Field crops

Profile: Whitney Brim-DeForest – UCCE director in Sutter & Yuba counties

Whitney Brim-DeForest is the UC Cooperative Extension director in Sutter and Yuba counties and the CE rice and wild rice advisor, focusing on weed management. As a recipient of the Graduate Student Research (GSR) award from the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences during her doctoral studies, Brim-DeForest conducted research full-time while engaging with growers, pest control advisers (PCAs), and stakeholders in the rice industry.

Profile: Grace Woodmansee – UCCE advisor in Siskiyou County

Grace Woodmansee is the livestock and natural resources advisor for UC Cooperative Extension in Siskiyou County. She works with ranchers to improve their production and address management challenges using science-based information. As a recipient of a Graduate Student Research award working with in the UC Rangelands lab, she honed her skills in applied research, outreach and science-communication, which prepared her for a career in extension

Profile: Grant Johnson – UCCE advisor in Orange and Los Angeles counties

Grant Johnson is the advisor for urban agriculture technology, based at UC Cooperative Extension’s South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine, Calif. His specialties include fertilization, irrigation and water recycling in nurseries. Nursery and floral production account for 7.5 percent of California’s farm sales -- $3.5 billion in 2020, according to state figures.

Recycled green waste offers alternative to fertilizer

Doctoral student Valentina Roel is looking at ways to use food scraps and yard waste as alternatives to nitrogen fertilizer for crops. When processed, the leftovers and garden trimmings being diverted from state landfills might be effective substitutes, because they contain both nitrogen and carbon in forms that promote soil health.

They also provide a path for slowing climate change.

Beans, peppers and alfalfa win grants from NIFA

Scientists in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences have landed $2.1 million in federal grants to develop varieties of green beans, chile peppers and alfalfa that can offer farmers greater quality, lower production costs and better yield amid the growing heat and drought already happening with climate change.

The grants from the United States Department of Agriculture come through the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Agriculture and Food Research Initiative.

Dubcovsky recognized with Meyer medal for advancing wheat breeding

Jorge Dubcovsky and researchers in his lab have been recognized for providing basic genetic information about wheat and improved germplasm that is being used by scientists around the world to improve “the staff of life.” Those efforts are bringing new varieties of wheat to farmers adapting to new conditions. For his leadership in those efforts, Dubcovsky was awarded the Frank N. Meyer Medal for Plant Genetic Resources, and a $2,000 prize, at the recent annual meeting of the Crop Science Society of America.