- Author: Janet M. Zalom
The UC Fruit & Nut Research & Information Center (FNRIC) website, http://fruitsandnuts.ucdavis.edu, has been around for about twenty years and in that time, gone through several formatting updates and expansions. The website provides information about our short courses, access to the weather models, pages of content relating to over 30 crops, and links to farm advisor newsletters and other sources. It is a challenge to organize this diversity of information and provide intuitive pathways for our visitors to navigate the website.
Tucked under the link titled Online Research Databases is a history, spanning several decades, of the research conducted by UC faculty, Specialists and Farm Advisors for the following specific crops: walnut, stone fruit, dried plum. This history is in the form of annual research reports provided by investigators to the respective commodity boards. The detail goes deep and browsing is not for the faint-hearted. However, each database is a testament to the dedication, expertise and cooperative efforts of UC researchers and, we hope, a primary source for current and future research teams and crop managers.
Walnut was our initial database, and its creation was a cooperative effort among FNRIC staff, the California Walnut Board, UC ANR Communications, and programmer Jerry Schmierer, Colusa County Farm Advisor (now Emeritus). Subsequent databases (dried plum and stone fruit) were created using the UC ANR Repository. The advantage of using this system is that the UC ANR technical staff maintains and updates the database program and the server, assuring compatibility with future browser configurations and ADA compliance. As we look decades into the future, this division-level support will ensure that the databases remain accessible.
We believe that the UC ANR Repository database has the long-term advantage over any other database application. For this reason, we ‘copied' the walnut database into the Repository in 2014. Before doing so, we added headers, footers and ocr-recognition to each file.
So how big are these databases? Don't make me count, but walnut is about 1400 files, dating from 1973; dried plum is about 900, dating from 1961; and stone fruit is 365 files, dating from 1980- 2011. Some of the early years are incomplete. It would make the day here at the FNRIC if someone contacted us with a trove of these older, missing reports!
We appreciate the continuing support of the California Walnut Board and California Dried Plum Board in supporting us to maintain and update these databases. To take a look, go to: http://fruitsandnuts.ucdavis.edu/Research_Databases/