The Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility is a unique 300-acre facility near the UC Davis campus dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate. It’s also a unit of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI).
For many years, a key international strategy to ending hunger has been to grow more food: push for higher yields, develop ways for farmers to intensify their farming, focus on technologies that drive both. But that focus may be shifting towards another strategy that better accounts for the environment and human well-being – agroecology.
The amount of carbon inputs and resulting carbon sequestration in the main plots at Russell Ranch is closedly monitored. This information will hopefully allow Russell Ranch to identify ways of sequestering carbon and delivering carbon credit payments to farmers who adopt conservation practices.
What are the energy, greenhouse gas, and water implications of eating locally produced foods compared to foods sourced through national distribution networks?
Researchers at Russell Ranch in collaboration with Professor Amelie Gaudin's lab at UC Davis have studied the effects of drip irrigation (single and double subsurface lines) vs. furrow irrigation on organic tomato production and share results from the 2016 field season.
Many of the most pressing environmental and economic sustainability challenges faced by California agriculture in the 21st century stem directly from the dynamics of nutrient flows and water use on our farms.