California

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Switching to Winter Crops Might Help Farmers Cope with Warming World

For people who grow food and cultivate the land, climate change isn’t something experienced though charts, graphs and predictions of foreboding futures. For growers, the threat of a warming world is immediate and increasing. “Climate change is playing out on farms like mine every day, every season and in every extreme weather event,” said Caitlin […]

Reducing Weeds by 80% Using Solarization

La Buena Tierra farmer Maria de los Angeles Carrillo (Angeles) is delighted that her interest in researching a non-chemical pest management practice has reduced her weeds by 80%. Coquillo (nutgrass) was the exception and even that stubborn grass has been reduced greatly and grows weaker roots. Lab tests also demonstrated reduced Verticillium wilt in the […]

CAB Collective Sustainable Agriculture Action Plan

The Sustainable Agriculture Action Plan for Cabernet Sauvignon and red Bordeaux (CAB) Wine Production in Paso Robles is a document developed by the Paso Robles CAB Collective winegrape growers, winemakers, marketers, proprietors, and other wine industry stakeholders for under a pilot grant program by Western SARE.

Economist Seeks to Quantify Impact of Wolf, Cattle Interactions 

Native gray wolves are returning to rugged rangelands throughout the west, raising risk for the millions of cattle who graze there. In the California counties of Lassen, Plumas and Siskiyou, many ranchers say their cattle are being stalked by wolves and show signs of stress, such as fewer pregnancies and lower birth and weaning weights. […]

Project Focuses on Equity in Agriculture

California agriculture includes a growing number of producers of color, who have historically been underserved by extension institutions, according to Sonja Brodt, University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research & Education Program (SAREP). With increased attention on building constructive working relationships with producers of color and immigrant producers, extension services would become more widely accessible and […]

Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems Project

Public concerns regarding pesticide misuse, food safety, water use and contamination, and depletion of non-renewable resources have motivated the reevaluation of some of the practices of conventional agriculture and the exploration of alternative, more sustainable approaches to growing food. In 1988, the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project was established at the University of California’s […]

Cover Crops in Organic Systems: California

This is a collaborative project to build the capacity of conservation professionals to assist organic and transitional farmers in planning and implementing conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative. This guide is part of a series of guides created by Oregon Tilth for use by NRCS staff in the Western Region. This document provide an overview […]

On-Farm Internship Training Binder

The Placer Ag Futures Project was conceived as a response to critical issues affecting local agricultural sustainability. This project was intended to help grow a new crop of agricultural professionals that are trained in sustainable agricultural practices. One part of the Ag Futures Project was the on-farm internship training. The summer internship program consisted of […]

Nutrient Management Plans: California

This is a collaborative project to build the capacity of conservation professionals to assist organic and transitional farmers in planning and implementing conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative. This guide is part of a series of guides created by Oregon Tilth for use by NRCS staff in the Western Region. This document is an instruction […]

Conservation Buffers in Organic Systems: California

This is a collaborative project to build the capacity of conservation professionals to assist organic and transitional farmers in planning and implementing conservation practices through the Environmental Quality Incentives Program Organic Initiative. This guide is part of a series of guides created by Oregon Tilth for use by NRCS staff in the Western Region. Conservation Buffers provides […]

Anaerobic Soil Disinfestation to Control Soil Borne Pathogens Webinar

In the webinar the presenters briefly review the development and use of anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) techniques for control of soil borne pathogens in various crops and regions around the world, and then focus on the current state of knowledge and use of ASD in California primarily for strawberry production. We discuss the latest research […]

Using Beneficial Insects to Combat Pests and Engage Growers

Sustainable Agriculture Fact Sheet                     July 2020 State: California                                Commodity: Wine grapes Need: An economical way to control leafroll virus, which is spread by vine mealybugs Summary: Leafroll virus is infecting California grapevines at an alarming rate due to an aggressive insect vector, the vine mealybug.  Leafroll virus infections reduce crop yield and quality, decrease a […]

Responses to COVID-19 in Western Ag

Agriculture in the Western Region has been greatly impacted by COVID-19 and its resulting Shelter in Place orders, labor and processing challenges, and strongly shifting consumer behaviors and markets. It has also become clear that our agricultural community has been responding quickly and creatively. Western SARE cares about our community and feels a responsibility to share ideas and strategies. Toward that end, we conducted a survey of our state coordinators and project leaders of grants funded in the past three years. The data and examples are listed below. We will also create a report from this information, along with ideas provided on how Western SARE itself should adapt to the crisis.

California Strawberry and Research on Compost for Strawberry Health

California strawberry production is at a pivotal point, struggling with new plant diseases due to the phase-out of the fumigant methyl bromide. This video explores the current issues facing strawberry growers in California and explains the use of compost to suppress disease and promote strawberry plant health.

Managing for Wild Bees

Pollination is a critical component of the crop production cycle, directly contributing to reproductive success for pollinator-dependent crops. Graduate student Hillary Sardinas evaluated the ability of hedgerow restorations to augment hybrid sunflower pollination by the native bee community. She also investigated whether rates of nesting were increased in fields adjacent to hedgerows, as well as whether the presence of hedgerows enhanced the diversity and abundance of the native bee community at different distances into fields.