Grants funded for 2011

  • All Grants
  • 2011 project summaries

    Fourteen projects ranging from exploring taco trucks as vehicles to provide healthy food in Central Valley communities with limited food access to a study of an Oakland/non-profit collaboration that develops urban agriculture parks are being funded for a total of approximately $150,000 by the Davis-based University of California Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (UC SAREP).

    Impacts from these kinds of projects include:

    Educating the urban population about the importance of regional agriculture and providing opportunities for connecting growers and consumers Piloting innovative distribution strategies for supplying schools and other institutions with fresh, locally grown produce Helping ranchers make management decisions based on sustainability principles and environmental performance of beef production systems Involving limited resource farmers in marketing and distribution systems that retain value so that farmers get a higher price for their products in competitive, regional markets Exploring new direct markets for traditional, commodity crops

     

    The awards are for county-based UC Cooperative Extension advisors, graduate students and community-based organizations.

    Planning

    Plumas Rural Services
    Elizabeth Powell, Plumas County, (530) 283-3611 ex.839, epowell@plumasruralservices.org. $10,000 for the creation of the Plumas County Food Policy Council (PCFPC). The project will identify successful food policy models, recruit members, draft by-laws and locate funding sources [planning grant].

    Applied Research Center (ARC)
    Yvonne Liu, Central Coast, (510) 338-4934, yliu@arc.org.
    $10,000 to explore how green jobs for women farmworker workforces can improve their working conditions and the well-being of their communities [planning grant].

    UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Clara County
    Shelia Barry, California-wide, (408) 282-3106, sbarry@ucdavis.edu.
    $10,000 to build a broad-based research team that includes beef producers and develop plans for a project to conduct a life cycle analysis of California’s beef production system. This would provide beef producers, researchers and beef marketers with information about the environmental performance of beef production systems in California [planning grant].

    Agriculture and Land-Based Training Association (ALBA)
    Deborah Yashar, Salinas Valley/Central Coast, (831) 758-1468, Deborah@albafarmers.org. $10,000 for community food access planning in East Salinas. The grant will develop a three-year program and financing plans to expand a community planning process focused on health. The project will increase market channels for locally grown and culturally valued fresh foods in East Salinas. [planning grant].

    Education & Outreach

    Sustainable Economies Law Center
    Janelle Orsi, San Francisco Bay Area, (510) 649-9956, Janelle.SELC@gmail.com.
    $10,000 to provide legal guidance to low-income entrepreneurs interested in urban and suburban farming, home-based food businesses and cooperatively owned agricultural companies in the San Francisco Bay Area. The project will create an online legal resource library and hold three legal clinics/workshops to provide direct legal advice to farmers and food entrepreneurs [education/ outreach grant].

    UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County
    Chuck Ingels, Sacramento region, (916) 875-6527, caingels@ucdavis.edu.
    $9,975 to help Southeast Asian and other small farmers in Sacramento connect with processors and buyers. This project helps Southeast Asian farmers find solutions to marketing challenges by facilitating meetings among farmers, wholesalers, food processors, school districts and community food groups [education/outreach grant].

    UC Cooperative Extension, Los Angeles County
    Brenda Roche, Los Angeles County, (323) 260-3299, bkroche@ucdavis.edu.
    $10,000 to support the “Grow and Eat Fresh in LA” program in Los Angeles County. The project will include gardening instruction as well as nutrition lessons and cooking demonstrations. Participants will turn their new gardening skills into productive home gardens that will translate into positive changes in the home, including lower grocery bills and increased access to fresh, affordable, healthy food [education/outreach grant].

    UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma County
    Stephanie Larson, Northern California, (707) 565-2621, slarson@udavis.edu.
    $10,000 to develop and document opportunities and success stories for ecosystem services – the benefits provided to all of California by good stewardship of rangeland. Rangelands make up one of the largest “land masses” in California. Good stewardship of the land increases water capture and carbon sequestration (storage), and the production of biomass similar to the “services” trees and forests provide. This project will assess the value and ecological and economic impacts of well-cared for rangeland and develop educational materials and outreach efforts to help make decisions on best management practices [education/outreach grant].

    LA Food Policy Council
    Alexa Delwiche, LA region, (323) 341-5096, alexa.delwiche@gmail.com.
    $10,000 to develop a web site that will create an informative and user-friendly website to serve as a focal point for the LA Food Policy Council’s education, outreach and social networking efforts. Features will include food-related news and information, updates on the program and opportunities for people to get involved [education/outreach grant].

    Research

    California Institute for Rural Studies - 2 projects
    Gail Wadsworth, Davis/Central Valley, (530) 756-6555 x 17, gwadsworth@cirsinc.org.
    $10,000 to identify a model for mobile food vending that can be implemented in rural farmworker communities in California [planning grant] and $35,000 to evaluate farmworkers’ ability to cool and hydrate after work as well as access transportation, communications and health resources that can help relieve the risk of heat stress [research grant.]

    Department of Environment, Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley
    Kendra Klein, Bay Area, (415) 350-5957, Kleinkec@yahoo.com.
    $5,000 to examine the role middlemen play in farm-to-hospital initiatives. The project will examine the barriers that arise from group purchasing organization (GPO) contracts and develop lessons learned from hospitals that have successfully navigated GPO contracts to increase the quantity of regionally sourced, sustainably produced food [graduate student research grant].

    Graduate Group in Geography, University of California, Davis
    Matthew Hoffman, Lodi Region, (209) 200-1803, mbhoffman@ucdavis.edu.
    $5,000 to use Social Network Analysis to understand the role that social learning networks play in Lodi’s viticulture and winery supply chains. The project will also provide research that will strengthen a Community of Practice pilot program among Lodi’s wineries [graduate student research grant].

    Department of Anthropology, University of California, Santa Cruz
    Jessica Watson, Oakland California, (510) 590-0870, jessicawwatson@gmail.com.
    $5,000 to study the collaboration between City Slicker Farms (a nonprofit) and City of Oakland’s Parks and Recreation Department to convert a city park into an urban farm. The project will evaluate this model’s effort to respond to the community’s needs, provide outreach and improve food security in the neighborhood [graduate student research grant].

Grants funded for 2007

  • Ag Marketing Grants 
  • 2007 Ag Marketing Grants

    Five projects ranging from the development of a virtual farmers market Web site for Northern California growers to research on how Southeast Asian farmers near Sacramento can capitalize on the high quality of their produce at farmers markets are two of five projects funded for a total $73,441.

    Impacts from these kinds of projects include:

    Educating the urban population about the importance of regional agriculture and providing opportunities for connecting growers and consumers. Piloting innovative distribution strategies for supplying schools and other institutions with fresh, locally grown produce. Scaling up direct marketing options such as CSAs so that many more producers and consumers can benefit. Involving limited resource farmers in marketing and distribution systems that retain value so that farmers get a higher price for their products in competitive, regional markets.


    Funded projects include:

    PlacerGROWN Collaborative Community Supported Agriculture Project

    Roger Ingram, UC Cooperative Extension, Placer County, (530) 889-7385, rsingram@ucdavis.edu. $20,250

    The goal of this project is to expand the PlacerGROWN Collaborative Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pilot project. Objectives are to increase the number of members in the CSA from 25 to 75 and to extend the marketing season from eight to 12 weeks. The project team will provide technical assistance and logistical support for the growers participating in the pilot program. In addition, the team will create a business plan that can be used as a template by other groups of growers or counties who are exploring or developing cooperative CSAs.

    Evaluating Farmers Market Opportunities for Southeast Asian Growers in Sacramento County

    Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County, (916) 875-6913, caingels@ucdavis.edu. $13,276

    This project addresses marketing challenges faced by Southeast Asian farmers, particularly related to farmers markets. Building on previous research, the project team will take a closer look at how farmers markets may provide a viable market niche for this segment of farmers in Sacramento County. Research will explore possible barriers to entry into farmers markets, and explore opportunities and strategies for Southeast Asian growers to increase participation and success with farmers markets.

    Direct Market Potential of Five Heirloom Dry Bean Varieties

    Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension, Yolo County, (530) 666-8143, rflong@ucdavis.edu. $15,070

    This study examines the potential for direct marketing of heirloom dry beans. Five heirloom varieties have already been identified based on color, attractiveness, and production factors such as yield and pest resistance. Market potential of the five bean types will be evaluated in three regions: the San Francisco Bay Area, Yolo County and Humboldt County. A combination of surveys and interviews will be used to assess the experiences and attitudes of growers of test seed, producers who direct market the product, and consumers. Primary direct marketing channels for the dry beans to be considered in this project are farmers markets and CSAs.

    Northwest California Web Based Marketing Project

    Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension, Humboldt-Del Norte counties, (707) 445-7351, ddgiraud@ucdavis.edu. $14,845

    This project will develop a virtual farmers market Web site that will expand marketing opportunities for producers in Northwest California. The Web site will provide a centralized location for participating growers to list the products they have available, and a mechanism for contacting sellers who will coordinate delivery. Purchasers may include institutional customers as well as individual consumers, who will benefit by receiving next-day product deliveries either from the farm, at local distribution points, or through other distributors. The project will encompass a three-county area and be developed in coordination with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) Growers Collaborative.

    Solano Counties Agricultural Sustainability at the Crossroads: Working Together to Make Choices That Work

    Carole Paterson, UC Cooperative Extension, Solano County, (707) 784-1125, capaterson@ucdavis.edu. $10,000

    This project is part of larger countywide effort to strengthen agriculture in Solano County. Through previous work, the project team has established that there is interest in establishing a Solano County brand to help promote and market locally grown products. This grant will fund the development of the brand. The logo and marketing program will be developed through surveys and focus groups involving consumers and producers. In addition, the project will hold a series of educational workshops for Solano County farmers and ranchers that will help them evaluate their products, effectively use marketing tools that are being tested, understand and identify consumer preferences for sustainably produced food, and increase communication skills with each other and with consumers and the wider community.

Grants funded for 2006

  • Community Food Systems Grants 
  • 2006 Research & Education Grants - Sustainable Community Food Systems

    The goal of this funding cycle was to encourage farmers, consumers and communities to work together to create a more locally based, self-reliant food economy. Nine one-year projects were granted a total of $80,349. The grant awards were given to county-based UC Cooperative Extension advisors and directors who are partnering with community-based organizations.

    Small Farms Marketing Assistance Program (M.A.P.)
    Richard Molinar, UC Cooperative Extension, 1720 S. Maple Ave., Fresno, CA 93702, (559)456-7555, rhmolinar@ucdavis.edu. $10,000
    This project will support the sustainability and diversification of the new “Golden West Side Farmers Market," particularly for African American farmers, through training and technical assistance to farmers and market management. A secondary goal is to raise public awareness of local and sustainable food systems, especially through direct market channels.

    Solano County’s Agricultural Sustainability at the Crossroads…Which Way to Turn, What Choices Will Count?
    Carole Paterson, UC Cooperative Extension, 501 Texas St., Fairfield, CA 94533, (707)784-1320, capaterson@ucdavis.edu. $10,000
    This project will increase awareness of growers, policy-makers and local citizens about marketing options, agritourism, and sustainability issues in Solano County agriculture, through workshops and community forums.

    Humboldt County Local Food Distribution Project
    Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension, 5630 South Broadway, Eureka, CA 95503, (707)445-7351, ddgiraud@ucdavis.edu. $10,000
    This project will focus on creating new markets for local farmers by piloting a farm-to-institution purchasing program in the county.

    Needs Assessment for Small-Scale Livestock Harvesting and Processing Facilities in Northern California
    Morgan Doran, UC Cooperative Extension, 501 Texas St., Fairfield, CA 94533, (707)784-1326, mpdoran@ucdavis.edu. $9,976
    This project will quantify the demand for small-scale livestock slaughtering and processing services in Northern California and determine ideal geographic areas for such businesses.

    Community Food Systems in Marin County: Connecting the Dots
    Ellie Rilla, UC Cooperative Extension, 1682 Novato Blvd., Suite 150B, Novato, CA 94947, (415)499-4204, erilla@ucdavis.edu. $9,775
    The project continues support of farm-to-school programming that connects food service and farmers in Marin County through on-farm tours and training for farmers.

    Trinity Heritage Orchard Project
    Larry Forero, UC Cooperative Extension, 1851 Hartnell Ave., Redding, CA 96002, (530)224-4900, lcforero@ucdavis.edu. $9,584 
    A heritage apple and pear orchard at Lee Fong Park will be used as a site to promote the use of heirloom fruit, as a focal point for agritourism and value-added marketing, and as a site to demonstrate production techniques.

    PlacerGROWN Collaborative Community Supported Agriculture Project
    Roger Ingram, UC Cooperative Extension, 11477 E Avenue, Auburn, CA 95603, (530)889-7385, rsingram@ucdavis.edu. $9,520 
    This project will pilot a collaborative community supported agriculture (CSA) project, supplying members with fresh, local produce from six to 10 farms.

    Seasonal Availability Calendar for Placer County Produce
    Cindy Fake, UC Cooperative Extension, 11477 E Ave., Auburn, CA 95603, (530)889-7385, cefake@ucdavis.edu. $7,989 
    This project will develop a seasonal calendar of Placer County produce to build awareness of local agriculture and stimulate the consumption of local agricultural products.

    Farms of Tuolumne County Marketing Association
    Jay Norton, UC Cooperative Extension, 2 S. Green St., Sonora, CA 95370, (209)533-5686, jbnorton@ucdavis.edu. $3,505 
    This project will support the development of a Web site and promotional materials featuring the Farms of Tuolumne County logo, ensuring the expansion and continuity of the marketing association.

Grants funded for 2002

  • Research & Education Grants
  • Fiscal Year 2001 - 2003 Research & Education Grants

    Eight research and education projects have been granted a total of $156,431 by UC SAREP for the 2001-03 funding cycle. Projects were chosen in two different topic areas:

    Optimizing organic and biologically integrated farming systems

    Promoting the development of sustainable community food systems.


    Descriptions of the projects, principal investigators, contact information and amounts awarded follow.

    Optimizing Oraganic and Biologically Integrated Farming Systems
    (4 Projects; $96,159)

    Chris van Kessel, UC Davis, agronomy and range sciences, "Rice Straw Management as a Means to Control Weed and Pest Pressure in California Rice Fields": $37,956. Ideal growing conditions coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and management practices have placed California rice yields among the highest in the world. However, growers are facing increased scrutiny over the impact of fertilizer and pesticide use on non-target organisms and the environment. As a result, the continued viability of rice production systems depends upon developing more environmentally friendly management strategies that can support high yields and promote sustainable resource stewardship. In 1991, the California Rice Straw Burning Reduction Act addressed the negative impact of rice straw burning on air quality by requiring rice farmers to adopt alternative methods of straw disposal for the more than 500,000 acres of rice grown in the Sacramento Valley. Since the use of rice straw for other purposes remains limited, farmers have turned to incorporating the straw back into the soil. Straw incorporation is now common; however, doubts remain over its impact on weeds, diseases and invertebrate pests, nutrient availability and overall yield. This project will fully explore the use of alternative straw management practices as a stimulant for biological pest and weed control in rice fields. By using fields that are part of the BIFS rice project, the robustness of earlier observed weed and pest reduction under alternative straw management practices will be tested. Specifically, this project will: 1) characterize the impact of winter flooding and straw incorporation on invertebrate pest populations and determine the potential for increased reliance on biological controls; and 2) quantify the impact of waterfowl on the size of the weed seed bank and the weed populations at harvest. The results will serve as the basis to evaluate current pest management practices, and provide the necessary scientific foundation for additional-on farm demonstrations of alternative pest management practices emphasizing biological control. (530) 752-4377; cvankessel@ucdavis.edu

    Marsha Campbell Mathews, Stanislaus County farm advisor, "Protecting Groundwater Quality on Dairies by Proper Lagoon Nutrient Management": $21,580. Most dairies in California clean their holding pens using a flush system to wash the manure into a storage pond, commonly called a lagoon. The improper application of lagoon nutrients has the potential to result in contamination of groundwater, especially in areas with a high leaching potential and shallow depth to groundwater. Traditionally, there has been no practical way of measuring the amount of nutrients in the lagoon water, so the value of the wastewater as a nutrient source has commonly been discounted. Over the past few years, a practical system has been developed using a nitrogen quick test, flow meter, and throttling valve that enables dairy producers to apply targeted amounts of lagoon nitrogen with much the same accuracy as commercial water run ammonia. These techniques are being implemented as part of the BIFS dairy project "Integrating Forage Production with Dairy Manure Management in the San Joaquin Valley" to confirm that adoption of these management practices will not result in loss of yields. In a previous SAREP funded project conducted by Mathews over the last three years, application techniques were developed which enabled researchers to account for the organic fraction of nitrogen in the lagoon water, and to apply lagoon nitrogen at rates very close to crop uptake. This project will continue the relatively precise application of lagoon nutrients to determine if it is possible to achieve drinking water quality in shallow groundwater on a situation typical of many areas with a prior history of overapplication of manures. A second research site will be established in a location with minimal history of manure application. This part of the project is designed to confirm that dairy lagoon nutrients can be used as a sustainable nutrient source for crops without compromising groundwater quality or yields in the absence of high background nitrogen in the soil. (209) 525-6800; mcmathews@ucdavis.edu

    Milton E. McGiffin, Jr., UC Riverside, botany and plant sciences, "The Organic Effect in Desert Vegetable Production": $20,000. This project will quantify what is often called "the organic effect," i.e., the positive changes that result from the transition to organic production practices. Although farmers often experience lower yields in the first few years of transition to organic farming practices, there is frequently a subsequent improvement of crop yields following several years of organic farming. These increases in crop productivity are usually attributed to improvements in soil quality resulting from the use of cover crops, organic amendments, and other aspects of organic crop production. Cover crops are often used in organic agriculture to replace synthetic fertilizer and pesticides, and the increasing demand for organic produce has made many growers consider organic vegetables as a production alternative. Farmers recognize cover crops as a potential solution to many issues of sustainability: leaching of nutrients into groundwater, decreasing pesticide usage, complying with organic certification rules, and improving soil quality. By documenting the differences in production systems, this project will address the frequent questions about the effect of organic farming on yield, fertility, and costs. This research is part of a multidisciplinary effort that also investigates soil microbial ecology and weed population dynamics. (909) 560-0839; milt@ucrac1.ucr.edu\

    David J. Lewis, Sonoma County watershed management advisor, "Management of Corrals and Pastures to Reduce Pollutant Loading to Coastal Watersheds": $16, 623. Water quality and watershed management is crucial for protecting the health of residents and insuring the continued economic viability of agriculture and shellfish culture in the Tomales Bay Watershed. The Tomales Bay Shellfish Technical Advisory Committee confirmed winter fecal coliform bacteria levels within Tomales Bay are above water quality standards for shellfish harvesting areas. Bay agricultural lands were identified as one of the sources of bacteria. Dairy ranching is a significant economic contributor and an integral component of the rural landscape in coastal counties. The cost of environmental regulation compliance can seem prohibitive for dairies; during the last 18 months five Tomales Bay watershed dairy ranches have gone out of business to avoid these costs. The remaining dairies are searching for economically feasible solutions to improve water quality. The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of animal waste management practices (vegetative buffers, dry lot and corral management, and other pasture management improvements) to reduce pollution. Researchers will sample and analyze storm runoff from corrals and pastures with different management practices including scrapping and seeding for corrals and variation in quantity and timing of field-applied manure to pastures. Samples will be analyzed for fecal coliform, nutrients, total suspended solids, pH, electrical conductivity and turbidity.   (707)565-2621; djllewis@ucdavis.edu

     

    Promoting the Development of Sustainable Community Food Systems
    (4 projects; $60,272)

    Patricia Allen, assistant director, UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, "Perspectives and Strategies of Alternative Food Initiatives in California": $19,360. This project will examine the range of new civic organizations addressing alternative food systems issues in California. Innovative organizations support farmers' markets, urban gardens, eco- and regional labels, community food policy councils, and other programs and initiatives in response to concerns about the existing food system. The organizations complement on-farm efforts to promote sustainable agriculture by connecting these concerns with economic, social and policy aspects of the food system beyond the farm. Working with participants in the organizations, project researchers will evaluate the potential of the initiatives to contribute to the goals of better health and quality of life for all California communities. Through study of participants' intentions and insights, researchers plan to provide analysis that will help groups accomplish their goals and minimize potentially contradictory outcomes. Researchers will seek to discover what participants have learned through their concrete practices about how the food system works, how to change it, and how participants view their efforts within the history of development of these initiatives. Different visions of food system alternatives that these organizations propose will be assessed, as well as the issues and problems confronted and the methodologies used. This project will provide an overall assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of alternative strategies of institutional change. (831) 459-4243; rats@cats.ucsc.edu

    Toni Martin, food service director, Winters Joint Unified School District, "Linking Education, Agriculture and Foodservice (LEAF)": $15,872. Community groups, advocacy organizations, and school districts have begun exploring ways to increase the viability of small- and medium-sized family farms while improving the quality of school meals. Many school districts are implementing "farm to school" programs in order to extend the direct marketing options for local farmers, improve students' food choices during lunch, and educate young consumers and their parents about the relationship of the food they eat to the agricultural systems that produce the food. This project will establish a pilot project to test the feasibility of beginning a farm to school salad bar at a local elementary school as a one-day-per-week option to the regularly served hot lunch. During the year, several factors will be evaluated so that at the end of the year, a planning team of parents, teachers, school district and food service personnel can assess the success of the program and determine whether and how it can be expanded for the next year.  (530) 795-6160; tmartin@winters.K12.ca.us

    Dana Harvey, director, Environmental Science Institute, Oakland, "West Oakland Food Security Council Model": $15,040. The first goal of this project is to create a food security council model that will serve as a public voice to raise awareness and understanding of food security. The council, organized with an active advisory board, community agency representatives, and community members from seven West Oakland neighborhoods, will bring sustainable agriculture into the community through community- and entrepreneurial-based demonstration projects, and through a comprehensive education and outreach campaign. The council will also develop a comprehensive food system plan and work to implement the identified strategies to improve access to food and revitalize the community. Using a variety of outreach methods including workshops and community meetings, the council will mobilize food security action.  (510) 534-7657; envsciinst@earthlink.net

    Aaron Shonk, resource manager, Davis Joint Unified School District, "Davis Joint Unified School District Farm to School Program": $10,000. Viable models of farm to school programs are needed to extend markets for sustainable agriculture in public schools. Given the state's system for school nutrition programs, school districts need additional resources to transition from traditional food purchasing and classroom education to farm-direct purchasing and garden-based education. With the help of area farmers and local organizations, the Davis Joint Unified School District developed a foundation for a farm to school program in three schools. The farm to school program features an instructional garden, a farmers' market salad bar known as the "Crunch Lunch" (a complete, balanced school meal of carbohydrates and proteins with seasonal fresh food grown on local sustainable farms), food waste diversion (vermicomposting of food waste, food rescue and an "offer" vs. "serve" lunch program), and cooking in the classroom. Through participation in the "Crunch Lunch" program and the school site gardens, students learn to understand and appreciate the source of their food. This project will enable DJUSD to examine ways to integrate the salad bar into the regular nutritional services program, educate the public at the Davis Farmers' Market Fall Festival and biweekly markets, and engage in public outreach and development of a school districtwide food policy.  (530) 757-5300  ext. 121; ashonk@djusd.k12.ca.us

  • Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) 
  • 2002 Grants for Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS)

    Two Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) projects were granted a total of $479,907 by UC SAREP for the 2002--2004 funding cycle. BIFS projects were chosen in winegrapes and dried plums (prunes). The winegrape project is a first-time recipient of a UC SAREP grant. The dried plum project was funded to continue the work begun in its previous funding cycle.

    Dried Plums (Prunes) (1998-2004)

    Gary Obenauf, Principal Investigator and Project Manager, California Dried Plum Board, "California Dried Plum Board Integrated Prune Farming Practices/BIFS": $180,000 over a three-year period. 

    The prune BIFS project is a part of the larger Integrated Prune Farming Practices Program working with 33 prune growers in 10 counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The project focuses on reducing the use of dormant season organophosphate pesticides, increasing orchard monitoring activities, and reducing applications of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers. The BIFS for prunes project utilizes extensive outreach, collaborating with the California Dried Plum Board (formerly the California Prune Board) for broad adoption of biologically integrated farming practices throughout the commodity. 
    For more information, see: http://www.agresearch.nu/ipfp.htm

    Winegrapes (2002-2004)

    Kris O'Connor, Executive Director, Central Coast Vineyard Team (CCVT) "Using the Positive Points System to Reduce Chemical Reliance in Vineyards": $299,907 over a three-year period. 

    This project proposes to collect chemical use data to determine whether there is a correlation between a high score on the Positive Point System and reduced use of agricultural chemicals. The Positive Point System, developed by the Central Coast Vineyard Team, provides a point system for evaluating the extent of sustainable practices incorporated by a farm manager. A higher score indicates more environmentally friendly management. This project has strong grower support and represents a collaborative partnership of growers, wineries, farm advisors, researchers and consultants. The project has potential not only for chemical use reduction, but for compliance regarding eliminating off-site movement of soils and water.
    For more information, see: www.vineyardteam.org

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • 2002-2003 Grants for Educational Events

    UC SAREP awards educational grants to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other instructional events related to sustainable agriculture. For the 2002-2003 cycle, SAREP is awarding a total of $36,500 to support 22 educational programs. SAREP collaborated with the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project (UC IPM) to fund six of the grants. In addition, SAREP is funding nine programs in the community development/community food systems area, and seven grants related to sustainable crop and livestock systems. For more information about a particular event call the telephone number or write to the email address listed below.

    Integrated Pest Management (funding through uc ipm)

    Nick Frey, Sonoma County Grape Growers Association, $1,500. "Sonoma County IPM Field Day." (707) 206-0603, frey@scgga.org

    Stacy Carlsen, Marin County Dept. of Agriculture, $6,000. "Landscape IPM for School IPM Coordinators, Maintenance Directors, and Groundkeepers: A Series of Four Workshops." (415) 499-6700, marin.dept.ag@co.marin.ca.us

    Sor Lo, Butte County Hmong Cultural Center, $1,500. "Outreach and Education to Hmong Farmers in the North Valley." (530) 879-3563, econolo@aol.com

    Linda Desai, Placer Nature Center, $1,500. "How To Be Weed Free." (530) 878-6053, lindad@pltpnc.org

    Maclay Burt, Association of Natural Bio-control Producers, $1,500. "Building for Balance." (714) 544-8295, execdir@anbp.org

    Jill Klein, Association of Applied Insect Ecologists, $3,000. "AAIE Educational Events." (707) 265-9349, jillklein@sbcglobal.net

    Sustainable Crop and Livestock Systems (funding through uc sarep)

    Sarah Potenza, Ecological Farming Association, $1,300. "Sustainable Dairy Panel Series." (831) 763-2111

    Jeff Mitchell, UC Davis Vegetable Crops, Kearney Ag Center, $2,000. "Conservation Tillage 2002 Workshops." [Source funds: Western Region SARE Professional Development Program.]

    Adina Merenlender, UC Hopland Research and Extension Center, $1,300. "Vineyards in Hardwood Rangeland Watersheds." (707) 744-1270, adina@nature.berkeley.edu

    Kevin McEnnis, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, $1,300. "Cover Crops and Soils Educational Events." (707) 579-3973, kmcennis@yahoo.com

    Morgan Doran, UC Cooperative Extension Solano County, $1,300. "Solar Power for Improving Water Distribution and Rangeland Utilization." (707) 435-2459

    Aziz Baameur, UC Cooperative Extension Santa Clara County, $1,300. "Alternatives in Crop Management Tools & New Crop Opportunities for Small Farms." (408) 299-2635, Azbaameur@ucdavis.edu

    Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension Humboldt County, $1,300. "Soil Fertility Management for Organic Crop Production." (707) 445-7351, ddgiraud@ucdavis.edu

    Connections Between Farmers, Consumers, And Communities In Sustainable Food And Agricultural Systems (funding through uc sarep)

    Mary Kimball, FARMS Leadership Program, $1,300. "The FARMS Leadership Program Field Days." (530) 795-1520, kimball@quicknet.com

    Barbara Reed, UC Cooperative Extension Glenn County, $1,300 . "Artisan Cheese Production Workshop - A Look At Vertical Integration." (530) 865-1107, bareed@ucdavis.edu

    Steve Schwartz, California FarmLink, $1,300. "Business Planning and Innovative Financing Strategies to Promote Intergenerational Farm Transitions (Ventura/Santa Barbara)." (707) 829-1691, info@californiafarmlink.org

    Lydia Schlosser, Farm to School Connection, $1,300. "Davis Farm to School Connection: Lessons Learned from 2000-2003." (530) 758-5200, shredmama@aol.com

    Holly George, UC Cooperative Extension Plumas-Sierra counties, $1,300. "Agritourism and Nature Tourism Workshop." (530) 283-6270, hageorge@ucdavis.edu

    Dr. Gail Goodyear, UC Cooperative Extension Trinity-Shasta, $1,300 . "Effective Garden-based Nutrition Education." (530) 628-5495, gegoodyear@ucdavis.edu

    Tina Poles, Sonoma County Farm Bureau, $1,300. "School Garden and Farm to School Symposium." (707) 874-1557 x 202, tina@oaec.org

    Dr. Sandra Wallenstein, Marin Food Systems Project, $1,300. "Creating a Vibrant Local Food System in Marin: Linking Educators with Farmers." (415) 485-4908, eecofmarin@aol.com

    Ellen Rilla, UC Cooperative Extension Marin County, $1,300 . "Grown in Marin Speaker Series." (415) 499-4204, erilla@ucdavis.edu

Grants funded for 2001

  • Research & Education Grants
  • Fiscal Year 2001 - 2003 Research & Education Grants

    Eight research and education projects have been granted a total of $156,431 by UC SAREP for the 2001-03 funding cycle. Projects were chosen in two different topic areas:

    Optimizing organic and biologically integrated farming systems

    Promoting the development of sustainable community food systems.


    Descriptions of the projects, principal investigators, contact information and amounts awarded follow.

    Optimizing Oraganic and Biologically Integrated Farming Systems
    (4 Projects; $96,159)

    Chris van Kessel, UC Davis, agronomy and range sciences, "Rice Straw Management as a Means to Control Weed and Pest Pressure in California Rice Fields": $37,956. Ideal growing conditions coupled with state-of-the-art equipment and management practices have placed California rice yields among the highest in the world. However, growers are facing increased scrutiny over the impact of fertilizer and pesticide use on non-target organisms and the environment. As a result, the continued viability of rice production systems depends upon developing more environmentally friendly management strategies that can support high yields and promote sustainable resource stewardship. In 1991, the California Rice Straw Burning Reduction Act addressed the negative impact of rice straw burning on air quality by requiring rice farmers to adopt alternative methods of straw disposal for the more than 500,000 acres of rice grown in the Sacramento Valley. Since the use of rice straw for other purposes remains limited, farmers have turned to incorporating the straw back into the soil. Straw incorporation is now common; however, doubts remain over its impact on weeds, diseases and invertebrate pests, nutrient availability and overall yield. This project will fully explore the use of alternative straw management practices as a stimulant for biological pest and weed control in rice fields. By using fields that are part of the BIFS rice project, the robustness of earlier observed weed and pest reduction under alternative straw management practices will be tested. Specifically, this project will: 1) characterize the impact of winter flooding and straw incorporation on invertebrate pest populations and determine the potential for increased reliance on biological controls; and 2) quantify the impact of waterfowl on the size of the weed seed bank and the weed populations at harvest. The results will serve as the basis to evaluate current pest management practices, and provide the necessary scientific foundation for additional-on farm demonstrations of alternative pest management practices emphasizing biological control. (530) 752-4377; cvankessel@ucdavis.edu

    Marsha Campbell Mathews, Stanislaus County farm advisor, "Protecting Groundwater Quality on Dairies by Proper Lagoon Nutrient Management": $21,580. Most dairies in California clean their holding pens using a flush system to wash the manure into a storage pond, commonly called a lagoon. The improper application of lagoon nutrients has the potential to result in contamination of groundwater, especially in areas with a high leaching potential and shallow depth to groundwater. Traditionally, there has been no practical way of measuring the amount of nutrients in the lagoon water, so the value of the wastewater as a nutrient source has commonly been discounted. Over the past few years, a practical system has been developed using a nitrogen quick test, flow meter, and throttling valve that enables dairy producers to apply targeted amounts of lagoon nitrogen with much the same accuracy as commercial water run ammonia. These techniques are being implemented as part of the BIFS dairy project "Integrating Forage Production with Dairy Manure Management in the San Joaquin Valley" to confirm that adoption of these management practices will not result in loss of yields. In a previous SAREP funded project conducted by Mathews over the last three years, application techniques were developed which enabled researchers to account for the organic fraction of nitrogen in the lagoon water, and to apply lagoon nitrogen at rates very close to crop uptake. This project will continue the relatively precise application of lagoon nutrients to determine if it is possible to achieve drinking water quality in shallow groundwater on a situation typical of many areas with a prior history of overapplication of manures. A second research site will be established in a location with minimal history of manure application. This part of the project is designed to confirm that dairy lagoon nutrients can be used as a sustainable nutrient source for crops without compromising groundwater quality or yields in the absence of high background nitrogen in the soil. (209) 525-6800; mcmathews@ucdavis.edu

    Milton E. McGiffin, Jr., UC Riverside, botany and plant sciences, "The Organic Effect in Desert Vegetable Production": $20,000. This project will quantify what is often called "the organic effect," i.e., the positive changes that result from the transition to organic production practices. Although farmers often experience lower yields in the first few years of transition to organic farming practices, there is frequently a subsequent improvement of crop yields following several years of organic farming. These increases in crop productivity are usually attributed to improvements in soil quality resulting from the use of cover crops, organic amendments, and other aspects of organic crop production. Cover crops are often used in organic agriculture to replace synthetic fertilizer and pesticides, and the increasing demand for organic produce has made many growers consider organic vegetables as a production alternative. Farmers recognize cover crops as a potential solution to many issues of sustainability: leaching of nutrients into groundwater, decreasing pesticide usage, complying with organic certification rules, and improving soil quality. By documenting the differences in production systems, this project will address the frequent questions about the effect of organic farming on yield, fertility, and costs. This research is part of a multidisciplinary effort that also investigates soil microbial ecology and weed population dynamics. (909) 560-0839; milt@ucrac1.ucr.edu\

    David J. Lewis, Sonoma County watershed management advisor, "Management of Corrals and Pastures to Reduce Pollutant Loading to Coastal Watersheds": $16, 623. Water quality and watershed management is crucial for protecting the health of residents and insuring the continued economic viability of agriculture and shellfish culture in the Tomales Bay Watershed. The Tomales Bay Shellfish Technical Advisory Committee confirmed winter fecal coliform bacteria levels within Tomales Bay are above water quality standards for shellfish harvesting areas. Bay agricultural lands were identified as one of the sources of bacteria. Dairy ranching is a significant economic contributor and an integral component of the rural landscape in coastal counties. The cost of environmental regulation compliance can seem prohibitive for dairies; during the last 18 months five Tomales Bay watershed dairy ranches have gone out of business to avoid these costs. The remaining dairies are searching for economically feasible solutions to improve water quality. The goal of this project is to evaluate the effectiveness of animal waste management practices (vegetative buffers, dry lot and corral management, and other pasture management improvements) to reduce pollution. Researchers will sample and analyze storm runoff from corrals and pastures with different management practices including scrapping and seeding for corrals and variation in quantity and timing of field-applied manure to pastures. Samples will be analyzed for fecal coliform, nutrients, total suspended solids, pH, electrical conductivity and turbidity.   (707)565-2621; djllewis@ucdavis.edu

     

    Promoting the Development of Sustainable Community Food Systems
    (4 projects; $60,272)

    Patricia Allen, assistant director, UC Santa Cruz Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, "Perspectives and Strategies of Alternative Food Initiatives in California": $19,360. This project will examine the range of new civic organizations addressing alternative food systems issues in California. Innovative organizations support farmers' markets, urban gardens, eco- and regional labels, community food policy councils, and other programs and initiatives in response to concerns about the existing food system. The organizations complement on-farm efforts to promote sustainable agriculture by connecting these concerns with economic, social and policy aspects of the food system beyond the farm. Working with participants in the organizations, project researchers will evaluate the potential of the initiatives to contribute to the goals of better health and quality of life for all California communities. Through study of participants' intentions and insights, researchers plan to provide analysis that will help groups accomplish their goals and minimize potentially contradictory outcomes. Researchers will seek to discover what participants have learned through their concrete practices about how the food system works, how to change it, and how participants view their efforts within the history of development of these initiatives. Different visions of food system alternatives that these organizations propose will be assessed, as well as the issues and problems confronted and the methodologies used. This project will provide an overall assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of alternative strategies of institutional change. (831) 459-4243; rats@cats.ucsc.edu

    Toni Martin, food service director, Winters Joint Unified School District, "Linking Education, Agriculture and Foodservice (LEAF)": $15,872. Community groups, advocacy organizations, and school districts have begun exploring ways to increase the viability of small- and medium-sized family farms while improving the quality of school meals. Many school districts are implementing "farm to school" programs in order to extend the direct marketing options for local farmers, improve students' food choices during lunch, and educate young consumers and their parents about the relationship of the food they eat to the agricultural systems that produce the food. This project will establish a pilot project to test the feasibility of beginning a farm to school salad bar at a local elementary school as a one-day-per-week option to the regularly served hot lunch. During the year, several factors will be evaluated so that at the end of the year, a planning team of parents, teachers, school district and food service personnel can assess the success of the program and determine whether and how it can be expanded for the next year.  (530) 795-6160; tmartin@winters.K12.ca.us

    Dana Harvey, director, Environmental Science Institute, Oakland, "West Oakland Food Security Council Model": $15,040. The first goal of this project is to create a food security council model that will serve as a public voice to raise awareness and understanding of food security. The council, organized with an active advisory board, community agency representatives, and community members from seven West Oakland neighborhoods, will bring sustainable agriculture into the community through community- and entrepreneurial-based demonstration projects, and through a comprehensive education and outreach campaign. The council will also develop a comprehensive food system plan and work to implement the identified strategies to improve access to food and revitalize the community. Using a variety of outreach methods including workshops and community meetings, the council will mobilize food security action.  (510) 534-7657; envsciinst@earthlink.net

    Aaron Shonk, resource manager, Davis Joint Unified School District, "Davis Joint Unified School District Farm to School Program": $10,000. Viable models of farm to school programs are needed to extend markets for sustainable agriculture in public schools. Given the state's system for school nutrition programs, school districts need additional resources to transition from traditional food purchasing and classroom education to farm-direct purchasing and garden-based education. With the help of area farmers and local organizations, the Davis Joint Unified School District developed a foundation for a farm to school program in three schools. The farm to school program features an instructional garden, a farmers' market salad bar known as the "Crunch Lunch" (a complete, balanced school meal of carbohydrates and proteins with seasonal fresh food grown on local sustainable farms), food waste diversion (vermicomposting of food waste, food rescue and an "offer" vs. "serve" lunch program), and cooking in the classroom. Through participation in the "Crunch Lunch" program and the school site gardens, students learn to understand and appreciate the source of their food. This project will enable DJUSD to examine ways to integrate the salad bar into the regular nutritional services program, educate the public at the Davis Farmers' Market Fall Festival and biweekly markets, and engage in public outreach and development of a school districtwide food policy.  (530) 757-5300  ext. 121; ashonk@djusd.k12.ca.us

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • 2001-2002 Grants for Educational Events

    UC SAREP awards educational grants to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other instructional events related to sustainable agriculture. For the 2001-2002 cycle, SAREP is awarding a total of $19,920 to support 17 events. For the first time, SAREP collaborated with the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project (UC IPM) to fund three of the educational events. In addition, SAREP is funding seven grants/events in the community development/community food systems area, and the non-profit International Tree Crops Institute is funding three grants (seven events) related to agroforestry.

    Integrated Pest Management (funding through UC IPM)

    Bruce Badzik, National Park Service, $1,500. "Urban Rodent Summit." Date: March 2002. Location: Fort Baker, Marin County. (415)561-4831, Bruce_a._badzik@nps.gov

    David Chang, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, $900. "Noxious Weeds Workshop." Date/Location: TBA. (805) 681-5600, Dchang@co.santa-barbara.ca.us

    Community Development / Community Food Systems (funding through UC SAREP)

    Bob Roan, PlacerGROWN, $1,500. "PlacerGROWN Farm Conference." Date: February 3, 2002. Location: Lincoln, CA. (916) 823-7385

    Christina Carpenter, $1,500. Sustainable Sonoma County, "Sonoma County Food System/Farm-to-School Coalition Building 2001." Date: September 2001. Location: TBA.  (707) 824-9791, Sustain@sonic.net

    Robin Crown, Area Agency on Aging Serving Napa and Solano, $1,500. "A Community Forum: Framing the Future of Nutrition & Meal Delivery Services in Napa & Solano Counties." Date: October 26, 2001. Location: Fairfield, CA. (707) 644-6612, Rlcrown@napanet.net

    Janine Hasey, UC Cooperative Extension Sutter-Yuba Counties, $1,280. "Certified Organic Tree Crops: Transition, Growing Practices & Markets." Date/Location: TBA. (530) 822-7515, Jkhasey@ucdavis.edu

    (530) 822-7515

    Steve Schwartz, California FarmLink, $1,500. "Business Planning & Innovative Financing Strategies to Promote Intergenerational Farm Transitions." Date/Location: TBA. (916) 443-4225, Info@californiafarmlink.org

    (916) 443-4225

    Jennifer Baumbach, University of California Cooperative Extension Solano County, $1,500. "Solano County Jr. Master Gardener Educator Training." Date: October 6, 2001. Location: Fairfield, CA. (707) 435-2803, Jmbaumbach@ucdavis.edu

    (707) 435-2803

    Miguel Altieri, ESPM-Division of Insect Biology, $1,450. "Community Gardening & Seed Saving Workshop." Date: late August 2001. Location: Berkeley, CA. (510) 642-9802,  Agroeco3@nature.berkely.edu

    (510) 642-9802

    Agroforestry (supported from a special donor-directed fund established through a grant from the International Tree Crops Institute USA Inc.)

    Stephanie Larson, University of California Cooperative Extension Sonoma County, $1,500. "Designing Riparian Buffers for Rangelands to be used for Addressing TMDLs & Water Quality Issues in Sonoma & Marin Counties." Dates/Location: 3 meetings TBA (707) 565-2621, Slarson@ucdavis.edu

    Vance Howard, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, $4,290. "Bringing Farm Edges Back to Life!" (2 Field Meetings); "Conservation Practices for Sustainable Agriculture & Riparian Buffer Strip Creation/Restoration," (2 meetings). Dates: TBA. Location: Yolo County. (530) 662-2037, Howard@yolorcd.ca.gov

Grants funded for 2000

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • Fiscal Year 2000 - Grants for Educational Events

    [16 grants (26 events); $18,700]

    Educational grants are awarded to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other instructional events related to sustainable agriculture. Sixteen grants were awarded to support 26 different events or programs around the state. For more information about a particular event call the telephone number or email address listed below. To learn more about SAREP’s educational grants program, call David Chaney at (530) 754-8551, dechaney@ucdavis.edu

    John Anderson, California Native Grass Association. $1,200. "Techniques and Strategies for Using Native Grasses and Graminoids in Restoration Projects: A Practical Training Workshop." Dates: 2-day workshop to be held in September, 2000. Location: San Diego. (530) 759-8458, hedgefarm@aol.com

    Janet Brown, Marin Food Policy Council. $1,200. "Marin Food Policy Council Facilitated Process for Revision of the Marin Countywide Plan." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on a Friday or Saturday in July, 2000 TBA. Location: San Dominico School Conference Center, San Anselmo. (415) 488-9464\, janet@ecoliteracy.org

    Ken Churches, UC Cooperative Extension, Calaveras County. $700. "CalaverasGROWN Farm Conference." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on February 17, 2001. Location: Calaveras High School, San Andreas. (209) 754-6477\, cecalaveras@ucdavis.edu

    Bill Frost, UC Cooperative Extension, Amador County. $600. "Noxious Weed Management in Amador County," Date: 1-day workshop to be held in January, 2001. Location: Amador County Fairgrounds, Plymouth. (530) 621-5509\, wefrost@ucdavis.edu

    Elaine Hiel, San Diego Hunger Coalition. $2,400. "Sustainable Home and Community Gardens." Dates: 1-day field trip to be held in September 2000 and workshop series (6 days) to begin in September or October 2000. Location: Chula Vista. (619) 692-8390, ehiel@aol.com

    Carol Hillhouse, Department of Pomology, UC Davis. $1,000. "Capitol Region School Gardens Share Day." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on October 28, 2000. Location: Sacramento County. (530) 752-7655, jchillhouse@ucdavis.edu

    Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma and Marin Counties. $600. "Maintaining Sustainable Coastal Beef Cattle Operations by Developing Local, Innovative Marketing Programs." Date: 1-day workshop to be held in either late winter 2000 or early spring 2001. Location: Petaluma. (707) 565-2621, slarson@ucdavis.edu

    Diane Metz, UC Cooperative Extension, Solano County. $1,200. "Fairfield-Suisun Food Security Harvest Faire." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on September 16, 2000. Location: St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, Fairfield. (707) 421-6792, dlmetz@ucdavis.edu

    Jeff Mitchell, Department of Vegetable Crops and Weed Science, UC Davis. $1,200. "Conservation Tillage Equipment Demonstrations: Innovative Strategies for Reducing Tillage in California’s Central Valley Row Crop Production Systems." Dates: Two 1-day conferences to be held in May 2001. Locations: UC West Side Research and Extension Center, Five Points and UC Davis campus. (559) 646-6593, mitchell@uckac.edu

    Richard Molinar, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County. $1,200. "IPM, Fertilizantes, y Cosechas para El Agricultor en el Valle." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on December 12, 2000. Location: Andersons Pea Soup, Selma. (559) 456-7555, rhmolinar@ucdavis.edu

    Kris O’Connor, Central Coast Vineyard Team. $1,200. "Exploring Environmental Labeling and Certification Programs for Sustainable Agriculture." Date: 1-day workshop to be held in winter 2000. Location: Paso Robles. (805) 462-9431, info@vineyardteam.org

    Kosal Ou, Central California Forum on Refugee Affairs. $1,200. "Community Gardens for Self-Sufficiency and Food Security: Sharing Best Practices and Models." Dates: Six 1-day workshops to be held from September 2000 through May 2001. Locations: Fresno and Clovis. (559) 681-6603(559) 681-6603      , soulhikr@aol.com

    Steve Schwartz, California FarmLink. $1,200. "Business Planning and Innovative Financing Strategies to Promote Intergenerational Farm Transitions." Date: Seminar to be held in Winter, 2001. Location: northern California. (916) 443-4225, farmlink@tomatoweb.com

    Cathrine Sneed, The Garden Project. $600. "Open Garden 2000." Date: 1-day workshop to be held in July 2000. Location: Bay View Hunter’s Point area, San Francisco. (415) 243-8558, cathrinesneed@yahoo.com

    Steve Temple, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis. $1,200. "Farming Systems Alternatives: Highlights of SAFS 12 Years." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on July 7, 2000. Location: Agronomy Field Headquarters, UC Davis. (530) 752-8216, srtemple@ucdavis.edu

    Sujaya Udayagiri, UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Cruz County. $2,000. "Insect, Disease and Weed Monitoring and Identification Workshops for Limited-Resource Strawberry Growers on the Central Coast – 3 separate events." Date: 1-day workshop to be held on March 23, 2001. Location: UC Cooperative Extension Auditorium in Salinas/Watsonville. (831) 763-8040, sujaya@ucdavis.edu

  • Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards (SAGA) 
  • (7 projects; $18,540)

     

    Emily Blanco, "Investigation of Nest Trapping as a Means of Suppression of Argentine Ant (Linepithema humile) Populations," $3,000. Department of Entomology, UC Davis. (530) 752-9977, etblanco@ucdavis.edu

    Peichen Chen, "Analysis of Virulence in Root-Knot Nematode (Meloidogyne hapla) that Impacts Durability of Host Plant Resistance," $2,890. Department of Nematology, UC Riverside. (909) 787-4436, peichen@ucrac1.ucr.edu

    Yolanda Chen, "Evaluating the Efficacy of a Native Parasitoid on its Lepidopteran Host on Wild and Domesticated Sunflower, Helianthus annuus," $2,650. Division of Insect Biology, UC Berkeley. (510) 642-3989, yoche@nature.berkeley.edu

    Eileen Cullen, "IPM Decision Support to Reduce Reliance on Organophosphates for Stink Bug Control in Processing Tomatoes," $3,000. Department of Entomology, UC Davis. (530) 752-4785, emcullen@ucdavis.edu

    Nicholaus Madden, "Conservation Tillage and Cover Crop Systems for Organic Processing Tomatoes," $2,000. International Agricultural Development Graduate Group, UC Davis. (530) 754-8993, nmmadden@ucdavis.edu

    Theresa Ward, "Riparian Grazing Project: Identifying Riparian Grazing Management that Works," $3,000. Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis. (530) 754-8988, taward@ucdavis.edu

    Keith Warner, "From the Outside Looking In: Perspectives on California Sustainable Agriculture Movement from Key Policy Makers and Opinion Leaders in the State," $2,000. Department of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz. (831) 635-7302, keithdw@cats.ucsc.edu

Grants funded for 1998-1999

  • Research & Education Grants
  • SAREP Awards New Production and Public Policy Grants

    by Lyra Halprin and Bev Ransom, SAREP

    Production Projects
    Community Development and Public Policy Projects
    Continuing Grants

    Twelve production and community development/public policy projects have been granted a total of $231,137 by UC SAREP. These awards are being granted over two fiscal years: FY 1998-99 and FY 1999-00. Brief descriptions of the new grants, principal investigators, contact information and amounts awarded follow. Titles of continuing projects are listed at the end. Almost $80,000 of these grant funds was made available as a result of Assembly Bill 1998 (Helen Thomson, D-Yolo County) which provided funding for production research projects that are related to biologically integrated farming systems.

    Production Projects

    Thomas Harter, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist for Groundwater Hydrology, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality": $14,500 for this year, $15,000 for next year. (Previously funded by SAREP for $14,500 in 1997-98.) This project is related to the Mathews project summarized below. California is the largest dairy production state in the U.S. Environmentally sustainable management of these dairies is critical to the economic health of California’s agricultural community. Data recently collected on dairies in the San Joaquin Valley near fields where lagoon water is applied show elevated levels of nitrates even on well-managed operations. The objectives of this project are to provide an improved understanding of the underground nitrate pathways from various locations in dairy operations (corrals, ponds, spills, manure application to fields) and to discover how these contribute to the degradation of groundwater quality. This will be achieved by using and expanding an existing groundwater monitoring network on five dairies in Stanislaus and Merced counties. The project will also provide baseline data on groundwater quality which can be used to determine future improvements due to improved nutrient management and dairy operations practices on selected dairies. Additionally, at selected field sites the project will demonstrate and evaluate changes in groundwater quality at shallow depths related to improved nutrient management within the dairy operation. It will also educate dairy personnel and communities in Stanislaus and Merced counties and regulatory and water management agencies about the impact of nutrient management alternatives on groundwater quality, and cooperatively develop sustainable solutions to protect groundwater under dairies from excessive salt and nutrient load. (559) 646-6569; thharter@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels, Sacramento County Viticulture/Pomology Farm Advisor, "Effects of Cover Crops on a Vineyard Ecosystem in the Northern San Joaquin Valley": $6,030 each year for two years. (Previously funded by SAREP for $6,212 in 1997-98.) Although used in farming for many years, new species and management systems have been developed recently for cover crops, which are currently very popular in vineyards. Several growers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley now prefer, for example, to sow California native perennial grasses because they provide excellent wheel traction and are dormant in the summer. These grasses are also used to remove excess water in the spring to provide moderate moisture stress in early spring, thus possibly improving wine quality. These species, however, have not been formally tested in vineyards, nor have the most commonly used mixes been compared in their effects on vines and production. In this trial, four sown cover crop mixes and resident vegetation are being compared in a young Sacramento County Merlot winegrape vineyard to determine the effects on production and fruit quality, vine moisture stress and nutrient status, weeds, and the economics of cover cropping. The project includes grower meetings, a journal article and the use of the site as a tour stop for the UC Cover Crops Workgroup meeting in 1999. (916) 875-6913; caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Rachael Long, Yolo/Solano County Farm Advisor, "Quantifying Pest and Beneficial Insects Associated with Insectary Hedgerow Plantings": $7,000 for one year. (Funds for this grant were made available by a special donor-directed fund established through a grant from the International Tree Crops Institute USA, Inc.) California farmers are planting hedgerows of insectary plants around their farms to attract beneficial insects for better biocontrol of pests in adjacent crops. Little information, however, is available on the types of insects attracted to hedgerow plants, including both pests and beneficial insects. This project will quantify the diversity, abundance, and distribution of pest and beneficial insects in hedgerow plantings by conducting bi-weekly monitoring of four stands of hedgerows in Yolo County. (530) 666-8734; rflong@ucdavis.edu

    Marsha Campbell Mathews, Stanislaus County Field Crops Farm Advisor, "Use of Dairy Lagoon Water in Production of Forage Crops": $19,760 for this year, $10,950 for next year. (Previously funded by SAREP for $15,500 in 1997-98.) Despite the rich nutrient content of dairy lagoon water, many Northern San Joaquin Valley corn silage growers have been reluctant to rely on it as the primary source of nitrogen for their crops due to perceived reductions in yields when they have done so. This project, which began in the spring of 1998, was aimed at developing methods of measuring and metering dairy lagoon water nitrogen in order to use it as a nutrient source for corn without over-application. Last season, practical methods were developed for measuring flow and concentration of dairy lagoon water and used to grow an outstanding corn silage crop. In response to this success, the dairy cooperator is installing $200,000 in improvements to the waste handling system on the dairy to facilitate use of lagoon water nutrients over the entire acreage. This project will evaluate the system design, conduct further development and validation of nutrient application methodologies, and confirm the sustainability of yields when dairy lagoon water is used as the primary nutrient source for the crops. Improvements in groundwater quality will be assessed under the joint project "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality" (summarized previously). (209) 525-6654; mcmathews@ucdavis.edu

    Jeff Mitchell, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist, Kearney Agricultural Center, "Conservation Tillage Systems for the San Joaquin Valley’s West Side (An evaluation of the potential of conservation tillage production systems to reduce production costs, enhance soil and water conservation and maintain profitability in common rotations for the San Joaquin Valley’s West Side)": $12,774 each year for three years. Currently preplant tillage operations account for 18 to 24 percent of production costs for annual crops grown in the West Side region of the San Joaquin Valley. Averages of ten tillage-related passes through fields are routinely done during the fall-spring period just to prepare the soil for summer cropping. These passes represent not only considerable energy, equipment and labor costs, but recent research indicates that tillage reduces soil organic matter (SOM) as well. Because SOM is an important attribute of good soil quality and long-term productivity, interest has grown in developing alternative production systems that reduce costs while improving the soil through greater accumulation of organic carbon. Conservation tillage systems may maintain and increase soil organic levels while reducing production costs. This project will compare conservation tillage and conventional tillage practices in crop rotations common to the West Side for productivity, key soil properties, pest and crop management requirements, and production costs, and will widely disseminate study results. (559) 646-6565; mitchell@uckac.edu

    Community Development and Public Policy Projects

    Adrienne Alvord, Public Affairs Coordinator, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, "Farm Community Responses to Water Marketing: Two Case Studies": $10,000 for one year. This project will contribute to the understanding of water markets. The principal investigator will conduct an in-depth examination of two water marketing transactions that took place in different parts of California, one of which was viewed as beneficial for all parties, and one of which was more controversial. The purpose will be to assess characteristics that make water marketing transactions successful or unsuccessful for a community, as well as to assess impacts on economic and environmental sustainability. In addition, this study will briefly survey communities where water marketing proposals are being considered to assess how the presentation of a water marketing proposal can affect its outcome. It will also include a survey of relevant academic and policy publications to provide a context for the case studies. (530) 756-8518 ext. 24; policy@caff.org

    Andrew Fisher, Executive Director, Community Food Security Coalition, "Healthy Farms, Healthy Kids": $16,918 for this year. As part of a Community Food Security Coalition national campaign to improve the quality of school meals and increase connections between schools, agriculture and agricultural learning, this project will prepare a major policy and practices study. The goal of this report and on-going educational efforts is to expand the number of school districts which purchase directly from farmers and use fresh foods in their meal planning. This report will focus on school meals programs purchasing directly from farmers. An advisory team of school food service officials, farmers, and advocates has been assembled to help guide the research. (310) 822-5410; asfisher@aol.com

    Andrew Fisher, Executive Director, Community Food Security Coalition, "Community Food System Assessment Guidebook": $15,301 for this year. Considerable interest has been generated by the concept of community food security. Few communities, however, have conducted any rigorous assessments of their food systems, primarily because of a lack of expertise or guidelines on how to conduct such an assessment. The objective of this project is to develop a guidebook which will provide practical information on how to conduct comprehensive community food system assessments, as well as follow-up activities, including coalition building, gaining media coverage, and food policy action. It will be tailored for community-based organizations, Cooperative Extension agents, and academics engaged in community action and analysis. The guidebook will provide users with information about methods and approaches for all levels of food system assessments and will be followed by a series of training workshops, and mentoring with community groups in California. (310) 822-5410; asfisher@aol.com

    Yolanda Huang, Coordinator, Willard Greening Project, "The Willard Greening Project": $28,600 for this year. (Previously funded by SAREP for $18,225 in 1996-97 and $19,482 in 1997-98.) This project continues the Willard Greening Project in the Berkeley Unified School District, which encourages school children to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables through hands-on learning in school gardens. Goals of this phase of the project include increasing the number of Berkeley public schools serving fresh organic fruits and vegetables from school gardens, increasing the number of local schools growing organic greens for lunch salad, and increasing the number of school gardens. Additionally, the project is working to provide financial support for the gardens by encouraging the local school district’s food service to purchase vegetables and fruit from school gardens. The project will work to develop an overall food security policy for the city of Berkeley, and will develop links between the Berkeley Unified School District's Food Services and local agriculture while it continues to develop creative curriculum linking core science and math with school gardens. (510) 644-6330 (Willard Middle School); yogreening@aol.com

    Jeff Kositsky, Community Services Coordinator, Rural California Housing Corp., Sacramento, "Park Village Farm Project": $20,000 for this year. (Previously funded by SAREP for $10,000 in 1997-98.) This project is designed to create economic opportunities for residents of Park Village Apartments while improving the food security of low-income Cambodian families in Stockton, Calif. The 1997-98 grant from SAREP funded a feasibility study for the project. As a result, USDA awarded the project a grant to cover the start-up costs for Park Village Farms, which will be operated on 27 acres leased nearby. Residents will grow produce for the local Southeast Asian community and develop a community supported agriculture (CSA) project, or subscription farming system, that links producers directly with consumers (a minimum of 200 low-income families). New SAREP funding will be used to enhance the food security component of the farm project by developing the CSA, educating participants and the local community about community supported agriculture, and developing other techniques for linking low-income consumers with producers. The Rural California Housing Corporation, a nonprofit community development organization, co-owns Park Village with the residents. Findings will be published in a report describing the techniques used to increase food security while promoting economic self-sufficiency and community supported agriculture. (916) 442-4731 ext. 3320; jkositsky@aol.com

    Adina Merenlender, Extension Specialist, Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, "Mapping and Forecasting Expanding Vineyards: Integrating Agricultural, Economic, and Environmental Data at a Landscape Scale to Improve Land-Use Decision-Making": $18,200 for 1999-2000. (SAREP previously funded a related project for $62,000 in 1996-99.) Due to the popularity of California wine, forested upland areas are being targeted for vineyard development. Vineyard owners are under scrutiny from the environmental community, government agencies and local press interested in protecting natural resources. Overplanting also puts farmers at risk of an economic downturn. To improve vineyard expansion and environmental protection decision-making, this project will integrate economic forecasting with remote sensing and landscape models. The project will expand earlier research by exploring the consequences of county hillside protection ordinances, extending the landscape analysis to farmers, policy makers and interest groups in Sonoma county, expanding the geographic extent of the project analysis to the north coast by using satellite imagery, and improving the forecasting of vineyard expansion by including economics. (707) 744-1270; adina@nature.berkeley.edu

    Katy Pye, Executive Director, Mary Kimball, Project Coordinator, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, "FARMS (Farming, Agriculture and Resource Management for Sustainability)": $17,500 for this year. Now in its fifth year, the FARMS program has educated rural, urban and suburban high school students about the relation between sustainable agriculture, science and natural resource conservation. Since 1993, students from Yolo, Sacramento and Marin counties have been part of the pilot program; in 1998 two new sites were added (Sonoma and Orange counties), while Butte County will be starting a program in the fall of 1999. The FARMS program has been very successful in fostering collaboration among many players in California agriculture and education circles, and has connected more than 200 students and teachers to the issues surrounding sustainable agriculture in the 1990s. The addition of two new sites in 1998 and the resulting increase in interest in the program has shown that the FARMS model is transferable to other areas in California and the U.S. This grant will enable the program to develop a FARMS Program Manual and accompanying recruiting and training video to help spread the program to other regions. (530) 662-2037 ext. 3; topquail@yolorcd.ca.gov; mckimball@ucdavis.edu

    Continuing Grants (1998-99)

    Brief descriptions of these projects appeared in the Winter 1997 (Vol. 9, No. 1) and Winter/Spring 1998 (Vol. 10, No. 1) issues of Sustainable Agriculture, which can be found in our Newletters/Publicationssection.

    Patrick Brown, "Development of a N-Fertilizer Recommendation Model to Improve N-Use Efficiency and to Alleviate Nitrate Pollution to Ground Water from Almond Orchards"; Melvin George, "The Contribution of Ranch Roads, Cattle Trails and Bed Load to the Sediment Budget for a Grazed Watershed in the Central Sierra Foothills"; William R. Horwath, "Defining Changes in Soil Organic Matter Quality During the Transition from Conventional to Low-Input Organic Systems to Identify Sustainable Farming Practices"; Adina Merenlender, "A Spacially Explicit Vineyard Model: Addressing Crop Production, Public Policy, and Environmental Concerns"; Steven Temple, "The Transition from Conventional to Low-Input or Organic Farming Systems: Soil Biology, Soil Chemistry, Soil Physics, Energy Utilization, Economics and Risk."

  • Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS)
  • 1998-1999 Biologically Integrated Farming Systems Grants

    Highlights of BIFS Projects

    Projects beginning in 1999 (dairy/forage; apples and pears)

    Projects beginning in 1998 (rice; walnuts; prunes; citrus;strawberries)

    Projects beginning in 1995 (winegrapes; cotton and row crops)

    1999 Projects

    Integrating Dairy Manure Management and Forage Crop Production Systems

    Stuart Pettygrove, UC Cooperative Extension soils specialist in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis, is the project leader for this integrated animal-forage crop production system. Demonstration farms will show how application of liquid manure can be metered and timed to coincide with crop nutrient demands, and thus use fewer applications of commercial nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium and protect ground water quality in the Central Valley. Dairy operators pump the dilute, nutrient-containing water from settling basins through their irrigation systems to adjoining cropland, most commonly used for forage, which is hayed or green chopped and used as feed in the same dairy. These forage cropping systems can be designed explicitly to recycle dairy manure and be coupled with improved manure nutrient monitoring and irrigation techniques to create a more sustainable dairy manure management system.

    Integrated Pome Fruit Production in Contra Costa County

    Janet Caprile, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, is leading this project which focuses on reducing the use of controversial, broad-spectrum insecticides in pome fruits (apples and pears). Rapid urbanization around Contra Costa County apple and pear orchards has increased concerns about pesticide use in this region. A key component of the project is the use of mating disruption (MD) to reduce the numbers of codling moth, the most critical pest in apple and pear production. During this three-year project, a team of growers, pest control advisors and UC researchers will be using supplemental codling moth sprays in addition to MD to reduce codling moth populations to very low levels.

    1998 Projects

    Biologically Integrated Farming Systems in Rice

    Priorities in the rice project include summer water depth management, winter flooding, drill seeding, and the use of winter cover crops. Randall Mutters, Butte County farm advisor and BIFS Rice project leader, is collaborating with UC Davis faculty and extension researchers, an agronomist/pest control advisor for the Butte County Rice Growers Association, and eight rice farmers, including Don Murphy and Bryce Lundberg of Richvale. Rice farmers are eager to try new methods: they recognize the need to improve water quality, and increased weed resistance to herbicides and more regulations have raised their production costs.

    San Joaquin Walnut BIOS (Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems) Project

    Under the direction of Joseph Grant, San Joaquin County farm advisor and project leader of the walnut BIFS, the project will extend practices from the similarly designed Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems project to walnut farmers in the San Joaquin valley. The use of less disruptive pesticides in combination with pheromone mating disruption and biological control with Trichogrammawasps is expected to help the project effectively control codling moth while reducing the use of chemical pesticides. At the same time, the project is working to incorporate cover crops and intensive monitoring into the farming practices of BIFS participants. Outreach to area farmers, including a newsletter and field days, will be coordinated through a collaboration with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers. Ten farmers have enrolled 230 acres in the walnut BIFS project.

    Biologically Integrated Production Systems for Prunes

    Gary Obenauf, project leader of the prune BIFS project, is project manager for the California Prune Board and has been involved for several years with the Biological Prune Systems (BPS) program in the Upper Sacramento Valley as well as with the UC Cooperative Extension’s Ecologically Sound Prune Systems (ESPS). The prune BIFS project is a part of the larger Integrated Prune Farming Practices Program working with 22 prune growers in 10 counties in the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys. The project focuses on reducing the use of dormant season organophosphate pesticides, increasing orchard monitoring activities, and reducing applications of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers.

    Biologically Integrated Citrus Orchard Management

    Under the direction of C. Thomas Chao, UC Riverside Extension Horticulturalist and project leader of the citrus BIFS, the project is working with citrus growers on the eastern side of the San Joaquin Valley. Responding to regulatory interests in further protecting ground water, the project focuses on careful monitoring and the use of economic action thresholds to guide pesticide and fertilizer applications. Eight farmers have enrolled a total of 223 acres in the third year of the citrus BIFS project.

    Biological Agriculture Systems in Strawberries (BASIS)

    This project, lead by Carolee Bull (USDA/Agricultural Research Service), works with growers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, a region that produces 50 percent of California’s strawberries. Working with eight strawberry growers, the project focuses on testing and demonstrating alternatives to the soil fumigant methyl bromide and introducing beneficial organisms such as soil inoculants and beneficial arthropods. The strawberry BIFS project also examines non-chemical weed control methods, including the use of hot water treatments to kill seeds and seedlings, and the application of different mulches.

    1995 Projects

    These two projects were the first BIFS proposals selected for funding. Each project completed the third and final year in 1998.

    Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission’s "Winegrape BIFS"

    The winegrape BIFS program, led by project manager Clifford Ohmart, started with 30 BIFS grower cooperators and 37 vineyards; by the third year, 43 BIFS growers were working with 60 demonstration BIFS vineyards totaling 2,370 acres. These growers manage about 50 percent (25,000 acres) of the vineyards in the Lodi-Woodbridge Winegrape Commission (LWWC) region. Highlights include:
     

    Cover crops are used in over 70 percent of BIFS vineyards.

    Intensive in-season pest and beneficial species monitoring was conducted in 100 percent of BIFS vineyards.

    A computer database was developed to manage all grower, crop, pest and pesticide information.

    The proportion of BIFS vineyards sprayed for mites or leafhoppers declined from 54 percent in 1996 to 28 percent in 1998.

    Additionally, 73 percent of the BIFS acreage has been converted to drip irrigation, up from 57 percent in the first year of the program. This technology can reduce nitrogen use by 50 percent.

    In 1998, a comprehensive grower survey was sent to more than 600 LWWC growers, managers and PCAs. Among other things, survey results show that 94 percent of the growers have read the BIFS newsletter, 65 percent had attended a BIFS neighborhood grower meeting, and 66 percent reported monitoring their vineyards more frequently since 1992. This suggests that the Lodi-Woodbridge BIFS program has had a significant impact on the entire districts’ implementation of biologically integrated farming practices.


    West Side BIFS On-Farm Demonstration Project

    This project led by Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops specialist, was designed to facilitate information exchange among area farmers, consultants and researchers on soil-building practices and options for reduced reliance on agrichemicals. By the end of the third year of the West Side BIFS project, 11 farm managers were participating and had each dedicated at least one field site of 80 acres or more to side-by-side comparison plots of BIFS vs. conventional farming practices—a total of 1,600 acres in 16 field sites. The BIFS cooperators manage a total acreage of approximately 90,000 acres in the San Joaquin Valley. Highlights include:
     

    75% of BIFS side-by-side plots received either compost, a cover crop, or were left fallow in all three years in the program; three years of physical, chemical and biological data have been collected and analyzed to monitor the impacts of this biologically intensive soil management and will be used to develop a soil quality index.

    Participating growers have been introduced to the potential of conservation tillage.

    In weed management, the project promotes the application of the herbicide Treflan at variable rates; this enabled BIFS growers to reduce their use by 20 percent and could reduce use up 60 percent.

    Intensive cotton pest and beneficial arthropod monitoring was demonstrated.

    A comparison of cotton, tomato and garlic yields has shown no difference between alternative BIFS plots and conventional plots.

    Farmer and management team participant surveys reveal that all of the ten respondents deemed the project successful, with over half responding "very successful."

  • Alternatives to Methyl Bromide
  • 1999 Grants Projects - Alternatives to Methyl Bromide

    "Cultural Control and Etiology of Replant Disorder of Prunus spp.," Greg Browne, USDA-Agricultural Research Service/UC Davis plant pathology department; Andreas Westphal, UC Davis plant pathology department; Tom Trout, USDA-Agricultural Research Service/Fresno. $150,638 for three years. This project addresses orchard replacement strategies for almonds, nectarines, peaches, plums, and prunes. The major benefit of methyl bromide fumigation is the control of "replant disorder." Replant disorder delays economic production and can lead to tree death. This project will determine the underlying causes of replant disorder, the level of specificity of replant disorder between two types of crops that may follow each other on large acreage, and the possible contributions of pre-plant fallow periods and cover crops to replant disorder control. An improved understanding of replant disorder etiology may be one of the most important keys to development of methyl bromide alternatives. (530) 754-9351, gtbrowne@ucdavis.edu
     

    "Microbiological Improvement of Root Health, Growth, and Yield of Strawberry," John Duniway, UC Davis plant pathology department. $118,780 for three years. The research objective of this project is to find microorganisms to improve root health, growth, and yield of strawberry plants without soil fumigation, which can be integrated with other cultural, biological and chemical treatments. While no individual microorganism or combination of beneficial microorganisms is likely to reproduce the large yield increases obtained by methyl bromide/chloropicrin fumigation of soil, inoculations with specific microorganisms are likely to increase yield significantly. These yield increases are most likely when inoculations are combined with other alternatives to methyl bromide, including fumigants other than methyl bromide, crop rotations, organic amendments of soils, solarization, and/or other cultural practices. The project will use microorganisms recently isolated from strawberry roots growing in fumigated soils in California which have been found to promote growth of strawberry plants in the greenhouse. These microorganisms will be used to inoculate transplants and plants grown for field production. Researchers will look at methods of field application and resulting growth and yield responses will be measured relative to those obtained by normal farming practices with and without fumigation. (530) 752-0324, jmduniway@ucdavis.edu
     

    "Development of Grape Rootstocks with Multiple Nematode Resistance," Howard Ferris, UC Davis nematology department; Andrew Walker, UC Davis viticulture and enology department. $100,744 for three years. The phase-out of methyl bromide will present California grape growers with a critical problem—lack of suitable rootstocks with nematode resistance. This problem will be particularly severe where new vineyards are replanted over a previous vineyard with high levels of grape-damaging nematodes. Currently available rootstocks have either inappropriate horticultural characteristics, including excessive vigor in scions which leads to poor production and quality, or they have insufficient resistance against aggressive nematode strains and species. This resistance breeding project will be integrated into a larger industry-supported grape rootstock breeding program at UC Davis. The project proposes a new approach to broad and durable nematode resistance in grape rootstocks. Researchers will develop, employ, and evaluate new rootstocks with resistance to a broad range of key nematode species as a sustainable alternative to the use of preplant fumigation. (530) 752-8432, hferris@ucdavis.edu
     

    "Containerized Strawberry Transplants as a Replacement for Methyl Bromide Soil Fumigation in California Strawberry Nurseries," Kirk Larson, UC Davis pomology department; Curt Gaines, Lassen Nursery. $107,969 for three years. California farmers plant 500,000,000 new strawberry transplants each year; annual plantings of pathogen- and pest-free transplants have been the basis for high productivity and successful strawberry IPM programs for decades. Strawberry plant propagation in California consists of at least three field propagation cycles, with preplant soil fumigation used in advance of each cycle. Currently, strawberry nurseries fumigate with mixtures of methyl bromide and chloropicrin to ensure the production of pathogen- and nematode-free transplants. The use of containerized transplants produced in disease-free, soil-less media would eliminate the need for nursery soil fumigation. This project will determine the potential for using containerized strawberry transplants (plugs) to produce pathogen- and pest-free planting stock without the use of methyl bromide soil fumigation. Although strawberry plugs are used in other parts of the U.S., there is little information regarding propagation and use of plugs for strawberry production in California. Project researchers will determine suitable methods for propagating and conditioning strawberry plugs under California conditions, and evaluate plug performance in the state’s major strawberry production regions. (949) 857-0136, kdlarson@ucdavis.edu
     

    "Alternatives to Methyl Bromide for Control of Soil-borne Fungi, Bacteria and Weeds in Coastal Ornamental Crops," James MacDonald, UC Davis plant pathology department; Clyde Elmore, UC Davis vegetable crops/weed science department, Steve Tjosvold, UC Cooperative Extension, Watsonville. $76,228 for three years. This project studies non-chemical alternatives to methyl bromide for coastal field-grown ornamentals (cut flowers, bulbs and greens). This is a highly productive and valued component of California's ornamental industry, and is seriously threatened by the pending loss of methyl bromide. Since solarization does not create enough soil heating to be useful by itself in the coastal regions, researchers will combine solarization with the addition of organic amendments to stimulate the phenomenon of biofumigation. This project will focus on controlling the soil-borne fungus Fusarium oxysporum, the soil-borne bacterium Erwinia carotovora and several weed species. Microplot experiments will be conducted in several locations; in-field experiments will be carried out using two different bulb crops, Dutch iris and Calla. (530) 752-6897, jdmacdonald@ucdavis.edu
     

    "Acetaldehyde and Carbon Dioxide Fumigation for Postharvest Control of Insects on Strawberry Fruit," Elizabeth Mitcham, UC Davis pomology department. $75,986 for two years. The export market for strawberry fruit to Japan and Australia is valued at approximately $20 million annually. Fumigation with methyl bromide is used prior to export to these countries. Previous studies have shown that fumigation with acetaldehyde and carbon dioxide (CO2) is promising as an alternative to methyl bromide for postharvest insect and mite control. This project will determine the efficacy of acetaldehyde fumigation alone and in combination with carbon dioxide to kill western flower thrips and two-spotted spider mites. Researchers will then determine the affect of acetaldehyde and CO2 fumigation on fruit quality and postharvest life. They will also demonstrate the commercial feasibility of this treatment within existing methyl bromide fumigation facilities. (530) 752-7512, ejmitcham@ucdavis.edu
     

    "BASIS – Biological Agriculture Systems in Strawberries: A biointensive production methods innovators group in the Monterey Bay region," Carolee Bull, USDA-Agricultural Research Service/Salinas. $160,000 for three years. This on-farm demonstration project is also partially funded by SAREP's Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) funding program. This project works with growers in Santa Cruz and Monterey Counties, a region that produces 50 percent of California’s strawberries. Working with eight strawberry growers, the project focuses on testing and demonstrating alternatives to the soil fumigant methyl bromide and introducing beneficial organisms such as soil inoculants and beneficial arthropods. The project also examines non-chemical weed control methods, including the use of hot water treatments to kill seeds and seedlings, and the application of different mulches. (831) 755-2889, CTBull@aol.com

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • 1999 Grants for Educational Events

    [14 grants (27 events); $15,767]

    Educational grants are awarded to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other instructional events related to sustainable agriculture. Fourteen grants were awarded to support 27different events or programs around the state. For more information about a particular event call the telephone number listed or use the email listed.

    Sierra Cantor, Sotoyome Resource Conservation District, Mary Kimball, Yolo Resource Conservation District.$1,000. "Sonoma/Marin County Farming, Agriculture and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS) Program." Dates: Seven field days/meetings, January-May 1999. Location: Farms TBA. (707) 569-1448 (Cantor), sotorcd@sonic.net ; (530) 662-2037 ext. 121(Kimball), mckimball@ucdavis.edu

    Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension Humboldt County, Cynthia Chason, Food for People, Inc. $900."Community Food Security…Access for All." Date: 1-day workshop Apr. 23, 1999. Location: Humboldt County Agricultural Center, Eureka.(707) 445-7351 (Giraud), ddgiraud@ucdavis.edu ; (707) 445-3166 (Chason).

    William Huber, Hyampom Valley Growers Association, Trinity County Resource Conversation and Development. $947. "Marketing Your Agricultural Product." Date: 1-day workshop on a Saturday in early March 1999 TBA. Location: Hyampom Community Center. (530) 628-5128 (Huber).

    Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension Sacramento County.$500. "Cover Cropping in Vineyards: Experimental Results and Species Demonstration." Date: 1-day workshop Apr. 14, 1999. Location: Deer Creek Vineyard, Sacramento County. (916) 875-6913 (Ingels), caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Roger Ingram, UC Cooperative Extension, Placer/Nevada counties, David Pratt, UC Cooperative Extension Napa/Solano counties. $1000. "The California Grazing Academy." Date: 3-day workshop, late April-early May 1999. Location: UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center. (530) 889-7385 (Ingram), rsingram@ucdavis.edu ;(707) 421-6790 #7, dwpratt@ucdavis.edu

    Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension Sonoma/Marin counties, Dayna Ghiradelli, UC Cooperative Extension, Sonoma/Marin counties. $1000. "Balancing Agricultural Viability with State and Federal Water and Habitat Regulations." Date: 1-day meeting, January or February 1999, TBA. Location: Petaluma. (707) 527-2621 (both),slarson@ucdavis.edu , dgwilson@ucdavis.edu

    Richard MolinarMichael Yang, UC Cooperative Extension Fresno County. $920. "Annual Strawberry Growers Meeting." Date: 1-day meeting, Feb. 28, 1999. Location: UC Cooperative Extension office, Fresno. (209) 456-7555 (both), rhmolinar@ucdavis.edu

    Katy Pye, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, Paul Robins, Yolo County Resource Conservation District, Community Alliance with Family Farmers. $1,000."Bring Farm Edges Back to Life!" Dates: Five 2-hour field workshops in January, February, March, November, December 1999 TBA. Locations: Yolo County and surrounding areas. (530)662-2037 ext. 3 (both), topquail@yolorcd.ca.gov (Pye), rednatives@hotmail.com (Robins). [Funds contributed by International Tree Crops Institute.]

    Judith RedmondReggie Knox, Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF). $2,000.Lighthouse Farm Network Education Events. Dates: Two 2-hour meetings: "The Economics of Alternative Production Practices," Woodland, February 1999 TBA; "Food Safety Issues and Small Farms," Rancho Grande Restaurant, Watsonville, Sept. 21, 1999. (530)756-8518 ext. 13 (Redmond), caff@caff.org ; (831) 457-1007 (Knox), reggie@cruzio.com

    Steve Schwartz, California FarmLink; Community Alliance with Family Farmers. $1,000. "Maintaining Sustainable Communities Through Effective Use of Easements and Estate Planning." Date: May 1999 TBA. Location: Santa Rosa. (916) 443-4225 (Schwartz), farmlink@tomatoweb.com

    Lisa Woo Shanks, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, Maxine Durney, Foundation for the Advancement of Environmental Education, Council of Bay Area Resource Conservation Districts. $1,000. "Horses and Water Quality Protection: Outreach to the San Francisco Bay Area Horse Community." Dates: Three seminars in November 1999 TBA. Locations: North Bay (Petaluma/Novato/Nicasio), East Bay (Livermore/Walnut Creek), South Bay(Woodside/Half Moon Bay) TBA. (707) 794-8692 ext. 123(Shanks), Lisa. Shanks@ca.usda.gov ; (707) 762-2983 (Durney).

    Rodney Tripp, Society of Range Management (Calif. section), Sheila Barry, Alameda County Resource Conservation District, Joyce James, UC Elkus Youth Ranch. $1,000. "California Range and Natural Resources Camp." Date: 6-day camp, June 14-19, 1999.Location: UC Elkus Youth Ranch, Half Moon Bay. (510) 287-2022 (Tripp),(925-371-0154 ext. 41 (Barry).

    Sabrina Walker, Project YE’ES (Youth Economic Education Stability) Community Education Center,Ann Marie Kennedy, YE’ES Urban Garden Program. $1,000. "Digging Toward the Future: Youth Urban Agriculture Conference." Date: Apr. 3, 1999.Location: Grant High School, Sacramento. Community Education Center (530)752-7956.

    Lynn YoungKen Dickerson, Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service, CALFED Bay-Delta Program, CAL/EPA IWMB. $2,500. "1999 Regional Sustainable Agriculture Conferences and Farm Tours." Dates/Locations: Modesto/Field Crops/Orchards/Vineyards, Feb. 26-27, 1999; Watsonville/Strawberries, March 3, 1999; Salinas/Cool-Season Vegetables, March 17, 1999; Sonoma, Modesto/Livestock/Dairy, Spring 1999. (831) 763-2111 , csaefc@csa-efc.org

  • Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards (SAGA) 
  • 1999 Graduate Student Awards

    (5 projects; $10,000)

    Chris Campbell, "Characterizing Solute Transport in Sloping Soils Using In Situ Measurements Transfer Function Modeling," $2,000. Department of Environmental Science Policy and Management, UC Berkeley. (510) 643-5142, ccampbel@nature.berkeley.edu

    Julie Guthman, "Organic Regulation: Codifying Meaning, Structuring Opportunity," $2,000. Department of Geography, UC Berkeley. (510)549-2297, jguthman@uclink4.berkeley.edu

    Alison Eagle, "Nutrient Supply Power of Rice Soils Under Alternative Rice Straw Management Practices," $2,000. International Agricultural Development (Department of Agronomy and Range Science), UC Davis. (530) 754-7537, ajeagle@ucdavis.edu

    Donald Lotter, "Tests of Induced Resistance in Grapevine," $2,000. Department of Entomology (Graduate Group in Ecology), UC Davis.dwlotter@dcn.davis.ca.us

    Benjamin Shouse, "The Place of Microbial Grazers in Reduced-Input Agriculture," $2,000. Department of Nematology (Graduate Group in Ecology), UC Davis. (530) 752-2124, bnshouse@ucdavis.edu

Grants funded for 1997-1998

  • Research & Education Grants
  • Continuing Projects

    Twenty-nine research and education projects have been granted a total of $170,866 by UC SAREP in the 1997-98 funding cycle. New projects were chosen in four areas: production, community development and public policy, educational events, and graduate student awards. Additionally 13 continuing projects received $166,847, bringing SAREP’s total grant funding for 1997-98 to $337,713. Brief descriptions of the new projects, principal investigators, contact information and amounts awarded for the first year follow. 

    Continuing projects are listed at the end.

    Production Projects

    (6 projects; $88,490)

    Michael Costello, Fresno County Viticulture Farm Advisor, "Native Grass Species for Use as Perennial Cover Crops in Central Valley Vineyards": $15,000. Results from this study will add information to the cover cropping database for California grape vineyards. Native grasses are being promoted to grape growers, but their suitability has not been subjected to scientific scrutiny. This study will help determine which native grasses can be practically established in the Central Valley, and the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining a permanent native grass stand on the vineyard floor. The impacts of the study will provide a basis for further study in the coastal, foothill and desert winegrape growing regions. Native grasses as cover crops can improve soil structure and water infiltration in vineyards, allowing equipment to be used in wet conditions and cutting down on the sunburn effect of reflected light. Dust reduction and improved water infiltration can lead to lowered pressure from pests such as spider mites. Because their growing cycles are opposite grape vines, native grasses provide the advantage of a perennial cover without the disadvantage of excessive competition. This project will conduct a study at an UC experiment station and two commercial vineyards to determine which native grass species are best suited related to establishment, water/nitrogen use, and ability to compete with weeds. Four native grass treatments will be tested under drip and furrow irrigation, and will be compared to clean cultivation and another cover crop at the experiment station. Evaluation of weed control will be made at the Fresno County commercial table grape site, while evaluation of spider mite control will take place at the commercial raisin site. Estimations will be made of percent vegetative cover, biomass, soil moisture and vine leaf water potential, cover crop flowering period, seed formation, and green growing period. Vine canopy temperature during the frost period will be recorded. (209) 456-7567; mjcostello@ucdavis.edu

    Thomas Harter, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist for Groundwater Hydrology, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality": $14,500. This project is related to the Mathews project above. It will provide an improved understanding of the underground nitrate pathways from various locations in dairy operations (corrals, ponds, spills, manure application to fields) and how these contribute to the degradation of groundwater quality. This will be achieved by using and expanding an existing groundwater monitoring network on five dairies in Stainslaus and Merced counties. The project will also provide baseline data on groundwater quality that can be used to determine future improvements in groundwater quality due to improved nutrient management and dairy operations practices on selected dairies, and will demonstrate and evaluate changes in groundwater quality at shallow depths due to improved nutrient management within the dairy operation. It will also educate dairy personnel and communities in Stainslaus and Merced counties and regulatory and water management agencies about the impact of nutrient management alternatives on groundwater quality, and cooperatively develop sustainable solutions to protect groundwater under dairies from excessive salt and nutrient load. (209) 646-6569; thharter@ucdkac.edu

    William Horwath, Assistant Professor, Soil Biogeochemistry, UC Davis, "Defining Changes in Soil Organic Matter Quality During the Transition from Conventional to Low Input Organic Systems to Identify Sustainable Farming Practices": Two-year project; first year funding: $23,337. The importance of soil organic matter (SOM) in cropping system sustainability is in its ability to store nutrients and improve soil structure. It has been difficult to assess soil fertility based on gross measures of soil organic matters, such as total soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). For example, N budgets in the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project at UC Davis have shown that the organic treatment (manure and cover crop) has accumulated the most soil N compared to other treatments, yet crops grown in that treatment appear to be nitrogen-deficient. The low input treatment (cover crop and fertilizer) has accumulated less N, but crops grown in that treatment have consistently out-produced both the organic and conventional treatments. The results indicate that it is not the quantity of SOM, but rather the quality that may control soil fertility. This project will examine soils in the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) project near the Kearney Agricultural Center and the Davis SAFS project, and will compare soils that have been managed in fundamentally different ways for more than eight years. SOM quality will be analyzed by examining its structure and chemical makeup. Soil fertility and water availability will also be analyzed and relationships between these two sets of variables will be analyzed. Increased understanding of SOM maintenance will lead to improved soil health, and is critical to long-term food production. The results will be presented to advisors and growers so that they can assess the utility of alternative agronomic treatments on long-term fertility. (530) 754-6029; wrhorwath@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels, Sacramento County Viticulture/Pomology Farm Advisor, "Effects of Cover Crops on a Vineyard Ecosystem in the Northern San Joaquin Valley": $6, 212. Cover crops are currently very popular in vineyards. Although used for years, new species and management systems have been developed recently for cover crops. Several growers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley now prefer, for example, to sow California native perennial grasses because they provide excellent wheel traction and go dormant in the summer. These grasses are also used to remove excess water in the spring to provide moderate moisture stress in early spring, thus possibly improving wine quality. These species, however, have not been formally tested in vineyards, nor have the most commonly used mixes been compared in their effects on vines and production. In this trial, four sown cover crop mixes and resident vegetation will be compared in a young Sacramento County Merlot winegrape vineyard to determine the effects on production and fruit quality, vine moisture stress and nutrient status, weeds, and the economics of cover cropping. The project includes grower meetings, a journal article and the use of the site as a tour stop for the UC Cover Crops Workgroup meeting in 1999. (916) 875-6913; caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Marsha Campbell Mathews, Stanislaus County Field Crops Farm Advisor, "Use of Dairy Lagoon Water in Production of Forage Crops." $15,500. California is the largest dairy production state in the U.S. Environmentally sustainable management of these dairies is critical to the economic health of California’s agricultural community. Data recently collected on dairies in the San Joaquin Valley near fields where lagoon water is applied show elevated levels of nitrates even on well-managed operations. Local dairy operators do not have information available about how much nitrogen they are applying in the form of pond water because the design of the dairies and irrigation systems makes measurement of applied nutrients very difficult. Sandy soils and border check irrigation make applied nutrients especially susceptible to leaching. This project will show how the effective use of dairy wastewater and manure for the production of forge crops associated with dairies in Stanislaus and Merced counties can reduce groundwater contamination by nitrates in this area. New production practices to be developed and demonstrated include an in-field quick test for ammonia, practical lagoon water flow estimation, and use of manure nutrients in growing corn and winter forage without loss of yield. A demonstration area large enough to show improvements in groundwater quality as a result of using these sustainable practices will also be managed. Improvements in groundwater quality will be monitored in the joint project "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality" (project follows). (209) 525-6654; mcmathews@ucdavis.edu

    Sean Swezey, Extension Specialist, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, "A Grower-Managed Biorational Management Program for Artichokes on the Northern Central California Coast": Three-year project; first year funding: $13,941. Nearly all commercially produced artichokes in the U.S. are grown in coastal California, a crop which was valued at $45 million in 1996. Castroville area artichoke growers harvested more than 70 percent of the statewide production ($35 million). This same area spent approximately $3.5 million ($370/acre) on synthetic insecticide-based pest control of the crop’s major pest, artichoke plume moth (APM). A number of owner-operator resident growers in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties produce 10 to 20 percent of the statewide harvest on family-owned farms. They face increasing pressure to intensify conventional practices in the face of rising land values, increased transportation costs, and marketplace competition. Artichoke production for them will only remain profitable if input costs are kept low relative to the crop sale price (possibly value-added). These growers showed a willingness to form a cost-sharing management team to implement and evaluate biorational (derived from biotic interactions or non-synthetic sources) pest management practices in on-farm demonstrations, in order to evaluate alternatives to the technical and market pressures facing them. The project will support the organization and activities of this new management team. The grower-directed research and demonstration program will monitor weather and arthropods, pheromone application, locally reared natural enemy release, and cultural controls of APM will be implemented and evaluated on grower-managed fields. An unique management team of growers, University of California and artichoke industry researchers, and local agricultural professionals will share in-season results of this program through weekly updates and biennial field meetings. Improvements in key pest damage levels and fresh market crop yields, reduction of pest management costs associated with the applications of synthetic organic insecticides, and overall economic performance (including possible value-added certified organic sales) will be documented in program fields compared with matched conventionally managed fields. (408) 459-4367; sarep@ucdavis.edu

    Community Development and Public Policy Projects

    (5 projects; $54,552)

    Lorrie Morrison Bundy, Project Coordinator, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District, "Scott River Basin Water Balance": $14,850. Farming and ranching provide the economic base for the Scott Valley. In April 1997 the coho salmon was listed by the federal government as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in a region which includes the Scott River Basin. This listing caused great concern in the local agricultural community. Additionally, the Scott River was identified as an ‘impaired’ stream by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Most irrigation water is surface diversion. Low stream flow is identified as the main cause of high temperature and sedimentation in the Scott River. The local community recognizes the need to improve stream flow in order to ensure sustainable agriculture and improve conditions for salmon spawning. The Scott River Watershed Coordinated Resource Management Council (CRMP), a local volunteer effort which includes a cross-section of the community, has made a water balance plan a high priority. A ‘water balance,’ similar to a checking account balance, will identify and quantify the inputs and outputs of water in the Scott River basin. This project will develop a holistic, watershed-wide tool for making management decisions. Cost-effective projects will be identified to improve stream flow, including a series of education forums to share information with the local community. Participants in this study include local agricultural producers, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District, Scott Valley Coordinated Resource Management Planning Council, UC Cooperative Extension, Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, California Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Forest Service. (530) 467-5216; lmm2@axe.humboldt.edu

    Yolanda Huang, Coordinator, Willard Greening Project, "Collaboration Between Willard Greening Project and BOSS": $19,482. This project builds on the Willard Greening Project in the Berkeley Unified School District, which previously joined forces with the Urban Gardening Institute of the Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) program. That collaboration, partially funded by SAREP, expanded inner city agriculture by using vacant and public lands to make fresh, organic food available to low-income urban people. Homeless people with a prior drug abuse issue continue to be trained in intensive food production and cut-flower horticulture and are working at Willard Middle School in all aspects of the garden. The 200 Willard sixth-grade students are working with one of the principal investigators in a weekly environmental education class, in which 90 percent of the work is in the school garden. A goal of this phase of the project is to develop Willard as a model program so that all of Berkeley Unified School District’s school lunch programs serve fresh vegetables and fruit purchased from locally grown gardens and farms. One of the goals is to maintain the current level of vegetable production at Willard and expand the fruit production. Another goal of the project is to make the issue of homelessness more public through discussion, workshops and working together in the garden. (510) 549-9121 (Huang); (510) 644-6330 (Willard Middle School).

    Sibella Kraus, The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, "Market Cooking for Kids: Facilitating Field Trips to Sustainable Agriculture Farms": $5,520. This project builds on a successful hands-on cooking and science program partially funded by SAREP, "Market Cooking for Kids," developed for children in Oakland and San Francisco elementary schools. Presented in schools, farmers’ markets and after-school programs, "Market Cooking for Kids" combines hands-on education about the biology and ecology of locally produced, sustainably grown seasonal foods with basic instruction about how to prepare these foods. School field trips to local farms have been an integral element for the classes. This project will expand the opportunities for elementary school children to experience educational school field trips to farms practicing sustainable agriculture and to encourage farmers to host school farm field trips. The goals are to foster children’s emotional, intellectual and spiritual ties to their regional farmers and farmland, and to help farmers understand the importance of educating children both about their own farms and about regional, sustainable agriculture in general. To realize these goals, the project will develop and widely disseminate a Farmers’ Guide to Hosting School Farm Field Trips during the course of 20 farm trips, and a complimentary Teachers’ Resource Guide to Visiting Farms. (510) 526-2788; sfpmc@igc.apc.org

    Jeff Kositsky, Community Services Coordinator, Rural California Housing Corp., Sacramento, "Park Village Community Supported Agriculture Research Project": $10,000. Park Village is an affordable housing complex in Stockton, Calif. populated by low-income refugees from Cambodia. The Park Village Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project is designed to provide affordable, organic and culturally appropriate produce to the entire Southeast Asian community of the area. The project will also create economic opportunities for residents of Park Village Apartments. Through the project, apartment residents will organize and operate a farm cooperative on land donated by the Northern California Land Trust. They will grow produce for the Southeast Asian community of the area and develop a CSA, or subscription farming system, that links the producers directly with consumers. The Rural California Housing Corporation, a nonprofit community development organization, co-owns Park Village with the residents. The housing corporation also works with residents to help their families achieve self-sufficiency. This phase of the project will be used to evaluate the feasibility of the Park Village CSA project, educate program participants, develop a project design, and raise needed funds. A written report about the study findings will be published and distributed to organizations interested in similar projects. (916) 442-4731 ext. 3320; HN0415@handsnet.org

    José Montenegro, Director, Rural Development Center, Salinas, "Design Plan and Monitoring Program Development for a Straw Bale Produce Cooler Demonstration Unit at the Rural Development Center (RDC) in Salinas Valley, Calif.": $4,700. In 1995 the California State Legislature identified an urgent need for low-cost, energy-efficient housing in the state due to a shortage of construction-grade lumber. This shortage could open up an economically viable market for the use of straw bales in construction. To facilitate that market, the Legislature approved a statutory design code for the use of straw bale housing, which would significantly benefit low-cost housing, agriculture, and fisheries in California. Minimum standards of safety were established for the construction of structures that use baled straw as a structural or nonstructural material. In early 1997 the Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Rural Development Center (RDC) sponsored a straw bale construction workshop at the RDC to teach farm families how to apply this technology in home and agricultural building construction. This project will solicit funds to develop plans and an accompanying monitoring program for a demonstration straw bale produce cooler at the RDC. Farm families enrolled in the RDC program will continue to participate in the planning and construction phases of the project. (408) 758-1469.

    Graduate Student Awards

    (4 projects; $8,000)

    Valerie Eviner, "Understanding the Influence of Plant Species on Soil Nutrient Dynamics and Soil Properties in California Annual Grasslands," $2,000. Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley. (510) 642-1054 ; eviner@socrates.berkeley.edu

    Cecilia Jones, "Effect of Decomposition of Organic Amendments on the Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities and Suppression of Root Pathogens on Cotton," $2,000. Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis. (530) 752-7795 ; cejones@ucdavis.edu

    Andreas Westphal, "Field Survey for Suppressiveness Against Heterodera schachtii," $2,000. Department of Nematology, UC Riverside. (909) 787-5328 ; andreasw@ucrac1.ucr.edu

    Annette Wszelaki, "Heat Treatments, Biological Controls and Controlled Atmospheres as Alternatives to Pesticides in Control of Botrytis cinerea in Postharvest Handling of Strawberries and Apples," $2,000. Department of Pomology, UC Davis. (530) 752-0908; alwszelaki@ucdavis.edu

    Grants for Educational Events

    [14 grants (29 events); $19,824]

    Educational grants are awarded to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other educational events related to sustainable agriculture. Fourteen grants were awarded to support 29 different events or programs around the state. For more information about a particular event, call the telephone number listed. To learn more about SAREP’s educational grants program, call David Chaney at (530) 754-8551; dechaney@ucdavis.edu

    Dave Daley, Glenn Nader, Larry Forero. California State University, Chico and UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. "Beef Day." Date: February 21, 1998. Location: CSU Chico Farm.(530) 898-4539; ddaley@facultypo.csuchico.edu; ganader@ucdavis.edu; lcforero@ucdavis.edu

    Patricia Delwiche. California State University, Chico, with California Department of Pesticide Regulation, UC Cooperative Extension, Lundberg Family Farms, Hedgerow Farms. $960. "Integrating Agriculture with Wildlife Conservation." Approximate Date: March 16, 1998. Location: Chico City Council Chambers. (530) 898-5844; pdelwiche@oavax.csuchico.edu

    Melvin George and Craig Thomsen, UC Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Department of Agronomy and Range Science. $1,000. "California Annual Grassland Ecosystem Short Course: Ecology, Management, and Restoration." Date: March 31- April 2, 1998. Location: UC Davis Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. (530) 752-1720; mrgeorge@ucdavis.edu; cdthomsen@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels, Benny Fouche, and Maxwell Norton. UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Merced counties. $2,000 (3 meetings). "Promoting the Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Practices to Southeast Asian Strawberry Growers." Date: February 1998 TBA. Locations: Sacramento, Stockton, Merced. (916) 875-6913 (Ingels), caingels@ucdavis.edu; (209) 468-2085 (Fouche), bfouche@ucdavis.edu; (209) 385-7403 (Norton), mnorton@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels. UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County. $1,000. "Codling Moth Biology and Ecological Control Methods for Pear, Apple, and Walnut Orchards." Date: TBA February or March 1998. Location: Sacramento. (916) 875-6913, caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Roger Ingram and David Pratt. UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. "The California Grazing Academy." Date: TBA late April 1998. Location: UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center. (916) 889-7386 (Ingram), rsingram@ucdavis.edu; (707) 421-6791 7# (Pratt), dwpratt@ucdavis.edu

    Desmond Jolly and George Van Den Abbeele. UC Small Farm Center, Davis. $1,000. "Agriculture and Ethics Symposium." Date: TBA February or March 1998. Location: Sacramento or Davis. (530) 752-7774 (Jolly), dajolly@ucdavis.edu; (530) 752-2295 (Van Den Abbeele), givandenabbeele@ucdavis.edu

    William Oswald and F. Bailey Green. UC Berkeley Environmental Engineering and Health Sciences Laboratory. $2,000. "Design and Operation of the Kehoe Dairy AIWPS Facility for Treatment and Reclamation of Dairy Wastes (Kehoe Dairy, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County)." Date: TBA April and June 1998. Location: Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters at Bear Valley and Kehoe Dairy, Inverness. (510) 231-9438 (Oswald), (510) 231-5682 (Green), fbgreen@socrates.berkeley.edu

    Bob Roan. UC Cooperative Extension, Placer County. $1,000. "PlacerGROWN Farm Conference." Date: January 31, 1998. Location: Lincoln High School, Lincoln. (916) 823-2431.

    Jean Saffell. California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, Sierra Resource Conservation District, Westside Conservation District, UC Cooperative Extension, Natural Resource Conservation Service. "Fresno County Resource Conservation District Day." $1,000. Date: February 11, 1998. Location: Clovis Memorial Building, Clovis. (209) 855-5312, mtplanr@psnw.com

    Andrea Sexton and Wendell Gilgert. Glenn County Resource Conservation District. $4,000 (8 workshops). "Improving Water Quality through Sustainable Agricultural Practices—A Workshop Series for Dairy Producers, Orchardists and Rowcrop Farmers." Dates: December 2, 1997; January 14, 1998; February 3, 1998; March 18, 1998; May 13, 1998; July 15, 1998; September 16, 1998; October 14, 1998. Locations: TBA. (530) 934-5713 (Sexton), svbserv@aol.com; (530) 934-4601 (Gilgert).

    Ernest White and Laurie Aumack. Tehama County Resource Conservation District and the Reeds Creek/Red Bank Watershed Project. $914. "Introduction to Watershed Functions: Spring and Fall in Reeds Creek and Red Bank Creek Watersheds (An introduction to west side watersheds in Tehama County)." Dates: Spring field tour TBA between April 15-May 15, 1998; Fall field tour TBA between October 1-31, 1998. Locations: Red Bluff to Reeds Creek and Red Bank Creek. (530) 527-4231 (White, Aumack), laumack@ca.nrcs.usda.gov

    Paul Wills and Sue Ellen Holmstrand. Hyampom Valley Growers Association. $950. "Turning Dirt into Soil: What to Look for and How to Test." Dates: 2-day event TBA late January 1998. Location: Hyampom Community Center, Hyampom. (530) 758-3870 (Wills), (530) 628-4621 (Holmstrand).

    Lynn Young. Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, with US-EPA, UC SAREP, UC Cooperative Extension, Modesto Junior College. $3,000 (6 meetings). "Soil Fertility Conferences and Field Days: Habitat Enhancement for Biological Pest Control (2 meetings), Nutrient and Waste Management for Livestock and Dairy, Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Strawberries, Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Row Crops, and Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Stone Fruit." Dates: Modesto, end of February 1998; Salinas, beginning of March 1998. Locations: Modesto and Salinas. (408) 763-2111, csaefc@scruznet.com

    Continuing Grants

    Community Development and Public Policy

    Joyce Ewen, "PIVCC's Food Security Project";
    Laura Lawson, "Rethinking Direct Marketing Approaches Appropriate to Low Income Communities and Urban Market Gardens";
    Adina Merenlender, "A Spacially Explicit Vineyard Model: Addressing Crop Production, Public Policy, and Environmental Concerns;

    For descriptions of these continuing projects, see the Biennial Report 1995-1997.

    Crop and Livestock Production

    Roger Ingram, "Controlled Grazing on Foothill Rangelands";
    Jay Rosenheim, "Ecology of a Group of Generalist Predators, the Green Lacewings, and Their Contribution to Biological Control in Almonds and Walnuts";
    Marita Cantwell, "Alternative Postharvest Treatments for Decay and Insect Control";
    Patrick Brown, "Development of a N-Fertilizer Recommendation Model to Improve N-Use Efficiency and to Alleviate Nitrate Pollution to Ground Water from Almond Orchards";
    Melvin George, "The Contribution of Ranch Roads, Cattle Trails and Bed Load to the Sediment Budget for a Grazed Watershed in the Central Sierra Foothills";
    Joseph Hancock,"Role of the Soil Microbial Community in Suppression of Rhizoctonia Stem Rot Disease of Cauliflower"; John Maas, "Environmental Fate and Characterization of Selenium Supplemented to Intensively Grazed Beef Cattle";
    Jeff Mitchell, "Use of Cover Crop Mulches in Processing Tomato Production Systems";
    Steven Temple, "The Transition from Conventional to Low-Input or Organic Farming Systems: Soil Biology, Soil Chemistry, Soil Physics, Energy Utilization, Economics and Risk."

    For descriptions of these continuing projects, see the Biennial Report 1995-1997.

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • Continuing Projects

    Twenty-nine research and education projects have been granted a total of $170,866 by UC SAREP in the 1997-98 funding cycle. New projects were chosen in four areas: production, community development and public policy, educational events, and graduate student awards. Additionally 13 continuing projects received $166,847, bringing SAREP’s total grant funding for 1997-98 to $337,713. Brief descriptions of the new projects, principal investigators, contact information and amounts awarded for the first year follow. 

    Continuing projects are listed at the end.

    Production Projects

    (6 projects; $88,490)

    Michael Costello, Fresno County Viticulture Farm Advisor, "Native Grass Species for Use as Perennial Cover Crops in Central Valley Vineyards": $15,000. Results from this study will add information to the cover cropping database for California grape vineyards. Native grasses are being promoted to grape growers, but their suitability has not been subjected to scientific scrutiny. This study will help determine which native grasses can be practically established in the Central Valley, and the benefits and drawbacks of maintaining a permanent native grass stand on the vineyard floor. The impacts of the study will provide a basis for further study in the coastal, foothill and desert winegrape growing regions. Native grasses as cover crops can improve soil structure and water infiltration in vineyards, allowing equipment to be used in wet conditions and cutting down on the sunburn effect of reflected light. Dust reduction and improved water infiltration can lead to lowered pressure from pests such as spider mites. Because their growing cycles are opposite grape vines, native grasses provide the advantage of a perennial cover without the disadvantage of excessive competition. This project will conduct a study at an UC experiment station and two commercial vineyards to determine which native grass species are best suited related to establishment, water/nitrogen use, and ability to compete with weeds. Four native grass treatments will be tested under drip and furrow irrigation, and will be compared to clean cultivation and another cover crop at the experiment station. Evaluation of weed control will be made at the Fresno County commercial table grape site, while evaluation of spider mite control will take place at the commercial raisin site. Estimations will be made of percent vegetative cover, biomass, soil moisture and vine leaf water potential, cover crop flowering period, seed formation, and green growing period. Vine canopy temperature during the frost period will be recorded. (209) 456-7567; mjcostello@ucdavis.edu

    Thomas Harter, Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist for Groundwater Hydrology, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality": $14,500. This project is related to the Mathews project above. It will provide an improved understanding of the underground nitrate pathways from various locations in dairy operations (corrals, ponds, spills, manure application to fields) and how these contribute to the degradation of groundwater quality. This will be achieved by using and expanding an existing groundwater monitoring network on five dairies in Stainslaus and Merced counties. The project will also provide baseline data on groundwater quality that can be used to determine future improvements in groundwater quality due to improved nutrient management and dairy operations practices on selected dairies, and will demonstrate and evaluate changes in groundwater quality at shallow depths due to improved nutrient management within the dairy operation. It will also educate dairy personnel and communities in Stainslaus and Merced counties and regulatory and water management agencies about the impact of nutrient management alternatives on groundwater quality, and cooperatively develop sustainable solutions to protect groundwater under dairies from excessive salt and nutrient load. (209) 646-6569; thharter@ucdkac.edu

    William Horwath, Assistant Professor, Soil Biogeochemistry, UC Davis, "Defining Changes in Soil Organic Matter Quality During the Transition from Conventional to Low Input Organic Systems to Identify Sustainable Farming Practices": Two-year project; first year funding: $23,337. The importance of soil organic matter (SOM) in cropping system sustainability is in its ability to store nutrients and improve soil structure. It has been difficult to assess soil fertility based on gross measures of soil organic matters, such as total soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N). For example, N budgets in the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project at UC Davis have shown that the organic treatment (manure and cover crop) has accumulated the most soil N compared to other treatments, yet crops grown in that treatment appear to be nitrogen-deficient. The low input treatment (cover crop and fertilizer) has accumulated less N, but crops grown in that treatment have consistently out-produced both the organic and conventional treatments. The results indicate that it is not the quantity of SOM, but rather the quality that may control soil fertility. This project will examine soils in the Biologically Integrated Farming Systems (BIFS) project near the Kearney Agricultural Center and the Davis SAFS project, and will compare soils that have been managed in fundamentally different ways for more than eight years. SOM quality will be analyzed by examining its structure and chemical makeup. Soil fertility and water availability will also be analyzed and relationships between these two sets of variables will be analyzed. Increased understanding of SOM maintenance will lead to improved soil health, and is critical to long-term food production. The results will be presented to advisors and growers so that they can assess the utility of alternative agronomic treatments on long-term fertility. (530) 754-6029; wrhorwath@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels, Sacramento County Viticulture/Pomology Farm Advisor, "Effects of Cover Crops on a Vineyard Ecosystem in the Northern San Joaquin Valley": $6, 212. Cover crops are currently very popular in vineyards. Although used for years, new species and management systems have been developed recently for cover crops. Several growers in the Northern San Joaquin Valley now prefer, for example, to sow California native perennial grasses because they provide excellent wheel traction and go dormant in the summer. These grasses are also used to remove excess water in the spring to provide moderate moisture stress in early spring, thus possibly improving wine quality. These species, however, have not been formally tested in vineyards, nor have the most commonly used mixes been compared in their effects on vines and production. In this trial, four sown cover crop mixes and resident vegetation will be compared in a young Sacramento County Merlot winegrape vineyard to determine the effects on production and fruit quality, vine moisture stress and nutrient status, weeds, and the economics of cover cropping. The project includes grower meetings, a journal article and the use of the site as a tour stop for the UC Cover Crops Workgroup meeting in 1999. (916) 875-6913; caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Marsha Campbell Mathews, Stanislaus County Field Crops Farm Advisor, "Use of Dairy Lagoon Water in Production of Forage Crops." $15,500. California is the largest dairy production state in the U.S. Environmentally sustainable management of these dairies is critical to the economic health of California’s agricultural community. Data recently collected on dairies in the San Joaquin Valley near fields where lagoon water is applied show elevated levels of nitrates even on well-managed operations. Local dairy operators do not have information available about how much nitrogen they are applying in the form of pond water because the design of the dairies and irrigation systems makes measurement of applied nutrients very difficult. Sandy soils and border check irrigation make applied nutrients especially susceptible to leaching. This project will show how the effective use of dairy wastewater and manure for the production of forge crops associated with dairies in Stanislaus and Merced counties can reduce groundwater contamination by nitrates in this area. New production practices to be developed and demonstrated include an in-field quick test for ammonia, practical lagoon water flow estimation, and use of manure nutrients in growing corn and winter forage without loss of yield. A demonstration area large enough to show improvements in groundwater quality as a result of using these sustainable practices will also be managed. Improvements in groundwater quality will be monitored in the joint project "Impact of Dairy Waste and Crop Nutrient Management on Shallow Groundwater Quality" (project follows). (209) 525-6654; mcmathews@ucdavis.edu

    Sean Swezey, Extension Specialist, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, "A Grower-Managed Biorational Management Program for Artichokes on the Northern Central California Coast": Three-year project; first year funding: $13,941. Nearly all commercially produced artichokes in the U.S. are grown in coastal California, a crop which was valued at $45 million in 1996. Castroville area artichoke growers harvested more than 70 percent of the statewide production ($35 million). This same area spent approximately $3.5 million ($370/acre) on synthetic insecticide-based pest control of the crop’s major pest, artichoke plume moth (APM). A number of owner-operator resident growers in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties produce 10 to 20 percent of the statewide harvest on family-owned farms. They face increasing pressure to intensify conventional practices in the face of rising land values, increased transportation costs, and marketplace competition. Artichoke production for them will only remain profitable if input costs are kept low relative to the crop sale price (possibly value-added). These growers showed a willingness to form a cost-sharing management team to implement and evaluate biorational (derived from biotic interactions or non-synthetic sources) pest management practices in on-farm demonstrations, in order to evaluate alternatives to the technical and market pressures facing them. The project will support the organization and activities of this new management team. The grower-directed research and demonstration program will monitor weather and arthropods, pheromone application, locally reared natural enemy release, and cultural controls of APM will be implemented and evaluated on grower-managed fields. An unique management team of growers, University of California and artichoke industry researchers, and local agricultural professionals will share in-season results of this program through weekly updates and biennial field meetings. Improvements in key pest damage levels and fresh market crop yields, reduction of pest management costs associated with the applications of synthetic organic insecticides, and overall economic performance (including possible value-added certified organic sales) will be documented in program fields compared with matched conventionally managed fields. (408) 459-4367; sarep@ucdavis.edu

    Community Development and Public Policy Projects

    (5 projects; $54,552)

    Lorrie Morrison Bundy, Project Coordinator, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District, "Scott River Basin Water Balance": $14,850. Farming and ranching provide the economic base for the Scott Valley. In April 1997 the coho salmon was listed by the federal government as a threatened species under the Endangered Species Act in a region which includes the Scott River Basin. This listing caused great concern in the local agricultural community. Additionally, the Scott River was identified as an ‘impaired’ stream by the US Environmental Protection Agency and the North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board. Most irrigation water is surface diversion. Low stream flow is identified as the main cause of high temperature and sedimentation in the Scott River. The local community recognizes the need to improve stream flow in order to ensure sustainable agriculture and improve conditions for salmon spawning. The Scott River Watershed Coordinated Resource Management Council (CRMP), a local volunteer effort which includes a cross-section of the community, has made a water balance plan a high priority. A ‘water balance,’ similar to a checking account balance, will identify and quantify the inputs and outputs of water in the Scott River basin. This project will develop a holistic, watershed-wide tool for making management decisions. Cost-effective projects will be identified to improve stream flow, including a series of education forums to share information with the local community. Participants in this study include local agricultural producers, Siskiyou Resource Conservation District, Scott Valley Coordinated Resource Management Planning Council, UC Cooperative Extension, Siskiyou County Farm Bureau, California Department of Fish and Game, and the U.S. Forest Service. (530) 467-5216; lmm2@axe.humboldt.edu

    Yolanda Huang, Coordinator, Willard Greening Project, "Collaboration Between Willard Greening Project and BOSS": $19,482. This project builds on the Willard Greening Project in the Berkeley Unified School District, which previously joined forces with the Urban Gardening Institute of the Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS) program. That collaboration, partially funded by SAREP, expanded inner city agriculture by using vacant and public lands to make fresh, organic food available to low-income urban people. Homeless people with a prior drug abuse issue continue to be trained in intensive food production and cut-flower horticulture and are working at Willard Middle School in all aspects of the garden. The 200 Willard sixth-grade students are working with one of the principal investigators in a weekly environmental education class, in which 90 percent of the work is in the school garden. A goal of this phase of the project is to develop Willard as a model program so that all of Berkeley Unified School District’s school lunch programs serve fresh vegetables and fruit purchased from locally grown gardens and farms. One of the goals is to maintain the current level of vegetable production at Willard and expand the fruit production. Another goal of the project is to make the issue of homelessness more public through discussion, workshops and working together in the garden. (510) 549-9121 (Huang); (510) 644-6330 (Willard Middle School).

    Sibella Kraus, The Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, "Market Cooking for Kids: Facilitating Field Trips to Sustainable Agriculture Farms": $5,520. This project builds on a successful hands-on cooking and science program partially funded by SAREP, "Market Cooking for Kids," developed for children in Oakland and San Francisco elementary schools. Presented in schools, farmers’ markets and after-school programs, "Market Cooking for Kids" combines hands-on education about the biology and ecology of locally produced, sustainably grown seasonal foods with basic instruction about how to prepare these foods. School field trips to local farms have been an integral element for the classes. This project will expand the opportunities for elementary school children to experience educational school field trips to farms practicing sustainable agriculture and to encourage farmers to host school farm field trips. The goals are to foster children’s emotional, intellectual and spiritual ties to their regional farmers and farmland, and to help farmers understand the importance of educating children both about their own farms and about regional, sustainable agriculture in general. To realize these goals, the project will develop and widely disseminate a Farmers’ Guide to Hosting School Farm Field Trips during the course of 20 farm trips, and a complimentary Teachers’ Resource Guide to Visiting Farms. (510) 526-2788; sfpmc@igc.apc.org

    Jeff Kositsky, Community Services Coordinator, Rural California Housing Corp., Sacramento, "Park Village Community Supported Agriculture Research Project": $10,000. Park Village is an affordable housing complex in Stockton, Calif. populated by low-income refugees from Cambodia. The Park Village Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) project is designed to provide affordable, organic and culturally appropriate produce to the entire Southeast Asian community of the area. The project will also create economic opportunities for residents of Park Village Apartments. Through the project, apartment residents will organize and operate a farm cooperative on land donated by the Northern California Land Trust. They will grow produce for the Southeast Asian community of the area and develop a CSA, or subscription farming system, that links the producers directly with consumers. The Rural California Housing Corporation, a nonprofit community development organization, co-owns Park Village with the residents. The housing corporation also works with residents to help their families achieve self-sufficiency. This phase of the project will be used to evaluate the feasibility of the Park Village CSA project, educate program participants, develop a project design, and raise needed funds. A written report about the study findings will be published and distributed to organizations interested in similar projects. (916) 442-4731 ext. 3320; HN0415@handsnet.org

    José Montenegro, Director, Rural Development Center, Salinas, "Design Plan and Monitoring Program Development for a Straw Bale Produce Cooler Demonstration Unit at the Rural Development Center (RDC) in Salinas Valley, Calif.": $4,700. In 1995 the California State Legislature identified an urgent need for low-cost, energy-efficient housing in the state due to a shortage of construction-grade lumber. This shortage could open up an economically viable market for the use of straw bales in construction. To facilitate that market, the Legislature approved a statutory design code for the use of straw bale housing, which would significantly benefit low-cost housing, agriculture, and fisheries in California. Minimum standards of safety were established for the construction of structures that use baled straw as a structural or nonstructural material. In early 1997 the Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council and the Rural Development Center (RDC) sponsored a straw bale construction workshop at the RDC to teach farm families how to apply this technology in home and agricultural building construction. This project will solicit funds to develop plans and an accompanying monitoring program for a demonstration straw bale produce cooler at the RDC. Farm families enrolled in the RDC program will continue to participate in the planning and construction phases of the project. (408) 758-1469.

    Graduate Student Awards

    (4 projects; $8,000)

    Valerie Eviner, "Understanding the Influence of Plant Species on Soil Nutrient Dynamics and Soil Properties in California Annual Grasslands," $2,000. Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley. (510) 642-1054 ; eviner@socrates.berkeley.edu

    Cecilia Jones, "Effect of Decomposition of Organic Amendments on the Rhizosphere Bacterial Communities and Suppression of Root Pathogens on Cotton," $2,000. Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis. (530) 752-7795 ; cejones@ucdavis.edu

    Andreas Westphal, "Field Survey for Suppressiveness Against Heterodera schachtii," $2,000. Department of Nematology, UC Riverside. (909) 787-5328 ; andreasw@ucrac1.ucr.edu

    Annette Wszelaki, "Heat Treatments, Biological Controls and Controlled Atmospheres as Alternatives to Pesticides in Control of Botrytis cinerea in Postharvest Handling of Strawberries and Apples," $2,000. Department of Pomology, UC Davis. (530) 752-0908; alwszelaki@ucdavis.edu

    Grants for Educational Events

    [14 grants (29 events); $19,824]

    Educational grants are awarded to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other educational events related to sustainable agriculture. Fourteen grants were awarded to support 29 different events or programs around the state. For more information about a particular event, call the telephone number listed. To learn more about SAREP’s educational grants program, call David Chaney at (530) 754-8551; dechaney@ucdavis.edu

    Dave Daley, Glenn Nader, Larry Forero. California State University, Chico and UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. "Beef Day." Date: February 21, 1998. Location: CSU Chico Farm.(530) 898-4539; ddaley@facultypo.csuchico.edu; ganader@ucdavis.edu; lcforero@ucdavis.edu

    Patricia Delwiche. California State University, Chico, with California Department of Pesticide Regulation, UC Cooperative Extension, Lundberg Family Farms, Hedgerow Farms. $960. "Integrating Agriculture with Wildlife Conservation." Approximate Date: March 16, 1998. Location: Chico City Council Chambers. (530) 898-5844; pdelwiche@oavax.csuchico.edu

    Melvin George and Craig Thomsen, UC Cooperative Extension and UC Davis Department of Agronomy and Range Science. $1,000. "California Annual Grassland Ecosystem Short Course: Ecology, Management, and Restoration." Date: March 31- April 2, 1998. Location: UC Davis Buehler Alumni and Visitors Center. (530) 752-1720; mrgeorge@ucdavis.edu; cdthomsen@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels, Benny Fouche, and Maxwell Norton. UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Merced counties. $2,000 (3 meetings). "Promoting the Adoption of Integrated Pest Management Practices to Southeast Asian Strawberry Growers." Date: February 1998 TBA. Locations: Sacramento, Stockton, Merced. (916) 875-6913 (Ingels), caingels@ucdavis.edu; (209) 468-2085 (Fouche), bfouche@ucdavis.edu; (209) 385-7403 (Norton), mnorton@ucdavis.edu

    Chuck Ingels. UC Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County. $1,000. "Codling Moth Biology and Ecological Control Methods for Pear, Apple, and Walnut Orchards." Date: TBA February or March 1998. Location: Sacramento. (916) 875-6913, caingels@ucdavis.edu

    Roger Ingram and David Pratt. UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. "The California Grazing Academy." Date: TBA late April 1998. Location: UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center. (916) 889-7386 (Ingram), rsingram@ucdavis.edu; (707) 421-6791 7# (Pratt), dwpratt@ucdavis.edu

    Desmond Jolly and George Van Den Abbeele. UC Small Farm Center, Davis. $1,000. "Agriculture and Ethics Symposium." Date: TBA February or March 1998. Location: Sacramento or Davis. (530) 752-7774 (Jolly), dajolly@ucdavis.edu; (530) 752-2295 (Van Den Abbeele), givandenabbeele@ucdavis.edu

    William Oswald and F. Bailey Green. UC Berkeley Environmental Engineering and Health Sciences Laboratory. $2,000. "Design and Operation of the Kehoe Dairy AIWPS Facility for Treatment and Reclamation of Dairy Wastes (Kehoe Dairy, Point Reyes National Seashore, Marin County)." Date: TBA April and June 1998. Location: Point Reyes National Seashore headquarters at Bear Valley and Kehoe Dairy, Inverness. (510) 231-9438 (Oswald), (510) 231-5682 (Green), fbgreen@socrates.berkeley.edu

    Bob Roan. UC Cooperative Extension, Placer County. $1,000. "PlacerGROWN Farm Conference." Date: January 31, 1998. Location: Lincoln High School, Lincoln. (916) 823-2431.

    Jean Saffell. California Association of Resource Conservation Districts, Sierra Resource Conservation District, Westside Conservation District, UC Cooperative Extension, Natural Resource Conservation Service. "Fresno County Resource Conservation District Day." $1,000. Date: February 11, 1998. Location: Clovis Memorial Building, Clovis. (209) 855-5312, mtplanr@psnw.com

    Andrea Sexton and Wendell Gilgert. Glenn County Resource Conservation District. $4,000 (8 workshops). "Improving Water Quality through Sustainable Agricultural Practices—A Workshop Series for Dairy Producers, Orchardists and Rowcrop Farmers." Dates: December 2, 1997; January 14, 1998; February 3, 1998; March 18, 1998; May 13, 1998; July 15, 1998; September 16, 1998; October 14, 1998. Locations: TBA. (530) 934-5713 (Sexton), svbserv@aol.com; (530) 934-4601 (Gilgert).

    Ernest White and Laurie Aumack. Tehama County Resource Conservation District and the Reeds Creek/Red Bank Watershed Project. $914. "Introduction to Watershed Functions: Spring and Fall in Reeds Creek and Red Bank Creek Watersheds (An introduction to west side watersheds in Tehama County)." Dates: Spring field tour TBA between April 15-May 15, 1998; Fall field tour TBA between October 1-31, 1998. Locations: Red Bluff to Reeds Creek and Red Bank Creek. (530) 527-4231 (White, Aumack), laumack@ca.nrcs.usda.gov

    Paul Wills and Sue Ellen Holmstrand. Hyampom Valley Growers Association. $950. "Turning Dirt into Soil: What to Look for and How to Test." Dates: 2-day event TBA late January 1998. Location: Hyampom Community Center, Hyampom. (530) 758-3870 (Wills), (530) 628-4621 (Holmstrand).

    Lynn Young. Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, with US-EPA, UC SAREP, UC Cooperative Extension, Modesto Junior College. $3,000 (6 meetings). "Soil Fertility Conferences and Field Days: Habitat Enhancement for Biological Pest Control (2 meetings), Nutrient and Waste Management for Livestock and Dairy, Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Strawberries, Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Row Crops, and Soil Fertility and Integrated Pest Management for Stone Fruit." Dates: Modesto, end of February 1998; Salinas, beginning of March 1998. Locations: Modesto and Salinas. (408) 763-2111, csaefc@scruznet.com

    Continuing Grants

    Community Development and Public Policy

    Joyce Ewen, "PIVCC's Food Security Project";
    Laura Lawson, "Rethinking Direct Marketing Approaches Appropriate to Low Income Communities and Urban Market Gardens";
    Adina Merenlender, "A Spacially Explicit Vineyard Model: Addressing Crop Production, Public Policy, and Environmental Concerns;

    For descriptions of these continuing projects, see the Biennial Report 1995-1997.

    Crop and Livestock Production

    Roger Ingram, "Controlled Grazing on Foothill Rangelands";
    Jay Rosenheim, "Ecology of a Group of Generalist Predators, the Green Lacewings, and Their Contribution to Biological Control in Almonds and Walnuts";
    Marita Cantwell, "Alternative Postharvest Treatments for Decay and Insect Control";
    Patrick Brown, "Development of a N-Fertilizer Recommendation Model to Improve N-Use Efficiency and to Alleviate Nitrate Pollution to Ground Water from Almond Orchards";
    Melvin George, "The Contribution of Ranch Roads, Cattle Trails and Bed Load to the Sediment Budget for a Grazed Watershed in the Central Sierra Foothills";
    Joseph Hancock,"Role of the Soil Microbial Community in Suppression of Rhizoctonia Stem Rot Disease of Cauliflower"; John Maas, "Environmental Fate and Characterization of Selenium Supplemented to Intensively Grazed Beef Cattle";
    Jeff Mitchell, "Use of Cover Crop Mulches in Processing Tomato Production Systems";
    Steven Temple, "The Transition from Conventional to Low-Input or Organic Farming Systems: Soil Biology, Soil Chemistry, Soil Physics, Energy Utilization, Economics and Risk."

    For descriptions of these continuing projects, see the Biennial Report 1995-1997.

Grants funded for 1996-1997

  • Research & Education Grants
  • 1996-97 Research & Education Projects

    SAREP Funds New Projects

    by Claudette Cervinka, guest writer

    Thirty-one research and education projects have been granted a total of $267,535 by UC SAREP in the 1996-97 funding cycle, according to Bill Liebhardt, SAREP director. New projects were chosen in four areas: production, community development and public policy, educational events, and graduate student awards. Additionally nine continuing projects received $81,539, bringing SAREP's total grant funding for 1996-97 to $349,074.

    Brief descriptions of the new projects, principal investigators and amounts awarded for the first year follow.

    Production Projects

    (12 projects; $150,767)

    Steven Temple, Extension Agronomist, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "The Transition from Conventional to Low-Input or Organic Farming Systems:
    Soil Biology, Soil Chemistry, Soil Physics, Energy Utilization, Economics and Risk": $45,661 for first year in another four-year cycle. The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) project at UC Davis compares four farming systems with varying levels of dependence on external resources over a 12-year period. Changes in soil biology and fertility are becoming apparent. Steady-state conditions have not been reached in all systems, and soil fertility and other problems will require remedial management. Shifts have occurred in pest populations in the different farming systems, particularly in weed and soil pathogen communities. An eight-acre companion site for novel farming practices tests the reduction of non-renewable resource inputs. Outreach through field days and workshops and grower adoption of emerging technologies continue as primary objectives.

    Richard Engel, Project Coordinator, California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom, "Farming, Agriculture and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS)": $15,000. This project combines hands-on science, agriculture and education to provide a base for informed decision-making on agricultural issues for high school students. It will enhance their understanding of the role of agriculture, its social and economic significance and its relation to human health and the environment. Included will be student-teacher-farmer informational programs, workshops and farm stays as well as campus information on agriculture and environmental science careers. A partnership between private orchards, UC Davis, the California Foundation for Agriculture in the Classroom and the Yolo County Resource Conservation District, this project will be a model for developing outreach programs.

    John Maas, Extension Veterinarian, Veterinary Medicine Extension, UC Davis, "Environmental Fate and Characterization of Selenium Supplemented to Intensively Grazed Beef Cattle": $14,800 for first year. Selenium supplementation is necessary and widespread in livestock production, but there is also concern about the potential for environmental selenium accumulation. There is a critical need for data charting the environmental fate of selenium supplemented to cattle. This project will quantify selenium concentrations in soils, plants and water in treated and control pastures.

    Stephen Welter, Associate Professor and Entomologist, Insect Biology Division, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, "Impact of Border Companion Plants on Natural Enemy Performance in an Augmentative Biological Control Program in California Strawberries": $13,187 for first year. The $600 million California strawberry accounts for 75 percent of fresh strawberries consumed in the U.S. Two-thirds of the crop is grown on the Central Coast and in Santa Maria, where its primary pest is the native tarnished plant bug, Lygus hesperus. Current control strategies involve multiple applications of insecticides, including pyrethroids, which are disruptive to natural enemies of other strawberry pests. An alternative, more selective control strategy for the tarnished plant bug may include the use of its natural enemy Anaphes iole, a native egg parasitoid. Preliminary studies show a need to increase the effectiveness of the insects after release by studying their performance and biological constraints. The effectiveness of strawberry flowers and border companion plants as nectar sources will be examined as factors that enhance the establishment of resident insect populations of Anaphes iole. Researchers will conduct field trials in collaboration with conventional growers in the area. Comparisons will be made on the tarnished plant bug densities, fruit damage, parasitism levels and predator populations with and without bordering comparison plants. If successful, this program may help strawberry growers reduce the use of insecticides.

    Gary Bender, San Diego County Farm Advisor, "Alternate Side Irrigation to Control Root Rot in Avocados": $10,000. Phytophthora root rot has devastated thousands of acres of avocado trees in California. Chemical treatments are being withdrawn or are too expensive. This project will test the efficacy of using alternate side irrigation with and without mulch applications as part of an integrated pest management program to control root rot. Rather than watering the same part of the tree's root zone during each irrigation, irrigation water will be applied on alternating sides of each tree row. Alternating dry/wet cycles are expected to diminish the infection while allowing for feeder root development. The use of a series of control practices is expected to provide better disease control for longer time.

    Patrick Brown, Associate Professor, Pomology, UC Davis, "Development of a N-Fertilizer Recommendation Model to Improve N-Use Efficiency and to Alleviate Nitrate Pollution to Ground Water from Almond Orchards": $10,000 for first year. Fertilizer management advice for California orchard crops like almonds has depended on generalized recommendations. This may contribute to high nitrate levels in some California groundwater. A reliable tool for measuring tree N status will aid growers in using nitrogen efficiently. The goal of this study is to develop and test better tools for precision nitrogen measurement in the field (leaf nitrate analysis), determine seasonal as well as total nitrogen demands, and prepare a user-friendly computer program for growers so they can enter local variables and receive best management recommendations for N fertilization.

    Joseph Hancock, Professor and Plant Pathologist, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, "Role of the Soil Microbial Community in Suppression of Rhizoctonia Stem Rot Disease of Cauliflower": $9,200 for first year. Fungicides are applied in the greenhouse plant production industries (ornamental and vegetable) to control soil borne plant pathogens. The intense cultural and management practices in these industries also lend themselves to integrated pest management programs that include the use of biologicals. This project should provide an improved means of selecting microbial biological control agents. Researchers will build on information from preliminary studies with Rhizoctonia solani suppressive soils identified in a field at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center. Microbes will be tested for their ability to suppress stem rot in a range of amended soils. Depending upon the results of this work, it may be possible to extend this method to other disease suppressive soils. A simple method of forecasting soil suppressiveness (and lack of it) to certain diseases could have very wide application in crop planning.

    Jeffrey Granett, Professor, Entomology, UC Davis, "Do Soils Suppressive of Phylloxera Exist?": $8,287. Grape phylloxera is one of the most serious pests of California vineyards, feeding on roots and allowing entry of secondary fungal rot organisms. No work has been done on the community ecology/natural enemy complex of the insect. This study will conclude whether there is potential for biological control of phylloxera by finding out if there are vineyard soils or management methods that suppress the pest.

    Lynn Epstein, Associate Professor, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, "The Impact of a Sustainable Agricultural Practice with Grapes on Pesticide Use in California": $8,573. Since the late 1980s, canopy leaf removal has been a sustainable, non-pesticidal means to control Botrytis bunch rot, an economically important grape fungal disease. By using the California Department of Pesticide Regulations' Pesticide Use Report database, the study will document changes in fungicide use on grapes between 1990 and 1995. This is the first time the impact of a sustainable alternative has been determined using actual pesticide use data. It will also estimate the extent to which leaf removal has become a standard practice, analyze comparative costs of leaf pruningversus fungicide application, and assess the reasons for success or impediments to further use of this sustainable practice.

    Larry Forero, Shasta-Trinity Counties Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, "History of Grazing on the Shasta-Trinity National Forest: Implications for the Future": $5,919. This project was funded by SAREP in 1995-96 to reconstruct the history of grazing in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and determine the causes for the reduction of grazing in the area since the 1930s. Additional funding will complete the project with data from the National Archives. Allotment maps will be digitized and an interview instrument will be developed. This project will provide insight into how changes in access to federal forage areas translate to private sector land use and management decisions.

    Melvin George, Extension Agronomist, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "The Contribution of Ranch Roads, Cattle Trails and Bed Load to the Sediment Budget for a Grazed Watershed in the Central Sierra Foothills": $5,700 for first year. The sustainability of rangeland ecosystems depends upon owners' knowledge about their lands and the impacts of their livestock. Water quality is a high priority rangeland and livestock production issue; livestock producers must assess nonpoint pollution sources on their ranches to show that voluntary compliance is a viable alternative to regulation. Current national and state watershed studies in a grazed watershed in Madera County have not measured sediment from dirt roads and cattle trails or bed load sediments in the stream channel. This project will measure those sediment budget components that are not currently being measured; existing funding will continue measurements begun two years ago of hill slope and streambank erosion, suspended sediment, flow and precipitation. The results of this project will be communicated to community and clientele groups by the Rangeland Watershed Program, which focuses on managing the rangeland forage crop and livestock in ways that support economic returns while reducing impacts on the resource base.

    Jeff Mitchell, Extension Vegetable Crops Specialist, Kearney Agricultural Center, "Use of Cover Crop Mulches in Processing Tomato Production Systems": $4,440 for first year. In recent years there has been a shift in land use on the West Side of the Central San Joaquin Valley. Thirty years ago more than 60 percent of the land was planted to wheat, barley and safflower. By 1994, however, this percentage had slipped to less than seven percent. Higher value crops, including many vegetables and cotton, are now common in West Side rotations. The increase in these high-value crops has led to fewer additions of organic matter to the soil, more aggressive tillage operations and a reported decline in soil quality. Preserving soil health and improving nutrient use efficiencies are compelling reasons for renewed interest among a number of farmers in more biologically based soil-building alternatives. This project will evaluate the effectiveness of surface organic mulches in no-till processing tomatoes for suppressing weeds without herbicides and providing nutrients, maintaining optimal soil temperatures, and increasing crop water use efficiencies. Companion cover crop trials for no-till techniques will also be included.

    Community Development and Public Policy Projects

    (7 projects; $99,303)

    Adina Merenlender, Extension Specialist, Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, UC Berkeley, "A Spatially Explicit Vineyard Model: Addressing Crop Production, Public Policy and Environmental Concerns": $22,000 for first year. A team of UC research and extension personnel and members of the Sonoma County Grape Growers Association will develop a model to predict where new vineyards are likely to expand in the Russian River and Alexander valleys, and will evaluate their potential impact on oak woodlands and watersheds. Available digital information will be integrated to predict and test this model with recently established vineyards. First-year data collection on grape growing in the area will include grower interviews and a literature search.

    Glenn Nader, Lassen County Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, "Natural Beef: Consumer Acceptability, Market Development and Economics": $14,948. A team of ranchers, California State University, Chico and UC Cooperative Extension researchers is developing more sustainable marketing alternatives for Northern California beef producers by evaluating consumer acceptability of grass-fed natural beef, identifying the demographics of this potential market, determining its economic feasibility, and developing marketing plans for producers.

    Carol Shennan, Associate Professor, Vegetable Crops, UC Davis, "Socio-Economic Analysis of Rotational Management of Wetlands and Cropland in the Tulelake Basin": $14,440. This project is examining the merits and costs of managing agricultural lands and wetland reserves in the Tulelake Basin. It has previously received federal grants to study the impacts of wetland/cropland rotations on water use and quality, seasonal patterns of nutrient release, crop productivity, pest populations, and quality of wildlife habitat. SAREP funds will support interviews with farmers, farm advisors, hunters, environmentalists, agencies and local businesses, and the organization of information gathered into a better decision-making framework.

    Yolanda Huang, Coordinator, Willard Greening Project, "Urban Food Project": $18,225. The Willard Greening Project in the Berkeley Unified School District is joining forces with the Urban Gardening Project to expand inner city agriculture and make fresh, organic food available to low-income urban people using vacant and public lands. Homeless people will be trained in intensive farming methods and efficient market delivery systems will be developed. The food produced is for school use, the local farmers' market or for community lunch programs.

    Andrew Fisher, Coordinator, Community Food Security Coalition, "Evaluating Farmers' Markets in Low Income Communities": $9,540. Factors contributing to successful farmers' markets in low-income areas will be evaluated and case studies of inner city markets from across the country will be developed. Researchers will also examine existing information on failed or successful California markets and will identify public policies that affect the success of farmers' markets. Those involved with farmers' markets will be educated about the steps needed to make them successful.

    Sibella Kraus, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, "Market Cooking for Kids: In-Season Cooking and Science for School Children": $10,000. This project extends for a second year the successful hands-on cooking and science program developed for children at Oakland and San Francisco elementary schools. The focus is to help urban children understand the relationships between healthy, fresh food and regional sustainable agriculture. It involves collaboration among teachers, science educators, chefs, produce wholesalers and farmers. A primary goal is the production of A Young People's Reference Guide to Fresh, Local Foods, so other children may benefit from the work developed in this program.

    Laura Lawson, Berkeley Youth Alternatives, "Rethinking Direct Marketing Approaches Appropriate to Low Income Communities and Urban Market Gardens": $10,150 for first year. To better integrate urban market gardening into low-income neighborhood food consumption patterns, surveys will be conducted with Berkeley farmers' market consumers, West Berkeley residents and families affiliated with the Berkeley Youth Alternatives organization. Data will be used to develop a direct marketing pilot project designed to serve low-income urban communities.

  • Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards (SAGA)
  • 1996-97 Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Award

    Jo Ann Baumgartner, "Bird and Arthropod Predation of Codling Moth in Sustainable Apple Orchards," $2,000. Codling moth is a worldwide pest of apples. Broad spectrum organophosphate pesticides are routinely applied to control this moth in conventional orchards; there are few sustainable options that reduce the overwintering populations of codling moths. Birds and some insect species are known to attack the dormant stage of the coddling moth. Many orchardists do not realize the volume of insects many birds are capable of consuming, or that the codling moth is eaten by 36 different bird species. A preliminary survey by this researcher showed approximately 40 percent of overwintering codling moths appear to have been attacked by birds . This research will continue the work with replicated, statistically valid studies of the interactions among the dormant codling moth, California bird species and insect predators.

  • Grants for Educational Events
  • 1996-1997 Grants for Educational Events

    William Brooks, Central Coast Resource Conservation and Development Council. $1,000. Baled Straw as an Energy Efficient Alternative Material for Low-Cost Construction in Rural Communities.Date: November 26, 1996. Location: Salinas. For more information contact: (408) 758-1469

    Linda Chase, Emergency Food Bank, Jubilee Farm Project. $1,000 for 2 events. Composting and Biological Control Workshops. Dates: TBA. Location: Stockton. For more information contact: (209) 464-7369

    Jan Dietrick, Dietrick Institute for Applied Insect Ecology. $1,530 for 2 events. Fighting New Pests of Avocados Biologically. Dates: TBA. Location: TBA. For more information contact: (805) 643-2325

    Roger Ingram and David Pratt, UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. The California Grazing Academy.Date: TBA. Location: Sierra Foothill Research & Extension Center, Browns Valley. For more information contact: (916) 889-7385

    Jill Klein, Community Alliance with Family Farmers Foundation Lighthouse Farm Network. $5,000 for 5 events. Lighthouse Farm Network Educational Events.

    Doing Research on Your Farm. Mid-December 1996. Woodland.

    Biological Control of Strawberries on the Central Coast. Mid-February 1997. Aptos Berry Farm, Watsonville.

    Beneficial Insect Identification and Worker Safety Training (in Spanish). March 1997. Madison.

    Integrating Livestock on the Farm. February 1997. Hollister.

    Building Soil Fertility with Cover Crops and Compost. November 6,1996. France Ranch, Porterville.

    For more information contact: (916) 756-8518

    Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension. $1,000. Producing Wool to Meet Organic Standards for the Sustainability of the Sheep Industry. Date: TBA. Location: Sonoma/Marian County. For more information contact: (707) 527-2621

    Brenda Ouwerkerk, San Luis Obispo County Ag Commissioner’s Office. $1,000. Yellow Star Thistle Forum II. Date: December 5, 1996. Location: San Luis Obispo. For more information contact: (805) 781-5910

    Milt McGiffen, UC Riverside Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. $935. Integrated Nutsedge Management. Date: March 25, 1997. Location: UC Riverside. For more information contact: (909) 787-2430

    William Oswald, UC Environmental Engineering and Health Sciences Lab. $1,000. Commissioning of an Advanced Integrated Wastewater Ponding for the Treatment and Reclamation of Dairy Waste at Kehoe Dairy, Point Reyes National Seashore. Date: April 1997. Location: Kehoe Dairy, Point Reyes National Seashore Headquarters. For more information contact: (510) 231-5682

    Bob Roan, PlacerGROWN. $1,000. PlacerGROWN Farm Conference. Date: January 18, 1997. Location: Lincoln. For more information contact: (916) 889-7398

    Kristen Schroeder, San Mateo Resource Conservation District. $1,000. Cover Cropping on the Central Coast: Problems and Solutions for Coastal San Mateo County. Date: January 15, 1997. Location: San Mateo County. For more information contact: (415) 726-4660

Grants funded for 1995-1996

  • All Grants
  • Thirty-six research and education projects have been granted a total of $203,430 by UC SAREP in the 1995/96 funding cycle, according to Bill Liebhardt, SAREP director. New projects were chosen in four different areas: community development and public policy, production, educational events, and graduate student awards. A brief description of the projects, principal investigators and amounts awarded for the first year follows.

    Community Development and Public Policy Projects

    (6 Projects; $51,699)

    Patricia Allen and Jackelyn Lundy, Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz, "Food Security in Santa Cruz, California: Building a Foundation for Community Action": $8,560. This project will focus on the city of Santa Cruz and its issues of food security, which means the ability of community members to have a secure, culturally acceptable, nutritionally adequate diet through local non-emergency sources within a viable, environmentally sound agricultural system. This will be addressed by research, policy analysis, community networking and publications to support the development of a local food policy council. Guided by an advisory committee of local stakeholders and food policy experts, the investigators will prepare a report on food security in Santa Cruz, including who is most at risk nutritionally and why.

    Joyce M. Ewen, Pomona-Inland Valley Council of Churches, "PIVCC's Food Security Project": $5,000. This project will increase food security by building the capacity of a low-income neighborhood to produce its own food, increase knowledge and practice of good nutrition, and expand accessibility of fresh, locally grown food. The collaborative project will link several key organizations to create solutions for hunger issues and long-term food security.

    Santos Gomez, Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, "Using Water Transfers to Promote Sustainable Rural Development": $11,000. This project will determine the conditions under which water transfers can promote the health and sustainability of rural communities. Working collaboratively with farmer and farmworker organizations, rural community leaders, and other researchers, the investigators will determine where water transfers could generate significant positive or negative impacts and identify policy alternatives for water transfers that encourage sustainable rural development.

    Robert Gottlieb, Urban Planning, UCLA, "Expanding Direct Marketing Opportunities for Community Development and to Reduce Pesticide Use": $10,139. This continuing project will complete a feasibility study of a "Market Basket" program in which farmers who sell at farmers' markets use a new marketing arrangement resembling community supported agriculture. Demonstration projects will be launched in two low- and middle- income communities with large minority populations, one in Southwest and one in East Los Angeles.

    Sharon Junge, Placer County Cooperative Extension Office, "Impacts of Local Food Systems on Communities and Agriculture/Reason for the Seasons...Increasing Sustainable Practices Among Consumers": $10,000. This continuing project is encouraging greater purchasing and production of local agricultural products to create a more stable and sustainable community. The investigators are working with a grassroots agricultural marketing association, PlacerGROWN, to educate consumers on the benefits of purchasing locally produced, processed and distributed food that is geared to seasonal availability.

    Sibella Kraus, Center for Urban Education about Sustainable Agriculture, "Market Cooking for Kids: Developing Children's Consciousness of Regional Sustainable Agriculture": $7,000. This project is an innovative cooking and science program for children in Bay Area public schools which combines hands-on education about the biology and production of local seasonal foods with basic cooking instruction about how to appreciate and prepare these foods. The program will reach almost 500 children, primarily from low-income backgrounds and will be a year-long collaborative effort among the school district, restaurants, produce businesses, farmers' markets, and regional farms.

    Production Projects

    (11 projects; $128,481)

    Roger Ingram, Placer-Nevada counties farm advisor, "Controlled Grazing on Foothill Rangelands": $21,500. This project will address the expressed needs of Northern California livestock producers for research-based information on controlled grazing and sustainable livestock production practices. It will also demonstrate how land owners and ranchers can monitor the effects of these practices so they can decide for themselves whether controlled grazing is appropriate for their business. The project will also address public concerns about the environmental impacts of grazing.

    Rob Atwill, UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center, Tulare CA, "Assessing the Environmental Risk from Rangeland Cattle Shedding Cryptosporidium parvum in their Feces": $7,966. Large municipal water-borne outbreaks of Cryptosporidium-induced gastroenteritis in humans has raised questions among ranchers, government regulators and watershed managers as to whether cattle grazing is a leading source of this pathogen and how best to equitably minimize its possible impacts. This project will determine whether and under what conditions eggs of the pathogen shed in the feces of rangeland beef cattle can survive the ambient temperatures typical of California rangeland from spring through fall.

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    Larry Forero, Shasta-Trinity counties farm advisor, "History of Livestock Grazing on the Shasta-Trinity Forest: Implications for the Future": $5,000. Historical documents indicate that livestock grazing in Shasta, Siskiyou, and Trinity counties has decreased from 90,000 animal unit months (aum: amount one cow with a calf eats per month) during the 1930s to about 9,400 currently. This study will reconstruct the history of grazing in the Shasta Trinity National Forest and determine the causes for this reduction of grazing activity. The data could be used to demonstrate how reduction in livestock grazing on public land translates to private land use decisions.

    Bruce Jaffee, Nematology, UC Davis, "Suppression of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Conventional and Organic Farming Systems": $9,000. This is the second year of a study in which soils from conventional and organic farming systems are being examined for their suppressiveness to plant-parasitic nematodes. The project will be conducted at the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems project at UC Davis.

    Steve Temple, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "A Comparison of Conventional, Low Input and Organic Farming Systems: The Transition Phase and Long-Term Viability": $37,500. The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems project at UC Davis, now in its eighth year, compares four farming systems with varying levels of dependence on external resources over a 12-year period.

    Ford Denison, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "Rotation Length and Organic Transitions": $7,000. An additional four-year organic rotation was added last year to the Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems (LTRAS) project at UC Davis. SAREP provided the start-up money for this 100-year long-term farmland research experiment in 1990. This part of the LTRAS project will continue to evaluate two-year and four-year rotation length and will assess the contributions of soil quality and human factors in the transition to organic farming.

    Steven Koike, Monterey County farm advisor, "Determination of the Effect of Cover Crops on Lettuce Drop Disease": $3,540. This is the second year of a study that will determine the ability of cover crop residues to reduce lettuce drop disease. Another objective of the study is to determine the effects of compost on populations of the lettuce drop pathogen.

    Krishna Subbarao, Plant Pathology Specialist, U.S. Agricultural Research Station, Salinas, "Subsurface Drip Irrigation for Soilborne Disease Management in Lettuce": $8,000. In the first year of this study, the use of subsurface drip irrigation compared to furrow irrigation was shown to reduce the incidence of lettuce drop and the severity of corky root, two serious diseases of lettuce in the Salinas Valley. Also, yields were higher under drip irrigation. The second year of the study will continue with the same objectives to verify the results and will include fungicide-sprayed vs. unsprayed subplots.

    Jay Rosenheim, Entomology, UC Davis, "Ecology of a Group of Generalist Predators, the Green Lacewings, and their Contribution to Biological Control in Almonds and Walnuts": $8,000. This project seeks to develop an improved understanding of the ecology of green lacewings, one of the dominant groups of generalist predators in almonds and walnuts. The research will evaluate whether releases have the potential to substantially augment natural populations, and will determine the optimum timing and developmental stage of release.

    Marita Cantwell, Vegetable Crops, UC Davis, "Alternative Postharvest Treatments for Decay and Insect Control": $13,000. Consumer demand for pesticide-free produce is increasing while consumers also continue to expect insect-free and decay-free products. This project will evaluate the two important benign postharvest treatments, high carbon dioxide atmospheres and heat therapy, for their effects on decay and insect control on grapes, pears, leafy greens, tomatoes, and peppers.

    Michael Costello, Fresno County farm advisor, "Fostering Transition toward Balanced Predator/Prey Mite Populations in Vineyards Using Narrow Range Summer Oil": $7,975. While the most frequently applied pesticide for Pacific mite on grapes is effective, it has a 30-day reentry period and is scheduled for cancellation due to regulatory changes. This project will evaluate the effects of narrow range summer oil, which has a 12-hour reentry period, on Pacific mite and predator mite populations in comparison with the standard mite treatment.

    Graduate Student Awards

    (6 projects; $10,250)

    David Smethurst, Geography, UC Berkeley, "The Effects of Changes in Landholding Patterns and Land Use on Vegetation in El Dorado County": $2,000.

    Jacqueline Chu, Geography and Environmental Studies, San Jose State University, "Social and Environmental Restoration through Urban Therapeutic Gardens": $900.

    Clara Nicholls, Entomology, UC Davis, "An Agroecological Strategy for the Conversion of Commercial Flower Production Systems to Low-Input Organic Management": $2,000.

    Jennifer Thaler, Entomology, UC Davis, "Artificial Stimulation of Host Plant Defenses in Cultivated Tomato and Effects on the Herbivore and Natural Enemy Community": $1,939.

    Lynn Wunderlich, Plant Protection and Pest Management Program/Entomology, UC Davis, "Evaluating Release Techniques for Efficient Delivery of Green Lacewings (Chrysoperla rufilabris) for Control of Mealybug on Grapes [Pseudococcus maritimus (Ehrhorn) and Pseudococcus affinis (Maskell)]: An On-Farm Study of Augmentative Biocontrol": $1,846.

    Daniel Carroll, International Agricultural Development/Human and Community Development, Davis, CA, "The Effects of Health and Safety Regulations and Labor Management Practices on Production Agriculture in California: A Case Study of Winegrape Operations in Sonoma and San Joaquin Counties": $1,565.

    Grants for Educational Events

    (8 projects; $13,000)

    Educational grants are awarded to individuals and organizations to conduct workshops, field days, and other educational events related to sustainable agriculture. Eight grants were awarded to support 13 different programs around the state. For more information on a particular event, call the telephone number shown.

    Roger Ingram, Placer-Nevada counties farm advisor; Dave Pratt, Napa-Solano counties farm advisor;The California Grazing Academy. $1,000. Date: April 26-28, 1996. Location: UC Sierra Research and Extension Center, Browns Valley, CA. Contact Roger Ingram (916) 889-7385.

    Miguel Altieri, Biological Control, UC Berkeley, A Mobile Workshop on the Scientific Basis of the Conversion Process of High Input Conventional Systems to Agroecological Management. $1,000. Date: March 6, 1996. Location: Kearney Ag Center, Parlier, CA. Contact Miguel Altieri (510) 642-9802.

    Mark Freeman, Michael Costello , Fresno County farm advisors, Sustainable Production in the San Joaquin Valley: Grapes, Citrus, Nut Crops, and Stone Fruits. $2,000 (2 workshops). Date: TBA Location: Kearney Ag Center, Parlier, CA. Contact Mark Freeman (209) 456-7265.

    Stephanie Larson, Sonoma-Marin counties farm advisor, Determining the Cost of Forage Production and Grazing Land Rental to Maintain Sustainable Beef Cattle Operations. $1,000. Contact Stephanie Larson (707) 527-2621.

    Jill Klein, Richard Reed, Community Alliance with Family Farmers Foundation, The Lighthouse Farm Network Educational Events. $5,000 (5 workshop/field days). Contact Jill Klein (916) 756-8518.

    On-Farm Composting. October 18, 1995. Hollister, CA.

    Citrus Field Day. February 21, 1996. Orange Cove, CA.

    Biological Control of Artichoke Plume Moth. TBA. Davenport, CA.

    Beneficial Insect Identification. TBA. Salinas, CA.

    Cover Crop Planting and Mowing. TBA. Fillmore, CA.


    Desley Whisson, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis, A Workshop on Vertebrate Pest Management in Agriculture. $1,000. Date: April 3, 1996. Location: UC Kearney Ag Center, Parlier, CA. Contact Desley Whisson (916) 754-8644.

    Paul Vossen, Sonoma County farm advisor; Michael Dimock, Sunflower Strategies, Sustainable Practices Marketing Initiative. $1,000. Date: February 13, 1996. Location: Santa Rosa, CA. Contact Paul Vossen, UC Cooperative Extension (707) 527-2621.

    Douglas Parker, Agriculture and Resource Economics, UC Berkeley; Lee Fitzhugh, Wildlife, Fish and Conservation Biology, UC Davis; Bruce Roberts, Allan Fulton, Kings County farm advisors, Water Needs - Southern San Joaquin Valley: A Vision of the Future - A Blueprint for Decisions. $1,000. Date: May 22-23. Location: Red Lion Inn, Sacramento, CA. Contact Douglas Parker (510) 642-8229.

Grants funded for 1994-1995

  • All Grants
  • 1994-95 Grants Funded

    SAREP Funds New Projects

    Economics and Public Policy Projects

    Production Projects

    Graduate student awards

    Meeting Grants


    Thirty-four research and education projects have been granted a total of $149,681 by UC SAREP in its 1994/95 funding cycle, according to Bill Liebhardt, SAREP director. New projects were chosen in four different areas: economics and public policy, production, meetings, and graduate student awards. A brief description of the projects, principal investigators and amounts awarded for the first year follows.

    Economics and Public Policy Projects

    (5 projects; $51,298)

    Robert Gottlieb, Urban Planning, UCLA, "Expanding Direct Marketing Opportunities for Community Food Security and to Reduce Pesticide Use": $10,615. This project will develop and evaluate new marketing arrangements that link farmers selling at farmers' markets with poor and low-income urban consumers. A pilot project will focus on the Gardena farmers' market, located in a mixed low- and middle-income neighborhood in southwest Los Angeles.

    Sharon K. Junge, Roger Ingram, and Garth Veerkamp, Placer County Cooperative Extension Office, "Reason for the Season: Increasing Sustainable Practices Among Consumers": $12,000. This project will create a regional food guide to educate consumers on the benefits of purchasing locally produced, processed and distributed food that is geared to seasonal availability. Baseline data will be collected on food production, distribution and consumption in Placer County in order to evaluate the food system's impact on nutrition, environment, energy consumption, and local economic development.

    Jered Lawson, in cooperation with the Community Alliance with Family Farmers, "Sharing the Costs of Land Tenure and Stewardship: A Profile of a Family and Community's Efforts to Preserve their Agricultural Land and their Sustainable Farming Practices": $5,000. The project will create a manual describing "shared equity," an innovative model for maintaining ag land in sustainable production. In the model developed by Steve and Gloria Decater at Live Power Community Farm in Covelo, the farmer owns the productive agricultural value of the land, and a non-profit organization owns the land's additional speculative or market value.

    Peter Lehman, Humboldt State University, "Arcata Farm and Education Project": $8,683. This continuing project is a student-operated, community supported farm designed to serve as a sustainable agriculture education facility for students of all ages, local farmers, and community members. The farm serves as a teaching facility for Humboldt State classes, as a community supported agriculture site, and its staff engages in extensive outreach to the local area.

    Don Villarejo, California Institute for Rural Studies, "Viability of Small and Medium Scale Farms in California: Case Study of Fresno and Monterey Counties": $ 15,000. This project will determine current farm turnover-both farmers going out of business and farmers entering business-in Monterey and Fresno counties, two key agricultural areas. The impacts of farm size, commodities, and ethnicity on farm survival will be assessed.

    Production Projects

    (9 projects; $7S,986)

    Karen Klonsky, Agricultural Economics, UC Davis, "BIOS Economic Impact Study: Quantifying the Transition to Sustainable Production": $9,194. The impacts on income and expenses will be determined for farms enrolled in the Merced County almond Biologically Integrated Orchard Systems (BIOS) program. This project will also evaluate the economic viability of the BIOS production method over a three-year transition period.

    Bruce Jaffee, Nematology, UC Davis, "Suppression of Plant-Parasitic Nematodes in Conventional and Organic Farming Systems": $5,155. Soils from conventional and organic farming systems will be examined for their ability to suppress plant-parasitic nematodes. The project will be conducted at the Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems Project at UC Davis.

    Steven Koike, Monterey County farm advisor, "Determination of the Effect of Cover Crops on Lettuce Drop Disease: Year Two": $3,640. This is the third year of a study that will identify cover or rotation crops that reduce lettuce drop disease. Additionally, the study will determine the effect of manure and yard waste compost on populations of the lettuce drop pathogen.

    Steve Temple, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "A Comparison of Conventional, Low Input and Organic Farming Systems: The Transition Phase and Long Term Viability": $12,253. The Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems Project at UC Davis is in its seventh year. It is comparing four farming systems with different levels of dependence on external resources over a 12-year period.

    Richard Smith, San Benito County farm advisor, "Nitrogen Fertility Monitoring in Organic and Conventional Vegetable Systems": $2,744. In organic farming systems, "quick tests" for nitrate in plant and soil analyses may not be a good indicator of crop nitrogen status. This study will evaluate quick tests on two organic and two conventional onion farms.

    Krishna Subbarao, assistant plant pathologist, Cooperative Extension Specialist, UC Davis, "Subsurface Drip Irrigation for Soilbome Disease Management in Lettuce": $11,000. The use of subsurface drip irrigation in vegetable production can improve the efficiency of water use and reduce nitrate leaching. This project will evaluate the effects of subsurface drip and furrow irrigations on lettuce diseases.

    Ford Denison, Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis, "Rotation Length and Organic Transitions": $10,000. An additional four-year organic rotation will be added to the SAREP funded 100-year long-term farmland research experiment at UC Davis. The project will evaluate two-year and four-year rotation length and will assess the contributions of soil quality and human factors in the transition to organic farming.

    Kent Daane, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, "Effects of Cover Crops, Time of Cover Crop Plowdown and Trellis System on Spiders and Other Predators of the Variegated Leafhopper (Erythroneura variabilis)": $12,500. This project, in its third and final year, is evaluating the effects of various cover cropping practices on spiders and variegated leafhoppers in raisin and table grape vineyards.

    Phil Phillips, South Coast area IPM advisor, Ventura County, "The Impact of Dust Deposits on Insectary Reared and Released Parasites in Transitional and Organic Citrus Orchards Using Perennial vs. Annual, Tilled Cover Crops': $9,500. Ventura County citrus growers spend large amounts of money releasing parasites for control of California red scale and black scale, but foliar dust may interfere with biological control. This study will examine the effects of both ambient dust and dust generated by orchard operations on two key parasites.

    Graduate Student Awards

    (5 projects; $7,973)

    Heinrich Schweizer, Entomology, UC Davis, "Identification of non-pesticidal mortality factors of Scirtothtips citri Moulton which might be enhanced by cultural manipulations in order to reduce economic damage": $2,000.

    Robert Venette, Nematology, UC Davis, "Soil Bacteria: Carbon and Nitrogen Ratios, Attractiveness to Bacterial-Feeding Nematodes, and Potential Role in Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycles": $1,000.

    Brian Correiar, Plant Protection and Pest Management, UC Davis, "Determination of Sampling Methods and Effectiveness of Variable rates of Trifluralin for Layby Weed Control in Tomatoes": $1,250.

    Jennifer Katcher, Pomology, UC Davis, "Reducing Nitrogen Fertilization and Irrigation May Improve Almond Trees' Defense Against Hull Rot Infection": $2,000.

    Colehour Arden, Applied Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis, "Effects and Prospects of Direct Marketing on Sustainability - Survey of Farmer Perspectives": $1,723.

    Meeting Grants

    (15 meetings; $14,424)

    David Pratt, farm advisor, Napa, Solano & Yolo Counties, "The California Grazing Academy": $1,000.

    Sheila Gaertner, farm advisor, Tehama and Glenn Counties, "Oak Woodland Management in the Northern Sacramento Valley': $ 1,000.

    Miles Merwin, International Tree Crops Institute USA Inc., "Agroforestry Technology Course': $1,000.

    Stephanie Larson, farm advisor, Sonoma and Marin counties, "Demonstrating Improved Rangeland Management for Improving Water Quality": $1,000.

    Mariposa Guido, Committee for Sustainable Agriculture, "New Challenges in Production Techniques: Sustainable Agriculture Meeting and Farm Tour Series": $1,000 for each of five meetings: Citrus and Strawberries in Ventura; Livestock and Vegetables on the North Coast; and Landscaping in Sacramento.

    Michael Smith, farm advisor, San Luis Obispo County, "Thistle Management in California": $1,000.

    Jeff Mitchell, Vegetable Crops, UC Davis, "Development of Comparative Cropping Systems Research Projects in the Central San Joaquin Valley: Farmer/Scientist Focus Sessions to Identify Research Priorities and Appropriate Cropping Systems Research Options': $424.

    Jill Klein, Community Alliance with Family Farmers, "The Lighthouse Farm Network Educational Events": $1,000 for each of four meetings.

Grants funded before 1994

  • All Grants
  • SAREP Competitive Grants Program: Projects Funded 1990-1993

    Systems Comparison Project

    Economics and Public Policy Projects

    Critical Component Research

    Monitoring Innovative Production Systems

    Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards

    A primary function of the program is to provide funding for sustainable agriculture- related research and education projects. SAREP has awarded over $2 million in competitive grant monies over the past seven years (FY 1986/87 - FY 1992/93). In FY 1991/92 and FY 1992/93, SAREP provided over $440,000 in new and continuing competitive grants.

    Systems Comparison Project:

    To facilitate the transition to sustainable agriculture, farmers need accurate information about the benefits, costs, and risks associated with "conventional" and "alternative" systems. To generate this information, research must eventually be conducted at the whole-farm level. By broadening the boundaries of investigation, researchers are able to evaluate critically the success of farming practices and their effects on the environment, as well as the special requirements for adapting these practices to farms in various locations.

    A Comparison of Conventional, Low-Input, and Organic Farming Systems: The Transition Phase and Long-Term Viability

    Principal Investigator: 
    Steve Temple, Department of Agronomy & Range Science, UC Davis.

    The goal of this long-term research project is to describe and quantify the environmental and economic consequences of the transition from conventional to low- input and organic farming systems typical of the southern Sacramento Valley. The research team is multidisciplinary and participating farmers and UC farm advisors play a key role in guiding the management decisions applied to the various production systems. The project was initiated in 1989 and is located on the UC Davis Agronomy Farm.

    Economics and Public Policy Projects

    Since 1990, SAREP has added an emphasis in economic, social, and public policy research. Proposals have addressed the links among sustainable agriculture and public policy; labor policies and practices; land use; rural community development; decision-making and the transition to sustainable agriculture; and consumers and the food system.

    Year-Round and Extended Employment for Agricultural Workers.
    Investigators:
    Suzanne Vaupel, director, Vaupel Associates, Sacramento;
    Gary Johnston, UC Cooperative Extension county director, San Joaquin County

    Seasonal employment is considered a fact of life for California's farm workers, but a SAREP-sponsored study concludes that extended and year-round employment for farm workers can be both feasible and profitable. The two-year study examines the benefits and challenges for farmers who keep workers employed "year-round" by leveling out the peaks and valleys of seasonal employment. The results are available in a workbook, "Year-Round and Extended Employment for Agricultural Workers: Why and How?"

    Comparative Economics and Social Value of Alternative Farming Practices Among Resource-Limited Farmers at the Rural Development Center near Salinas, California.
    Investigators:
    Paul L. Gersper, Department of Soil Science, UC Berkeley;
    Miguel Altieri, Department of Entomological Sciences, Division of Biological Control, UC Berkeley.
    Cooperators:
    Ann Baier, director of Education and Development, Rural Development Center;
    Jose Montenegro, Farm Operations Director, Rural Development Center.

    This study compares the economic benefits, energy costs, and social values of different vegetable production farming practices at the Rural Development Center (RDC) in Salinas, California. Farmers at the RDC are predominantly Mexican farm laborers enrolled in a three-year production and marketing training program in which low-input production practices are emphasized. The effect of these alternative practices on the short- and long-term well-being of the enrolled families and the surrounding rural community will be determined and analyzed based on information from the field, interviews, and workshops.

    Sustaining Agriculture in Santa Cruz County: Developing Community Networks to Promote Community- and Environment-Responsible Agriculture.
    Investigators:
    Stephen Gliessman, Agroecology Program, UC Santa Cruz;
    James Pepper, Department of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz.

    This project has formed a diverse coalition of community members to address important agricultural issues in Santa Cruz County. Agriculture is a $196 million dollar industry in the county, second only to tourism. It is threatened by urban growth and development, groundwater depletion, and the movement of agricultural operations to other countries where costs are lower. The community-based coalition will work with UC Santa Cruz to pool resources, expertise, and political strength to assess needs, devise solutions, and implement strategies for change. The project also aims to improve agriculture's environmental responsibility and economic strength, increase its responsiveness to the needs of those who work within the industry as well as to local communities, and strengthen its links to the local community.

    Identifying the Logistical, Economic, Social, and Regulatory Barriers and Opportunities to Bring Sustainably Produced Food into Alameda County's Food Marketplace.
    Investigator:
    Valerie Pelto, Alameda County Food Planning Council.

    This project has developed a survey identifying the logistical, economic, social, and regulatory barriers to bringing sustainably produced food into Alameda County's food marketplace (in this project, sustainably produced food refers to food that is locally grown and/or low-input or organically grown). An advisory task force including wholesale and retail merchants, trade association members, consumers, and environmentalists was assembled in the spring of 1992 to determine concerns of the food community about barriers to the movement of sustainably produced food. Surveys were developed to collect baseline data regarding decision-making and buying criteria of retail produce buyers, and to identify logistical, market, educational, or public policy strategies to increase the availability of sustainably produced food in the urban marketplace.

    Sustainable Forestry Management Options for Non-Industrial Landowners.
    Investigator:
    Kimberly Rodrigues, UC Cooperative Extension, county director, Humboldt and Del Norte counties.

    This project organized five workshops throughout Humboldt and Del Norte counties to address the topic of sustainable forestry management options for small landowners. The goal of sustainable forestry is shared by forest landowners, legislators, and the public, yet is often difficult to define and achieve. Major changes in policies for the management of California's 14.4 million acres of private forest land are evident in new and proposed legislation. Past laws and regulations that influenced cutting practices, combined with natural events including fire and flood, have resulted in many forest lands in need of restoration and improvement. The costs of restoration, plus the costs imposed by legislative restrictions often discourage small landowners from long-term planning. The workshops looked at current legislation and policy instruments for implementing sustainable forestry. A dialogue between landowners, regulators, and legislators was encouraged.

    Arcata Farm and Education Project.
    Investigator:
    Peter Lehman, Engineering and International Development Technology, Humboldt State University, Arcata.

    Co-Investigators:
    Deborah Giraud, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Humboldt and Del Norte counties;
    Susan Toms, organic farm owner, Bayside;
    Dan Dalthorp, International Development Technology graduate agricultural researcher, Eureka;
    Jen McNally, Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, Arcata.

    Cooperator: 
    Marylyn Fletcher, Principal, Arcata High School.

    The Arcata Farm and Education Project has created a student-operated, community supported two-acre farm in the city of Arcata to be used for sustainable agriculture projects by students, community members, and local farmers. The farm will be used as an educational facility to teach university students sustainable small farm management skills, to offer classes to local farmers and community members, and to give local youth groups a place to experiment with sustainable agriculture and husbandry projects. Community members can also participate by buying shares in the farm for which they will receive a weekly supply of fresh produce.

    A Pesticide Use Reduction Plan for California.
    Investigators:
    Monica Moore, Pesticide Action Network, San Francisco
    Angus Wright, Department of Environmental Studies, California State University, Sacramento.

    This project is expected to contribute to the development of a pesticide use reduction policy for California. Input from a variety of agricultural experts in California is included in the analysis. The investigators are determining which aspects of successful European policies might be appropriate for California. In consultation with representatives of a variety of California agricultural interests, the investigators will produce an outline of a pesticide use reduction proposal for California, and suggestions for an implementation strategy.

    Producing and Marketing an Educational Curriculum on Ethics and Agricultural Practices.
    Investigators:
    Desmond Jolly, Agricultural Economics Extension, UC Davis
    Stan Dundon, Department of Philosophy, California State University, Sacramento.

    This project is creating an Agricultural Professional Ethics program to empower farm advisors, educators, researchers, and practicing agriculturalists to explicitly employ ethical considerations in their decisions. With input from an advisory committee of farm advisors, farmers, researchers, packers, retailers, and consumers, a curriculum will be developed with instruction manual, slides, and/or videotapes that can be used in a variety of teaching formats.

    From Farm worker to Small Farmer: A Study of Growers Attempting the Transition to Economic Independence and Sustainable Agriculture in the Salinas Valley.
    Investigator:
    Ann Baier, Rural Development Center, Salinas.

    This study is evaluating the impact of the Rural Development Center's (RDC) information and training programs for low-income, minority and entry-level farming families in the Salinas Valley. By interviewing former RDC students and minority farmers, the study will identify and document key factors and farmer characteristics that contribute to a successful transition to ecological farming operations in this region.

    Examination of the Interaction of Agricultural Variables and Rural Community Conditions Using Macrosocial Accounting Methods.
    Investigator: 
    Dean MacCannell, Department of Applied Behavioral Sciences, UC Davis.

    Cooperator:
    Don Villarejo, California Institute for Rural Studies, Davis

    This study examines the interaction of agricultural variables and rural community conditions in 75 communities in the Central Valley of California. The following hypotheses will be tested:

    Larger farms are associated with lower quality of community life.

    Separation of farm management from ownership is associated with lower quality of community life.

    Crop diversity is associated with higher quality of community life.

    The rate of pesticide permit applications is negatively associated with quality of community life.

    The California Institute for Rural Studies will provide very recent agricultural data on farm size, cropping patterns, residency of farm managers, and pesticide permit applications which will be organized by zip codes. The availability of this data will allow a much closer focus on agricultural issues than was previously possible. On the social variables, the project will continue to improve measures of community quality especially in the area of ethnic relations (e.g., availability of quality schooling for minority children, income differentials between white and non-white holders of the same occupational positions, etc.). In addition, the project will continue to run the full battery of standard tests of community life quality: family income levels, employment rates, and poverty index. These two data sets will then be merged to find out which agricultural variables significantly affect the social variables in these 80 communities.

    Critical Component Research

    These projects are characterized as basic or applied research on a problem that is critical to the sustainable functioning of a particular system. Projects must clearly demonstrate how the component in question is critical to the system being studied, and how the results of the work will be integrated into the whole production system. Preference has been given to projects that demonstrate involvement of farmers in the identification of the research problem and potential solutions, and those that have a clear plan for implementation of research results.

    Effects of Cover Crops, Time of Cover Crop Plowdown, and Trellis System on Spiders and Other Predators of the Variegated Leafhopper (Erythroneura variabilis).
    Investigator:
    Donald L. Dahlsten, Division of Biological Control, UC Berkeley.

    Other investigators:
    Kent M. Daane, Division of Biological Control, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier;
    Michael Costello, Division of Biological Control, Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier.

    The variegated leafhopper is the most important insect pest in the vineyards of central California. Most growers have relied on synthetic insecticides to control this pest. However, pesticide resistance and outbreaks of secondary pests are creating the need for more sustainable approaches. Most of the work on biological control of leafhoppers has focused on Anagrus epos, a tiny insect that parasitizes leafhopper eggs. Little information has been developed on the complex of generalist leafhopper predators in vineyards. Three types of predators were previously found to be common in vineyards that had low leafhopper densities: spiders, predatory flies, and predaceous mites. This project will better determine the role of these predators.

    An increasingly popular method for providing a suitable habitat within the vineyard to maintain high populations of these predators is through the use of cover crops. However, little is known about the effects of cover crops on natural enemies at specific times during the grape growing season. Therefore, this project will also determine if there are specific windows in time in which the presence of a cover crop is critical.

    Another aspect of this project will be to determine if the type of trellis system affects the population densities of the three predator groups noted above. Informal observation indicates that single-wire systems may be advantageous to certain spider species, while multiple-wire systems may support others. Finally, the trellis system and/or the presence of cover crops alters the vineyard microclimate, possibly affecting the ability of predators to survive. Temperatures will be monitored in an attempt to establish a relationship between predator populations and temperature.

    Determination of the Effect of Cover Crops on Lettuce Drop Disease.
    Investigator:
    Steven Koike, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties, Salinas.

    Other investigators:
    Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, San Benito County, Hollister;
    Louise Jackson, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis.

    Several cover crop species will be evaluated for their susceptibility to the lettuce drop pathogen. After specific cover crops have been incorporated in fields, the subsequent lettuce planting will be evaluated for the disease.

    Postharvest Heat Treatments as a Non-Chemical Alternative for Control of Decay and Physiologic Disorders of California Fruit Crops.
    Investigator:
    Elizabeth J. Mitcham, Department of Pomology, UC Davis.

    Post-harvest hot water immersion treatments will be explored for their potential as a non-chemical alternative for control of certain diseases and physiological disorders of apples, pears, kiwifruit, nectarines, pomegranates, and persimmons.

    Grazing Management in Ley Farming Systems
    Investigator:
    David W. Pratt, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Solano County.

    Other Investigators:
    Lawrence Clement, UC Cooperative Extension county director, Solano and Yolo counties;
    Rachel Freeman, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Yolo County;
    Tom Kearney, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Yolo County.

    Cooperators:
    Ian Anderson, Grain farmer/Sheep rancher, Solano County;
    Roy Latta, Department of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Australia;
    Tom Lanini, Botany Extension, UC Davis;
    Walt Graves, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, San Bernardino, Riverside, and San Diego counties.

    Ley farming is a cereal grain/pasture rotation system developed in Australia. This project is studying the effect of timing and severity of grazing on several key components of a ley farming system in California.

    Evaluating Dryland Legumes and Native Perennial Grasses as Plant Materials for Use in Sustainable Agriculture Systems.
    Investigator:
    W.A. Williams, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis.

    Other Investigator:
    Craig D. Thomsen, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis.

    Cooperator:
    Walter L. Graves, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, San Bernardino, Riverside and San Diego counties.

    Dryland legumes are being evaluated for pasture, range, vineyard, and farming systems in northern California. The project will also expand and maintain a native grass nursery and a collection of plants to fill requests.

    Monitoring Innovative Production Systems

    The projects in this category systematically document practices of innovative producers, to assess the performance of various production systems, and to identify important processes and management practices that make these systems function. "Systematic documentation" includes, but is not limited to, case studies, surveys, and field data analysis using geostatistics/spatial statistics.

    Monitoring Nitrogen Release from a Leguminous Cover Crop and Evaluating its Adequacy for a Long-Season Vegetable Crop.
    Investigator:
    Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, San Benito County, Hollister.

    Other Investigator:
    Louise Jackson, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis.

    Cooperator:
    Phil Foster, Phil Foster Ranch, Hollister.

    Cover crops in the pea family can be plowed under as green manure to supply nitrogen to a wide range of crops. Organic farmers commonly use this technique, but vegetables present some challenges. For example, bell pepper has a long growing season and a high demand for nitrogen, yet is shallow rooted. Thus, the timing of nitrate produced by the breakdown of cover crop residues is important, so that growers can determine the need for possible late-season nitrogen supplements.

    This study will use a randomized complete block design to monitor bell pepper production following incorporation of a Lana woollypod vetch cover crop, with five levels of late-season nitrogen addition. The nitrogen source will be an approved organic material, and plots of one of the experimental treatments will receive no supplemental nitrogen. The researchers will use innovative techniques to monitor nitrate in both the soil and the foliage of the pepper plants.

    Soil-Building with Cover Crops in California Almond Orchards
    Investigator: 
    Lonnie Hendricks, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Merced County.

    Cooperators: 
    Glenn Anderson, farmer, Merced County;
    Ron Anderson, farmer, Merced County;
    S.S. Takhar, farmer, Merced County;
    Paul Yasaitis/Cynthia Lashbrook, farmers, Merced County;
    Ray Eck, farmer, Merced County;
    Glenn Arnold, farmer, Merced County.

    Building on his previous SAREP-funded research, Hendricks will continue to evaluate the effects of cover cropping on soil fertility and pest management in five innovative almond orchards. The project will also evaluate eight cover crop species in a replicated trial for effects on soil fertility.

    Monitoring Soil Flavonoids to Enhance Growth of Desirable Microbes
    Investigator: 
    Donald A. Phillips, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis.

    Other Investigator: 
    Penny Hirsch, Department of Soil Science, AFRC-IACR, Rothamsted Experiment Station, Harpenden, UK.

    Cooperators: 
    Montague Demment, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis;
    Steve Orloff, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor, Los Angeles County, Antelope Valley Office;
    R.W. Smiley, Columbia Basin Agricultural Research Center, Pendleton, Oregon.

    Flavonoids are natural compounds that have recently been found to promote the growth of beneficial soil bacteria and fungi. This project will determine whether flavonoids are present in soils under mature organic plots and if they accumulate during a transition from conventional to organic management.

    Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards

    In 1992, SAREP began awarding small grants to graduate students pursuing research in sustainable agriculture. The Sustainable Agriculture Graduate Awards have been a good way for SAREP to use scarce resources because they complement other university funds, and help graduate students address critical issues facing agricultural producers and society. In February 1992, seven graduate students were awarded a total of $13,290.

    SAREP Graduate Awards Granted in 1992-93

    Charles Griffin, Department of Vegetable Crops, UC Davis, $1,990 for "A Cover Crop Growth Model."

    Niklaus Grunwald, Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis, $2,000 for "Control of Tomato Root Diseases by Cover Cropping."

    Nirmala Gunapala, Department of Soil Science, UC Davis, $2,000 for "The Significance of the Soil Microbial Biomass and its Activity in a Cover Crop Managed Cropping System."

    Tiel Jackson, UC Santa Cruz, $1,900 for "The Effects of Soil Nitrogen Level and Management Techniques on Potato Aphids (Macrosiphum euphorbiae) Feeding on Tomato Seedlings."

    Franz Niederholzer, Department of Pomology, UC Davis, $1,400 for "Nitrogen Uptake Capacity of Mature Almond Trees as Indicated by Spatial and Temporal Fine Root Growth Dynamics."

    Hilary Sampson, Department of Pomology, UC Davis, $2,000 for "The Influence of Orchard Management Practices on Tree Nitrogen Uptake Efficiency, Nitrate Leaching, and Earthworm Populations."

    Fekede Workneh, Department of Plant Pathology, UC Davis, $1,400 for "Unraveling the Reason of Suppressiveness of Organically Managed Soils to Pyrenochaeta lycopersici, the Causal Agent of Corky Root of Tomatoes."

    Jeffery Dlott, UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, $1,000 for "Geostatistical and Descriptive Analysis of the Distribution and Abundance of Lepidopteran Pests and the Relationship Between Tree Nutritional Status in Peach Orchards."

    Jeff Mitchell, UC Davis Department of Vegetable Crops, 1,000 for "Using Cover Crops to Improve Soil Physical Properties and Stand Establishment in Cyclically Salinized Soils."

    Eric Tedford, UC Davis Department of Nematology, 1,000 for "Development of a Serological Assay for Detection of Spores of the Nematophagous Fungus Hirsutella rhossiliensis in soil."

    Robert Venette, UC Davis Department of Nematology, $1,000 for "Microbial- feeding Nematodes and Plant Growth."