Food & Agriculture

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.”

High-Wire Act

October 17, 2018
UC Davis and the wine industry cultivate a fruitful relationship

South of Merced, under the hot summer sun of the San Joaquin Valley, Miguel Guerrero of The Wine Group is trying a new high-wire act. In collaboration with UC Davis Cooperative Extension, Roduner Ranch vineyard manager Guerrero is experimenting with Cabernet Sauvignon vines and other varieties elevated by a single wire at 66 inches—plantings that are 2-to-3 feet higher than the traditional wine grape canopy.

Downy Mildew Research to Benefit Lettuce Growers and Consumers

October 10, 2018

Funds Will Support Genomics Research for $3 Billion Crop

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, will use the genomics of lettuce to combat a pathogen that causes losses in the $3 billion industry each year.

The Foundation of Food and Agriculture Research, or FFAR, awarded Richard Michelmore, professor and director of the UC Davis Genome Center, the first research grant through the Crops of the Future Collaborative.

UC Davis Receives $1 Million From Keck Foundation Following Virus Discovery

September 06, 2018

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Alberta, Canada, have made preliminary discoveries about how Zika and hepatitis C viruses reproduce at the cellular level, providing new insight into a family of viruses that also includes West Nile and dengue. Now their cutting-edge research will be supported by a $1 million grant from the prestigious W.M. Keck Foundation. The foundation primarily focuses on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science and engineering, and undergraduate education.

USAID and UC Davis to Establish World's First Index Insurance Quality Certification in East Africa

September 05, 2018

High-quality agricultural index insurance has shown promise in promoting resilience among small-scale farmers who face a constant risk of drought and other weather-related shocks. However, despite decades of investments this tool has yet to achieve its broadest impact in part because of low-quality contracts that don’t reliably pay farmers for losses and that sometimes pay when there are none. 

Agritourism in California

June 25, 2018
UC Davis experts help farmers, ranchers partake in growing trend

Agritourism is growing in California, along with sales and production of much of the world’s fruits, vegetables and nuts. More and more people are paying to enjoy the bounty and beauty of California’s farms and ranches by touring peach and cherry farms near Fresno, taking classes in beekeeping, attending festivals devoted to strawberries or attending a host of other activities offered by farmers and ranchers throughout the state.