Water

UC Davis Research Prepares State’s $3.7 Billion Nursery and Floral Industry for a Drier Future

As California enters a third summer of record drought, farmers who raise nursery and floral crops are looking for ways to grow plants with less water, more efficiently, while fighting new diseases and detecting plagues quicker.

Researchers with the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences are finding ways to help, with support from the Plant California Alliance. The grower-supported organization has granted nearly $400,000 to the department since 2006, according to college records.

Giulia Marino: New Plant Sciences Faculty and Cooperative Extension Specialist

Expert on tree physiology in orchard systems

Giulia Marino, a crop physiologist, is the new UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Specialist in Orchard Systems, and a faculty member in the Department of Plant Sciences at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). She is primarily based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, California, and has a second office in Wickson Hall at UC Davis.

Working Rangelands Wednesdays: Ken Tate, June 3

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.

Conservation Agriculture Key in Meeting UN Sustainable Development Goals

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.

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

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

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.

Cattle Ranchers Cope with Dry Pastures (Video)

This winter’s lack of rain, up until mid-March, did not produce much forage for cattle, or carryover vegetation. Leslie Roche, Department of Plant Sciences, covers rangelands and pasturelands, and says this has been commonplace this winter. Many grasses are producing seeds earlier, leading to less vegetative growth.

Effectiveness and Impacts of Dust Control Measures for Owens Lake

A new NAS report finds innovative approaches for dust control are needed at Owens Lake, California, to improve air quality, reduce water use, and preserve habitats. Professor Valerie Eviner, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, serves on the Owens Lake Scientific Advisory Panel (OLSAP) to assess how to manage Owens Lake.