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Fostering Sustainability and Innovation in Agriculture
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Posts By UCANR

University of California’s First Center Pivot Irrigation System to Be Dedicated Next Month

August 17, 2012 |

In a sign of changing times in California agriculture, the University of California will dedicate its first full-sized center pivot overhead irrigation system at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center during the Twilight Conservation Agriculture field day at 4 p.m. on Sept. 13. The center is at 17353 W. Oakland Ave. in Five Points.

Farmers and other members of the public are invited to the free event to see the system in operation and learn how overhead irrigation can be combined with no-till or minimum-till farming methods to create a more sustainable, profitable and environmentally sound agriculture industry. The field day includes a free barbecue dinner. Read More

12-year UC Study Shows Conservation Tillage Saves Oil, Soil and Toil in Cotton

July 23, 2012 |

News Release – A 12-year study published in the July-September 2012 issue of the University of California’s California Agriculture journal demonstrates that cotton grown in rotation with tomatoes — using lower-impact conservation tillage — can achieve yields similar to standard cultivation methods and at lower cost.

Conservation tillage seeks to reduce the number of times that tractors cross the field, in order to protect the soil from erosion and compaction, and save time, fuel and labor costs. Cotton crops are planted directly into stubble from the previous crop in the rotation. Read More

UC Cooperative Extension Scientists Wrestle with Weed Control in Organic Alfalfa

July 12, 2012 |

During the 2000s, organic milk production was one of the fastest growing segments of organic agriculture in the United States, according to a USDA Economic Research Service publication Characteristics, Costs, and Issues for Organic Dairy Farming. In 2008, about 3 percent of the nation’s cows were managed organically.

Among the conditions necessary for a cow to produce organic milk, she must eat only organic feed or browse on organic pasture for at least the previous 36 months. However, dairy producers have found that producing or sourcing organic feed Read More

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Research Projects Focus on Nutrient Management, Groundwater Protection

March 13, 2012 |

News Release – University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is working to ensure that all Californians have access to safe drinking water and that the state’s farmers can grow enough food to help meet the world’s increasing demand. Research has shown that nitrogen fertilizer used in agricultural production can over many years move from a plant’s root zone into groundwater.

UC Cooperative Extension and Agricultural Experiment Station researchers are working with growers on fertilizer management, irrigation efficiency and other farming practices to provide options for protecting groundwater, which serves as a primary drinking water source for many rural communities. The following are some examples of ANR research and extension projects under way. The scientists’ names are hyperlinked to their contact information. Read More

Community Supported Agriculture grows rapidly in California’s Central Valley

January 12, 2012 |

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) – farms that regularly provide fresh produce directly to members – is growing rapidly in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills, according to a new study published in the January–March 2012 issue of the University of California’s California Agriculture journal.

Total membership in the CSAs surveyed (n = 46) increased exponentially from an estimated 672 members in 1990 to 32,938 members in 2010. Most CSAs in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills were relatively small (20 acres on average), produced a broad range of crops (44 on average) and adhered to organic or sustainable growing practices. Read More