Agriculture

UC Davis Student Plant Breeders Cultivating Improved Varieties of Asian Celtuce

Researchers at UC Davis are working to develop new and improved varieties of celtuce, a leafy green vegetable that plays an important role in Asian cuisine. The Student Collaborative Organic Plant Breeding Education (SCOPE) project, which works with local organic growers on improving crop varieties, is analyzing the traits of celtuce to improve seed availability for small scale farmers.

UC Davis Researchers Collaborating on Project to Help Farmers Improve Fertilization and Irrigation Practices

UC Davis researchers are collaborating with the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources on a project to help farmers in the state improve their fertilization and irrigation practices. CDFA received $2 million from the USDA for a three-year project that includes sending seven UC Cooperative Extension personnel to the San Joaquin Valley to perform education and demonstration projects, provide on-farm consultation and conduct outreach activities to promote locally appropriate best practices.

Bringing Out the Best in Wild Birds on Farms

A supportive environment can bring out the best in an individual — even for a bird. 

After an E.coli outbreak in 2006 devastated the spinach industry, farmers were pressured to remove natural habitat to keep wildlife — and the foodborne pathogens they can sometimes carry — from visiting crops. A study published today from the University of California, Davis, shows that farms with surrounding natural habitat experience the most benefits from birds, including less crop damage and lower food-safety risks.

UC Davis Researchers Develop Ice Cube That Doesn’t Melt or Grow Mold

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have developed a new type of cooling cube that could revolutionize how food is kept cold and shipped fresh without relying on ice or traditional cooling packs. 

These plastic-free, “jelly ice cubes” do not melt, are compostable and anti-microbial, and prevent cross-contamination. 

“When ice melts, it’s not reusable,” said Gang Sun, a professor in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering. “We thought we could make a so-called solid ice to serve as a cooling medium and be reusable.” 

UC Davis Olive Center, Séka Hills to Release Limited Edition Olio Nuovo Olive Oil

The Olive Center at UC Davis is teaming up with the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the tribe’s Séka Hills line of agriculture products to create a blend of Olio Nuovo, the freshest type of extra virgin olive oil available.

The Olio Nuovo was produced from the first harvest of the season and bottled right after the olives were milled to make it readily available to the public.