Agroecological Research

Just as spring gives way to the heat of summer every year, Russell Ranch hosts a field day to highlight research on sustainable farming. This year's field day theme was Nitrogen, Water and Climate Change. The field day took place on May 31, 2012 and featured field presentations, workshop breakout sessions and a growers' panel with A.G. Kawamura, Tony Turkovich, Don Bransford and moderated by Tim Hartz. The growers' panel spoke to the difficulties that California's farmers may face with upcoming regulations on climate change and nitrate in groundwater.

Over 160 people attended, including farmers, policy-makers, scientists and students. Attendees learned about greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, nitrates in drinking water, California’s new carbon market and soil microbial communities. Researchers from UC Davis and the company PureSense presented the results of research on a novel method for determining local, crop-specific water demand levels in real time to improve irrigation scheduling. See the list of presentations below and click on the links to access some of the handouts.

Field Day Presentations

Martin Burger (Research Manager, Russell Ranch): Nitrous oxide mitigation options for tomato rotations. Click here for handout.

Taryn Kennedy (Graduate student, Plant Sciences): Managing processing tomatoes for greenhouse gas reductions. Click here for handout.

Shannon Bailey (Graduate student, Land Air and Water Resources (LAWR)): Measuring greenhouse gas flux from green compost windrows

Wendy Silk (Professor, LAWR) and Matt Dumlao (Graduate student, LAWR): Assessing the impact of winter cover crops on nitrate leaching: an evaluation using a drip-irrigated tomato rotation

Will Horwath (Professor, LAWR): The authenticity of organic fertilizers. Click here for handout.                 

Jack Coots (PureSense): Using real-time data to improve irrigation operationClick here for handout.          

Field Day Workshops

Thomas Harter (Faculty, CE Specialist, LAWR), Stuart Pettygrove (Soil Specialist, LAWR): Agriculture's role in addressing excessive nitrate in California's drinking water. Click here for handout.

Martin Burger (Research Manager, Russell Ranch), Karen Klonsky (CE Specialist, Agriculture and Resource Economics): Managing water, energy and greenhouse gas emissions with cover crops. Click here for handout.

Belinda Morris (Winrock International): California’s new carbon market: opportunities for farmers? Click here for handout.

Kate Scow (Faculty, LAWR; Russell Ranch Director), Gene Miyao (UC Farm Advisor): Soil microbial communities and plant disease control. Click here for Kate's handout and Click here for Gene's handout.