Soil

Compost Key to Sequestering Carbon in the Soil

August 21, 2019
Study Dug Deep to Uncover Which Agricultural Systems Store the Most Carbon

By moving beyond the surface level and literally digging deep, scientists at the University of California, Davis, found that compost is a key to storing carbon in semi-arid cropland soils, a strategy for offsetting CO2 emissions.

Building a Better Fertilizer

June 12, 2019
Rylie Ellison receives Van Alfen/MacDonald Graduate Student Support Fund Award

Rylie Ellison is the 2019 recipient of the Neal Van Alfen and James MacDonald Graduate Student Support Fund Award for her research and leadership on treating animal waste to improve its potential for use as a fertilizer in agriculture.

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.

$4.7M to Study Storing Greenhouse Gases in Soil

January 16, 2019
Muir Institute Leads UC Project to Find Shovel-Ready Solutions for Carbon Sequestration

California leads the nation in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but reductions alone will not be enough to reach the targets set by the 2015 Paris climate agreement. To do that, greenhouses gases like carbon dioxide will need to be removed from the atmosphere on a monumental scale.

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?

Soil Health

What is soil health?

Soil health is soil’s continued capacity to function as a dynamic, living ecosystem that sustains plants and microorganisms, enhances air and water quality, and supports animal and human health. 

Soil health is the foundation for profitable, productive, sustainable and environmentally sound agriculture.

Strawberries, soil and water management

June 22, 2018
UC Davis field days give industry a taste of new berries and a feel for healthy soil

The latest developments in strawberry breeding and healthy soil took center stage at two recent UC Davis Field Days, one hosted in Prunedale (near Salinas) and one held at UC Davis Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility.

In Prunedale, strawberry farmers, shippers, breeders, propagators, crop advisors and resource conservation groups gathered to get a taste of what’s developing in the UC Davis Public Strawberry Breeding Program. Many said they liked what they tasted and saw.

Working together to manage nitrogen oxide emissions from farmland

February 08, 2018

Researchers seek solutions that benefit agriculture and the environment

Researchers from the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences (CA&ES) are working with farmers and ranchers, environmentalists, industry, and public agencies to find practical, science-based solutions to the world’s most pressing problems, including managing nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions from farmland. 

A Climate Change Solution Beneath Our Feet

June 02, 2017

Healthy soil could change everything

When we think of climate change solutions, what typically comes to mind is the transportation we use, the lights in our home, the buildings we power and the food we eat. Rarely do we think about the ground beneath our feet.

Kate Scow thinks a lot about the ground, or, more precisely, the soil. She’s been digging into the science of how healthy soils can not only create productive farmlands, but also store carbon in the ground, where it belongs, rather than in the atmosphere as carbon dioxide.