- Author: Kat Hicklin
The Desert Research & Extension Center is soliciting proposals for new research and extension projects for the period July 1, 2020, through June 30, 2021. The center provides research projects with skilled farming equipment operators, irrigators, laboratory research facilities, and technical and management support.
Among Desert REC's major contributions to desert agriculture are the development of several crop varieties including Calmar, Imperial and Calicel lettuce; Moapa, UC Cibola, CUF 101 and Sonora alfalfa; UC 157 asparagus; Imperial artichoke; and UC Signal barley. Many current irrigation practices, including sprinkler irrigation and the use of plastic tile for field drainage, resulted from research conducted at the Center. The Center has developed key requirements for the livestock feedlot industry, and, because of its winter climate, it is a major germplasm testing point for various agronomic and vegetable crops.
Crops of importance in the area and at the center are alfalfa, wheat, barley, cotton, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions and sugarbeets. In an area where annual rainfall is less than three inches, research stresses the development of optimal irrigation-fertilization strategies that take advantage of desert conditions. The Imperial Valley has an important cattle-feeding industry, and researchers use Desert REC facilities to study beef and sheep feeding practices under low-desert valley conditions, where summertime temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
Projects led by UC academics receive funding directly from UC ANR and Desert REC to reduce the actual cost of research and extension at the center. Proposals from non-UC organizations will be considered if resources (space and labor) are available, but the full cost rate is charged plus the non-university differential (NUD currently is set at 33.7%).
Proposals may be submitted into the REC Manage System via the Desert REC website (http://drec.ucanr.edu/Research/Submitting_a_Proposal/) beginning March 1, 2020, and are due no later than April 10, 2020.
For questions about the research proposal process or research opportunities at Desert REC, contact Jairo Diaz, Desert RED director, at firstname.lastname@example.org, or Gilberto Magallon, superintendent, at email@example.com.