- Author: Jeffery A. Dahlberg
Two of Kearney's researchers, Jeff Dahlberg and Khaled Bali joined Dan Putnam of UC Davis in a trip to Pakistan to talk with Pakistani researchers, academics, and farmers about forage production. Pakistan has reached out to their expertise to help understand improved forage practices that will help Pakistan meet its dairy and meat needs in the future. The three UC researchers gave presentations in Faisalabad and Multan at the Agricultural Universities. Dr. Putnam gave presentations on alfalfa, Dr. Dahlberg on sorghum as a forage, and Dr. Bali on irrigation and evapotranspiration. Their Pakistani hosts were very gracious and appreciative of their efforts. While there, they also participated in a fabulous tradition at the Ag Universities, planting of a tree in each of their names. The Kearney and Davis researchers look forward to strengthening these new relationships between Pakistani scientists and those of UC and ANR.
- Author: Khaled M Bali
Khaled Bali, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in irrigation water management is now at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. Bali has been with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources since 1992 and served in different capacities as UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Imperial County, irrigation and water management (1992-2016), UCCE county director in Imperial County (2009-2016) and two years as interim director of the UC Desert Research and Extension Center in Holtville (2012-2013 and 2014-2015). He received his doctoral degree in soil physics from UC Davis (1992), master's degree in irrigation and drainage from UC Davis (1987), and bachelor's degree in soils and irrigation from the University of Jordan (1984). He is responsible for designing, implementing, and conducting educational and applied research programs in irrigation, drainage, water management, water quality, soil salinity, waste management, reuse of wastewater for irrigation and nonpoint source pollution control practices. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Jordan (2006-07) and conducted research on reuse of wastewater for irrigation and constructed wetlands to treat wastewater.
- Author: Roberta Barton
Third grade teachers from around California toured UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) Center July 21 during a week of Next Generation Science Standards training in nearby Reedley sponsored by the K-12 Academy and WestEd.
Led by Chuck Boldwyn, KARE superintendent of agriculture, tour stops highlighted the California Irrigation Management Information System (CIMIS) weather station, sorghum deficit irrigation trials, and how a soil weighing lysimeter measures tree and vine crops water use.
Boldwyn encouraged teachers to subscribe to California Agriculture journal. Readers in the United States can subscribe for free. Published by the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), the quarterly peer-reviewed journal reports on research, reviews and news of California's agricultural, natural and human resources. Content can be easily understood by non-specialist readers. International subscription rates are $24 a year, or $20 a year for two years or more.
Khaled Bali, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in statewide irrigation water management at KARE, explained at the weather station how the data is used for irrigation management decisions. CIMIS was developed in 1982 by the California Department of Water Resources and UC Davis. One of the first CIMIS weather stations to be put into use is still located at the UC ANR West Side Research and Extension Center in Five Points.
At a stop in a peach orchard, teachers were surprised to learn of the large weighing lysimeter just below their feet. Basically, a lysimeter is a large "flower pot" measuring 6.5 feet wide by 13 feet long by 6.5 feet deep that rests on a sensitive balance-beam weighing scale in an underground chamber. Why would you want to measure soil weight? Short-term soil weight loss is almost entirely due to water evaporation through leaves or from the soil surface. When a specific threshold is exceeded, the crop is automatically irrigated. The orchard lysimeter has also been used to study the effects of water stress on tree water use. Two lysimeters were constructed at KARE in 1986. The second lysimeter is located in a vineyard.
Comments from teachers recognized the value of the agricultural science research underway at KARE.
"I was not aware of all the research that is going on in ag."
"A great tour. I hope the Reedley teachers take advantage of having the Kearney Center so close to them."
"It was amazing to see the concepts we have been learning put to work."
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Larry Schwankl, UC Cooperative Extension irrigation specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis, based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, retired at the end of June after 28 years of service to UC Cooperative Extension.
Schwankl's research emphasis was in drip, sprinkler, and flood irrigation. He worked on irrigation system maintenance and chemigation, irrigation scheduling using soil moisture monitoring and evapotranspiration techniques.
For information about academic positions now under recruitment, see the employment opportunities page of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources website, http://ucanr.edu/Jobs/Jobs_990/.
For 100 years, the University of California Cooperative Extension researchers and educators have been drawing on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. UC Cooperative Extension is part of the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Learn more at ucanr.edu.