California

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 document provide an overview of how the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service NRCS Cover Crop 340 conservation practice can be implemented on organic operations in California.

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 […]

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.

Regenerative Agriculture – The Next Evolution of Sustainable Farming?

Looking through all the projects funded by Western SARE since 1988, you’ll find 173 with the word “sustainable” in the title, including 11 projects funded in 2019. That’s not surprising. What might be surprising is that same 31-year period, there have been only four projects with “regenerative” in their titles – and all four of […]

Students Breeds Beans for Organic Farming

Graduate students at the University of California, Davis, have begun field tests on very rare commodities: high-yield, disease-resistant bean varieties that can thrive on organic farms.    “Most crops—about 95 percent—have been bred for conventional farming and can be difficult to grow in organic systems,” said Travis Parker, a Ph.D. student in plant biology who is […]

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.