Latest Articles

Meet David Lewis

August 23, 2017

Recipient of the 2017 Eric Bradford & Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award

The Agricultural Sustainability Institute has announced that David Lewis, UC Cooperative Extension Watershed Advisor for California’s North Bay and UC Davis alumnus, is this year's recipient of the Eric Bradford and Charlie Rominger Agricultural Sustainability Leadership Award.

In the News: Soil Health Research at Russell Ranch

June 06, 2017

ASI’s Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility has been home to groundbreaking research in soil health since the 1990s—a legacy showcased in recent media coverage.

Can we increase food production while also increasing the environmental friendliness of agriculture?

This question is increasingly on the minds of California’s lawmakers and farmers, and it is a central focus of the nearly quarter-century of research (and counting) going on at ASI’s Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility.

Microbial Underpinnings of Soil Health Workshop

May 25, 2017

Learn an overview of what exists for soil biology and new directions it may take, and discuss the relationships between soil and human health.

Farmworker Awareness Week

March 30, 2017
Meet Luis Loza Reyes and Gustavo Morales, two of the people essential to the success of our research farm

At Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility, It’s almost time to seed corn and transplant tomatoes—the beginning of the busy summer growing season.  Russell Ranch functions as both a research farm and a commercial farm, meaning it’s important to grow high quality grain and produce for market, but the farm requires special attention to ensure researchers can design experiments and collect quality data.  For National Farmworker Awareness week, we want to introduce you to two of the

Heavy rains make the benefits of cover crops clear

March 14, 2017

Recent rainstorms demonstrate the importance of cover crops in maintaining soil surface conditions and preventing runoff.

Tony Rolfes, State Soil Scientist, USDA-NRCS, Davis, CA

Sonja Brodt, Academic Coordinator, UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program

In a new study biochar helps yields, but only in the short term

March 14, 2017

Adding biochar to a farm's field is an irreversible decision, so understanding its long-term impacts is essential for farmers to make informed decisions.

Biochar, a charcoal created from organic materials burned at high temperatures and added as a soil amendment, has been shown to increase pH and soil fertility in areas with more weathered, acidic soils, like the tropics. But a new study shows its impact on productive soils like those in California's Central Valley may be quite different.

Biodigesters turn food into electricity, but can they also create fertilizer?

January 19, 2017

On a recent late-summer Wednesday, a freight container filled with cases of expired Muscle Milk protein drink awaited unloading at the UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ) while a front-loader scooped heaps of spoiled vegetables into a mechanical processor. Nourished by a diet of assorted food waste from the UC Davis campus and area restaurants and markets, READ harnesses the activity of billions of microbes to produce biogas capable of generating 5.6 million kWh per year of clean electricity for UC Davis.