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025 CE Specialist in Irrigation Systems Engineering

Submitter: James MacDonald (Associate Dean )
Submit Date: 12-Nov-10
Proposal: CE Specialist in Irrigation Systems Engineering (Specialist )


Associated Documents


This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.



Specialist and AES faculty retirements have nearly eliminated what only a few years ago was a unique (in the western US) high quality program. Only one specialist remains out of 4 a few years ago. Many new technologies have become available in recent years and the prospect is that this will continue. Also the water supply is under major stress due to competition for water and climate change. Rebuilding CE strength and re-establishing the undergrad teaching program in UC should be a high priority and will be critical if UC is to maintain a world class sustainable agriculture program.
Posted Jul 20, 2012 10:55 AM by Stu Pettygrove
For avocado growers in Southern California water has become 70-80% of production costs and is now the most important issue affecting the sustainability of avocado groves. Highly efficient irrigation systems are urgently needed that allow irrigation on hillsides and other difficult terrain. Extension activities on irrigation systems are also essential to ensure that growers can maximise their use of increasingly scarce and expensive water. A specialist in irrigation systems is strongly supported by the California Avocado Commission.
Posted Aug 1, 2012 2:26 PM by Jonathan Dixon, Research Program Director, California Avocado Commission
The California Specialty Crops Council (CSCC) is a grower supported 501(c)5 non-profit organization and considered a trusted source of field based information spanning horticultural crop production, pest management and stewardship activities in fruit, root, vegetable, vine, nut and berry crops (fresh, dried, and processed); also included are beekeepers and pest control advisors. CSCC growers generate over $5 Billion annually on approximately 600,000 acres of California farmland.

Water quality management and irrigation systems are critically important to the long term viability of California agriculture. With increased regulatory restrictions on chemical use, nutrient management, and general environmental concerns about farming, it is extremely important that this position be funded.

Posted Aug 5, 2012 4:43 PM by Lori Berger
Given the need for new technologies to address both water quality issues and water scarcity issues currently confronting growers, positions like this are vital to the continued success of California agriculture. The CA Leafy Greens Research Board strongly urges ANR to fund this position.
Posted Aug 6, 2012 3:25 PM by Mary Zischke
Further improving irrigation efficiencies is key to ensuring the diversity of California agriculture and to help tackle the water availability and water quality issues California growers face. This position fits into a key priority skill set need identified by a review of research capacity needs conducted by the California Tree Nut Research and Extension Planning Group (almonds, pistachios & walnuts). Both the almond and pistachio industries have already been supporting the work of listed collaborators to try to identify technologies that could be used to improve irrigation. The proposed position would help advance those concepts into practical and useable systems and continue providing critically needed expertise for California growers.

Two considerations we would like to suggest for this position. One is to more specifically mention integrating irrigation technology improvements with other sensor/physical/computer technologies to provide an integrated approach to irrigation and nutrient management; this is especially critical with the increased focus on nitrates and salts in ground water. The second consideration is geographical. Due to retirements, the San Joaquin Valley is already and will be lacking irrigation expertise. In the California Tree Nut review we noted the need for such a skill set to be located at Kearney Ag Center. At Kearney, in addition to the Davis connection, the person would also be able to collaborate with USDA-ARS and CSU-Fresno, that both have relevant skill sets. The Fresno area is also where major irrigation technology companies are situated for additional collaboration. And the location serves the needs of a wide range of key California crops.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 9:36 AM by Gabriele Ludwig
Improvements in irrigation technology are critical to solving water quality/quantity problems affecting agricultural sustainability in the southern San Joaquin Valley. The need for this position is not limited to the SJV as evidenced by comments made by others above. However, Davis is not central to the locations that have been and are being affected most severely by the loss of positions. While the position should be considered a high priority for filling, locating the position at Kearney Ag Center should be considered. There is need, facilities and cooperators at Fresno State, USDA-ARS Parlier and in private enterprise, as well as a more central location for commodities further south. If not located at Kearney, responsibilities for SJV research should be part of any position description.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 2:51 PM by Bob Klein, California Pistachio Research Board
Growers are under increasing pressure to use fewer inputs, including water and nutrients, while maintaining high yields and low per unit costs. New technologies in irrigation management are sorely needed. The Grower-Shipper Association of Central California, representing some 300 growers on the Central Coast, urges U.C. to fill this position.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 3:00 PM by James W. Bogart
This position was considered to be one of 5 (of the 107) CE Specialist and Advisor positions to be of very high priority for agronomic crops in the state. This expertise cuts across many crops and disciplines. Technological change is quite important to the issues of water quality and water use efficiency and we need this type of expertise to move in that direction.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 7:37 PM by Dan Putnam, UC Davis

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