- Author: Megan G Osbourn
In the latest Research Spotlight, Glenn Nader, Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, describes the project currently underway at SFREC to test the efficacy of utilizing rice strawlage as a supplement for beef cattle. In past studies, rice strawlage has greatly increased the laboratory nutritional quality of rice straw. The strawlage process, could greatly impact both California livestock and rice operations. It also could have potential worldwide impacts, as rice straw is one of the world's largest cereal residues produced. The current use of rice straw in the dry form has very limited applications in animal feeding systems.
For more information on rice strawlage research, click here.
- Contributor: Maddison Easley
- Contributor: Nikolai Schweitzer
- Contributor: Erica Spotswood
While data is still being collected and analyzed, Spotswood shared some observations from the research conducted thus far. “We do not yet know the effects of grazing, but results from our first year of data indicate that medusahead does well in places with higher soil moisture, and with more grass cover. We also know from some experiments that cows can definitely move seeds around. The seeds attach to their fur, but don't stay on very long, and they probably drop most of them within the first 20 feet of picking them up,” said Spotswood.
Check out the video for details!
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- Contributor: Ben Granholm
Initiated by Jerry Tecklin and Dr. Steve Beissinger in 2002, the Black Rail Project monitors the population dynamics and movements of two very secretive wetland birds, the Black Rail and the Virginia Rail. Over the past decade, researchers have examined a wide range of questions regarding these difficult-to-study birds including genetics, dispersal of young, West Nile Virus, territoriality, wetland type and vegetation preferences, and diet. Now in its thirteenth year, Nathan Van Schmidt is researching how the rails cope with drought, seasonal hydrology regimes, and the "rescue effect."
Check out the video for details!
- Contributor: Elise Gornish
The winter annual grass Taeniatherum caput-medusae (L.) Nevski, commonly known as medusahead, is one of the most dominant invasive range species in the West. Despite a broad understanding of medusahead impacts we have limited understanding of how environmental conditions and management strategies influence medusahead population dynamics. This insight is key if we are to ultimately forecast changes in medusahead abundance and spread under various conditions. Using periodic matrix models, we are investigating how density and habitat type (grassland vs. oak woodland) and defoliation influence population dynamics. First year results show strong density dependence ranging from positive to negative depending on time of year with oak woodland habitat suppressing medusahead population growth much more than open grassland.
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- Author: Maddison Easley
Producers from the Food and Farm Show filmed and interviewed multiple speakers at the Future of Farming and Ranching Forum at the Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center on February 22nd. The Food and Farm Show highlights local agricultural events, news, and issues. They are part of Touchdown Productions, which films other regional activities like the “Game of the Week” on the local news channels.
Three episodes were released featuring the Future of Farming Ranching event at SFREC. Important speakers interviewed include Jamie Johansson, farmer and 2nd Vice President of the California Farm Bureau; Susan Hoek, 5th generation rancher in Penn Valley; and Roger Ingram, UCCE Farm Advisor for Placer and Nevada Counties.
These 30-minute videos give the viewer a taste of what the event covered. Click on the following links to watch:
Episode 1 – featuring the keynote speaker Jamie Johansson and the introduction
Episode 2 – interviews with Jamie Johansson and Roger Ingram
Episode 3 – featuring Sue Hoek speaking from experience about resource planning and preparing for the future
With media attention like this, SFREC is becoming more visible throughout the region. Collectively, the educational events occurring at all of the Research and Extension Centers help enforce the tangible impacts of UCANR within communities statewide.