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.
Russell Ranch is run like a commercial farm and hosts a variety of on-going research experiments managed by Russell Ranch staff and UC Faculty and Farm Advisors.
Our flagship experiment, The Century Experiment (formerly known as the LTRAS - Long Term Research on Agricultural Sustainability), is a 100-year study located on the main plots at Russell Ranch. On The Century Experiments 72 acres, we measure the long-term impacts of crop rotation, farming systems (conventional, organic and mixed) and inputs of water, nitrogen, carbon and other elements on agricultural sustainability. Sustainability is indicated by long-term trends in yield, profitability, resource-use efficiency (such as water or energy) and environmental impacts.
We have monitored changes in crop and soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions, weed ecology and economic indicators since 1993.
Russell Ranch is primarily a research facility and also supports UC Davis' extension and teaching missions by hosting field days, class field trips, undergraduate interns and graduate student research.
Russell Ranch Science Plan
The original goal of Russell Ranch’s 100-‐year experiment -‐The Century Experiment (formerly LTRAS) -‐ designed in 1990 and implemented in 1993, was to investigate the effects of external inputs on the sustainability of cropping systems. Now, 19 years into the experiment, some of the original questions have been answered, and some of the original research priorities have been eclipsed by emerging issues. The design has been modified, and in some cases expanded, to address current global and regional problems, to support shifting faculty research interests, and to be feasible with existing budgetary constraints.