drought like this is really hard to manage for… Emotionally it's like a battle...
Bill Tietje is a UC Cooperative Extension area natural resources specialist in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He is based in San Luis Obispo.
UC Cooperative Extension's Master Gardeners have received many calls during the past few months concerning the poor condition of many California native oak trees, in both urban and rural landscapes. Many evergreen oaks, including coast live oaks, have brown leaves and thin foliage. Adding to the unattractiveness, a deciduous oak, the blue oak, dropped its leaves ahead of schedule. Although a tree may look unhealthy, it can recover.
Early leaf drop is a deciduous tree's adaptation for conserving water that it otherwise would...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The first agricultural operations to feel the impact of a drought are dryland ranchers, many of whom rely almost entirely on annual rainfall to grow food for their livestock. The UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources will hold a drought workshop from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 29 in Browns Valley to help these ranchers live on to fight another day, said Glenn Nader, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sutter-Yuba Counties.
"From previous droughts we've learned that feeding the whole herd through the drought may spell the end of business," Nader said. "We plan to provide information on management options and impacts of drought on dryland range and irrigated pasture, feeding...
- Author: Katherine E. Kerlin
Decades of extreme weather crippled, and ultimately decimated, first the political culture and later the human population of the ancient Maya, according to a study by an interdisciplinary team of researchers that includes two University of California, Davis, scientists.
Now, for the first time, researchers have combined a precise climatic record of the Maya environment with a precise record of Maya political history to provide a better understanding of the role weather had in the civilization’s downfall.
Their findings are published in the Nov. 9, 2012, issue of the...
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
As competition for water increases, the green, green grass of home has become a guilty pleasure. Over half of the water used by residents flows outside the house for gardens and landscape plants. To curb water use, an ordinance that took effect in 2010 mandates water conservation on urban landscapes. UC scientists are studying ways to make it easier to be green – conserving water but still enjoying green plants around the yard.
Turfgrass and landscape professionals will gather tomorrow, Sept. 13, at UC Riverside to learn about the latest innovations in turfgrass research and management. The 2012 Turfgrass and Landscape Research Field Day will start at 7 a.m.
One of the...