Climate change

Drought and herbicides: Rice Field Day showcases research

New varieties of rice that offer more effective weed control with less herbicide were showcased by UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences researchers at the recent Rice Field Day north of Yuba City in California's Central Valley. Amid the West’s ongoing drought, green rice with heads full of grain stood tall and lush in some test plots, while dry, brown stubble poked up in others. Department researchers discussed the impact of letting ricelands go fallow, including potential for pest control and ways to conserve soil moisture.

Poudel named to Future Leaders Forum

Master’s student Isha Poudel wants to bring agricultural technology to rural communities while empowering women farmers in her homeland of Nepal. Poudel is among 12 young scientists who will get help with her career goals after being named to this year’s Future Leaders Forum by the Association for International Agriculture and Rural Development.

Blumwald Lab discovery could reduce pollution, save billions

Researchers in the Department of Plant Sciences have found a way to reduce the amount of nitrogen fertilizers needed to grow cereal crops such as rice. The discovery could save farmers in the United States billions of dollars annually in fertilizer costs while also benefiting the environment.

The research comes out of the lab of Eduardo Blumwald, a distinguished professor of plant sciences, who has found a new pathway for cereals to capture the nitrogen they need to grow.

Could Vines Be the Answer to Speeding Urban Cooling, Water Reduction in the West?

Perhaps trees aren’t the only green solution when it comes to cooling urban spaces and reducing energy costs. Honeysuckle, Virginia creeper, pink trumpet and other vines could be a fast-growing substitute in climate-smart cities of the future.

Researchers from UC Davis are leading a nearly $880,000 federal grant to study how vines may provide cooling and shade in Western states in less time than it takes a tree to grow tall.

UC Davis to Lead $15 Million Research Into Climate-Change Resistant Wheat

Wheat products account for roughly 20% of what people eat every day around the globe. As climate changes, wheat crops must adapt to new weather patterns to keep up with demand. 

The University of California, Davis, is leading a five-year, $15 million research project to accelerate wheat breeding to meet those new climate realities, as well as to train a new generation of plant breeders.