Food & Agriculture

Sensing device can detect huanglongbing early

January 31, 2019

(Originally published in Ag Alert and courtesy of the California Farm Bureau Federation)

A researcher from the University of California, Davis, is seeking to commercialize equipment that could be used as an early warning device to detect a deadly disease in citrus long before trees show signs of infection.

UC Davis Begins Construction on Advanced Greenhouses

January 15, 2019

The new year will bring next-level greenhouses to the University of California, Davis, where faculty and students are conducting innovative research to keep plants plentiful, nutritious and resilient. 

What Do I Need To Know About Food Recalls?

January 11, 2019

(Originally published in the fall/winter 2018-19 issue of UC Davis Magazine)

Romaine lettuce and leafy greens contaminated with E. coli. Eggs, raw chicken or turkey exposed to salmonella. Given frequent reports of food recalls, consumers may believe contaminations are on the rise in the United States.

Using the sun and agricultural residue to control pests

December 18, 2018
Biosolarization shows promise for conventional and organic farmers

Farmers spend a lot of time and money controlling weeds and other pests, and often have to turn to chemical fumigants to keep the most destructive pests at bay. Farmers also wrestle with what to do with low-value byproducts of crop production, such as skin, seeds and hulls from fruit, vegetable and nut processing.

What if those agricultural waste streams could generate alternatives to chemical fumigants and make farming more productive, profitable and environmentally friendly?

Rice Plants That Reproduce as Clones From Seed

December 12, 2018
Ability to Grow Hybrid Varieties a Potential Breakthrough for Global Agriculture

Plant biologists at the University of California, Davis, have discovered a way to make crop plants replicate through seeds as clones. The discovery, long sought by plant breeders and geneticists, could make it easier to propagate high-yielding, disease-resistant or climate-tolerant crops and make them available to the world’s farmers. 

The researchers published their findings Dec. 12 in the journal Nature

Back-to-the-Future Plants Give Climate Change Insights

November 15, 2018
Outdoor Labs Give Realistic Sense of Plant Response to Future Climate Change

If you were to take a seed and zap it into the future to see how it will respond to climate change, how realistic might that prediction be? After all, seeds that actually grow in the future will have gone through generations of genetic changes and adaptations that these “time traveling” seeds don’t experience.

Cover Crop Your Garden

October 17, 2018

While clearing out your garden this fall, there’s no need for it to remain a blank, empty space until spring. If you have a year-round growing season, you can grow winter veggies and flowers, of course. But you can also add cover crops to your garden that improve the soil while you basically sit back and “watch the grass grow” –or the peas, clover and barley.

Ask the Tree

October 17, 2018
Study shows walnuts benefit from a little water stress

When it comes to watering walnuts, most California growers believe you need to start early to keep trees healthy and productive throughout the long, hot summer. But according to striking results from a long-term experiment in a walnut orchard in Red Bluff, California, growers can improve crop production if they hold off irrigation until later in the season and directly measure their trees’ water needs.

Nitrogen Efficiency

October 17, 2018
Coming together to protect the planet and feed the world

Art Bowman has been growing almonds in Modesto for more than 40 years. He stays up-to-date on the latest science and invests in technology that keeps his farming sustainable. He uses precision technology to apply nitrogen, for example, that essentially spoon-feeds water and nutrients to his trees.

“Our yields have increased quite a bit since we switched to precision application,” says Bowman, adjusting his hat against the noonday sun. “And that’s without adding any extra nitrogen. That’s huge.”