Agroecological Research

Smart phone for ag researchThis spring, the wireless gadgets were buzzing and texts were flying as new agricultural technologies were discussed at the Russell Ranch Field Day. The field day took place on May 28, 2013 with the theme "Harnessing Technology for Agriculture." Researchers, extension, students and industry presented on technological innovations in agriculture that can change the way agriculture addresses irrigation and nutrient management. Presentations included new technologies like cellular text messaging for surface irrigation monitoring with Shrini Upadhyaya, Toby O'Geen's presentation on SoilWeb and Micah Eidem's (Trimble) presentation on the GreenSeeker crop sensor. The grower's panel, moderated by Gene Miyao, with Fritz Durst, Rick Martinez, Dustin Timothy and Frank Muller, covered topics on current issues with drip and furrow irrigation, as well as needs for new technologies. See links below for more information.

Presentations included: (click on the links for handouts or poster files)

Nitrate leaching and irrigation management in agriculture

Martin Burger (Research Manager, Russell Ranch):  Cover crop management under sub-surface drip irrigation. Handout.

Matt Dumlao (Graduate Student, LAWR): Toward reduction in nitrate leaching: Nitrogen in cover crops and soil during a wet fall and dry winter Handout.

Ahmad Moradi (Post-doc, Land, Air and Water Resources (LAWR)): What soil instrumentation can tell us about water and nitrate movement in the root-zone of crops. Handout.

Russell Ranch long-term results

Kate Scow (Director, Russell Ranch), Emma Torbert (Post-graduate fellow, ASI): Long-term results from Russell Ranch. Handout for long-term resultsHandout for fuel use results.

Tools for irrigation management

Jon Anderson (PureSense): Real time tools for improved irrigation management. Handout.

Shrinivasa Upadhyaya (Faculty, Biological and Agricultural Engineering):  A contact sensor-based cellular communication system for irrigation management in surface irrigated crops. Handout.

Remote sensing for soil monitoring

Toby O’Geen (Faculty, LAWR): SoilWeb: An online app to explore the soil resource

Jan Hopmans (Asst. Dean, CAES; Faculty, LAWR): Sub-surface monitoring, coupled with UAV flights for land surface characterization

Michael Whiting (Asst. Professional Researcher, retired, CSTARS, LAWR): Mapping crop residues with remote sensing. Handout.

Technological solutions for nitrogen and irrigation control

Micah Eidem (Trimble): Real-time crop sensors and application systems

Lew Pollock (Superintendent, UC Davis): Water system monitoring and control at Russell Ranch and UC Davis

Poster presentations

William Goss (Russell Ranch Undergraduate Intern): Nematode Microfaunal Analysis. Poster

Deidre Griffin (Graduate Student, LAWR): Biochar research at Russell Ranch. Poster

Margaret Lloyd (Graduate Student, Plant Sciences): The shift out of methyl bromide and pre-plant fumigation: the strawberry case. Poster

Gabriel Maltais-Landry (Graduate Student, Stanford University): Soil phosphorus dynamics across several management practices. 

Fungai Mukome and Radomir Schmidt (Post-doctorate Scholars, LAWR): Role of microbiological and geochemical heterogeneity in the fate and transport of nitrogen.

Priyashiela Singh (Graduate Student, LAWR): Microbial diversity, community composition, and abundance of functional groups of over a gradient of C and N agricultural inputs. Poster