Soil and soil science

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.

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.

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.

CDFA Awards $1.5 Million for Nutrient Management Projects through FREP Grant Program

January 10, 2020
Three from UC Davis — Patrick Brown and Mark Lundy (Plant Sciences) and Thomas Harter (LAWR) — received grants from the CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program. Seven recipients received $1.5 million to improve nitrogen efficiency, reduce environmental impacts, and advance best management practices for fertilizer application in farmlands.

Root Pottery: An agroecology grad student creates rhizosphere-inspired art

September 17, 2019
Agroecology graduate student Jennifer Schmidt, Department of Plant Sciences, makes ceramics inspired by her Ph.D. dissertation work on the interactions between maize and its surrounding microbes. The visual aspects of her research lend themselves to hand-painted ceramics. Many scientists pursue some form of art or music, along with their science.

Organic Processing Tomato Production (video #4 of 26)

June 10, 2019
This video summarizes the production techniques, equipment, and production goals that John and Justin Diener, and Scott Park employ for their organic processing tomato fields. It details the efforts they use to take care of the soil at their farms.