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Working Rangelands Wednesdays: Ken Tate, June 3

May 29, 2020
Ken Tate, UC Davis and UC ANR, will address “Water Quality on Pastures and Rangelands” at the Working Rangelands Wednesdays webinar on June 3, 2020. The new series of biweekly webinars focuses on working rangelands in California and the West. Webinars are recorded and offered as podcasts.

Does livestock grazing benefit organic crops? Multistate research team explores impacts

May 20, 2020
To see if livestock grazing is beneficial in organic farming, or poses food safety risks, multistate research partners received a nearly $1 million grant from the USDA to study the impacts of livestock grazing cover crops on the bacterial population dynamics, soil building, and environmental health. Professor Amelie Gaudin, Plant Sciences, is part of the research team.

Resources for Small Grain Management: UC Small Grains Blog

May 20, 2020
The annual small grain field day and other field-based activities were cancelled due to COVID-10, so Mark Lundy and colleagues are sharing digital resources related to nitrogen fertilizer management in small grains, small grain variety evaluation, and leaf and canopy meters to measure the N status of crops. Also posted are virtual field tours of small grain variety evaluation plots.

UC Davis Plant Scientists have Featured Publication

May 12, 2020
A new Plant Physiology paper, authored by UC Davis plant scientists Ella Katz, Dan Kliebenstein, and undergrads Alycia Rasmussen and Aleshia Hooper, was featured as ‘Plant Physiology Article of the Week’ in The Signal, a weekly publication of the American Society of Plant Biologists.

Soil Health in Organic Farming: Podcast

May 07, 2020
One challenge in organic crops is trying to reduce soil disturbance as much as possible. Jeff Mitchell, a faculty member in Plant Sciences, is a vegetable crops specialist with UC Cooperative Extension. He works with organic farmers throughout California to research practices that may help them improve their soil health.

Plant scientist Jennifer Schmidt selected for Kinsella Memorial Prize

May 01, 2020
Jennifer Schmidt, a Ph.D. candidate in Plant Sciences, is the 2020 recipient of the John E. Kinsella Memorial Prize for outstanding research on a doctoral dissertation. Her research focuses on the microbiome of the soil around plant roots — the rhizosphere — and its functional implications for sustainable agriculture.

Picnic Day Plants Find New Homes in the Community

April 28, 2020
Over 6,000 tomato and strawberry plants, destined as a Picnic Day give-away, are finding new homes following cancellation of Picnic Day, due to COVID-19. Saarah Kuzay, a Ph.D. student in Plant Sciences, is working with other students to find food banks, community gardens, and campus students for plant distribution. Plant give-aways from Plant Sciences are a popular feature each year at UC Davis Picnic Day.

UC Davis Releases 6 New Varieties of Organic Beans

April 22, 2020
The Department of Plant Sciences has released six new varieties of organic dry beans which are higher yielding, and are resistant to bean common mosaic virus (BCMV), a disease that prevents bean plants from maturing promptly and uniformly. Spearheading the project were Ph.D. candidate Travis Parker, Distinguished Professor Paul Gepts, and Charlie Brummer, professor and director of the Plant Breeding Center at UC Davis.

Ninth Annual UC Davis Plant Science Symposium, May 6, 2020

April 22, 2020
The 2020 Plant Science Symposium at UC Davis will be held on May 6, and will be online through Zoom. This student-run symposium is built to stimulate discussions about the future of agriculture. It includes speakers and attendees from both academia and industry, and the public and private sectors. Hosted by the Plant Breeding Center and the Department of Plant Sciences.

Soil Health Practices Show Economic and Ecological Benefits

April 17, 2020
California organic farmers are sharing information about their efforts to combine reduced tillage with the use of cover crops on their vegetable farms to protect and improve soil health while adding carbon and diversity to their production systems. Jeff Mitchell, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, is spearheading this ongoing project.

Conservation Agriculture Key in Meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals

April 16, 2020
Conservation agriculture is key in meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals. A new analysis shows benefits of conservation agriculture to crop performance, water efficiency, and climate action in South Asia. JK Ladha, an adjunct professor in Plant Sciences, UC Davis, is co-author of the Nature Sustainability article.

Flooding Stunted 2019 Cropland Growing Season, Resulting in More Atmospheric CO2

April 07, 2020
Severe flooding throughout the Midwest — which triggered a delayed growing season for crops in the region — led to a reduction of 100 million metric tons of net carbon uptake during June and July of 2019, according to a new study. Professor Troy Magney, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, co-authored the study.

Research Suggests Water Stress May Benefit Walnut Trees (with video)

April 07, 2020
Portable pressure chambers (“pressure bombs”) taken into orchards measure water pressure in tree leaves, to show how hard a tree works to pull moisture from the soil. This is used to determine when irrigation is actually needed by the trees. Ken Shackel and Bruce Lampinen note that this can benefit yields and orchard health.

Almond Orchard Recycling a Climate-Smart Strategy

April 01, 2020
Recycling trees onsite can sequester carbon, save water and increase crop yields, making it a climate-smart practice for California’s irrigated almond orchards. Professor Amelie Gaudin, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, worked with postdocs, grad students, and Cooperative Extension colleagues.