Food & Agriculture

UC Davis Partners With DEA-Approved Company to Conduct Cannabis Research

August 13, 2019
Researchers Will Seek to Better Understand the Science of Cannabis

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have partnered with a federally compliant pharmaceutical company to analyze the chemical and biological profiles of cannabis for the benefit of law enforcement, health care providers and scientific professionals.  

Fertilizer Feast and Famine

August 05, 2019
Solving the Global Nitrogen Problem

Commercial organic and synthetic nitrogen fertilizer helps feed around half of the world’s population. While excessive fertilizer use poses environmental and public health risks, many developing nations lack access to it, leading to food insecurity, social unrest and economic hardship.

UC Davis and USAID Launch New Research Program to Study Rural Poverty Worldwide

July 31, 2019
Program Aims to Find Solutions to Root Causes of Poverty and Food Insecurity

The University of California, Davis, will lead a new global research program to build and test ways to overcome some of the biggest remaining challenges for lifting and keeping rural families out of poverty in developing countries. 

UC Davis Releases Five New Strawberry Varieties

July 08, 2019
Publicly available plants will help farmers manage diseases, production costs  

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 percent. 

Community through Sustainable Food

May 28, 2019

When friends and family dine at graduate student Lauren Howe’s home, they know they will enjoy something tasty, healthy and new. Howe may whip up carrot-top pesto, for example, or beet-greens sauté or some other dish from ingredients other people might throw away.

“I’m a huge proponent of ‘root-to-leaf’ cooking, where we look more creatively and sustainably at the foods right in front of us instead of tossing them,” said Howe, who is a master’s student in International Agriculture Development. “Root-to-leaf cooking nourishes us and helps reduce food waste.”

Maximizing Use of Water Stored in Soil Could Result in Savings for Farmers

May 14, 2019
Study Finds a Climate-Smart Strategy for California Agriculture

As California faces more frequent and severe droughts, agriculture, which relies on irrigation from surface water and groundwater, could become expensive and unsustainable. Researchers at the University of California, Davis, looked at using a “free” resource — rain water stored in the soil — and found that optimizing its use could go a long way to help meet demand for five California perennial crops. Their findings appear in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

California Farmers Have Raised Wages, But Still Unable to Find Enough Workers

May 02, 2019
Statewide Survey by Farm Bureau and UC Davis Finds Farmers Turning to Labor-Saving Crops

Despite raising wages and increasing benefits, California farmers are failing to find enough people to pick fruits and vegetables and harvest other crops, and they are offsetting this labor shortage by changing to less labor-intensive crops and adding automation. Moreover, farmers are calling on Congress to enact agricultural workforce reform that would allow immigrants to work as guest workers legally in order to help them grow food.

Farm Labor Supply from Mexico is Falling Fast

May 01, 2019

For decades, farmers in the United States have depended on people from foreign countries—mostly Mexico—to work in the fields. Only 2 percent of California’s farmworkers were born in the U.S. 

But Mexico is changing. Fertility rates are falling, rural education is rising, and fewer young people have the need or interest to come to America to pick crops. California’s farm-labor supply from Mexico has been decreasing for several years. New data from a long-term study by UC Davis researchers suggests that supply will soon disappear.

Protecting Small Farms in Mozambique From Drought

April 22, 2019
Project Aims to Halt Cycle of Hunger and Poverty

During the months that Jonathan Malacarne spent traveling from village to village in rural Mozambique, the weather could be dry and dusty or soaking wet from heavy rain. Either way, people from the community would walk and ride bikes from miles away to meet under the shade of a tree or in a classroom to learn about insured maize seeds.