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Autonomous Robot to Sample Leaves and Measure Water Potential

Every backyard gardener knows how hard it can be to tell when to water the plants. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of acres and it’s easy to see the challenges growers face keeping their crops healthy while managing water resources wisely. To determine water needs accurately, growers hand-pluck individual leaves from plants, put them in pressure chambers, and apply …

Growers who Contact PG&E Before Planting can Prevent Loss of Trees – and Lives

When orchard trees meet power lines, disaster can result. Whether it’s a power outage affecting millions or the accidental death of a line worker, such scenarios can have devastating and far-reaching consequences: Ø  In 2003, sagging power lines contacted untrimmed walnut trees in Ohio and caused a massive cascading outage – costing millions and leaving entire cities without power throughout …

Rural Energy for America Program Grant

The Propane Education & Research Council encourages producers to apply for the United States Department of Ag (USDA) Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) Grant, which offers funding for renewable energy systems or to make energy efficiency improvements. Through the program, producers or small business owners can receive a 25 percent grant for replacing a diesel irrigation engine with a …

Automation Helps Solve Specialty Crop Challenges

With support from the National Institute of Food and Agriculture’s Multistate Research Fund, researchers at 17 land-grant universities are working together to develop automated systems that work well for labor-intensive specialty crops like fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, and nursery plants. A multi-state collaborative approach lifts the burden of research and development from a single specialty crop sector and spurs major …

Fennimore Receives 2020 EurAgEng Outstanding Paper Award

Steve Fennimore, UC Davis Plant Sciences faculty member and UC Cooperative Extension weed specialist, and colleagues received the 2020 EurAgEng Outstanding Paper Award for the paper, “Crop Signalling: A Novel Crop Recognition Technique for Robotic Control,” which was published in Biosystems Engineering. The research represents a breakthrough in differentiating weeds from crops using machine vision systems. The technology could help California growers address challenges in …

Turning Almond Shells into Plastics & Tires

Here is a throwback video from a previous annual convention of the Almond Alliance of California as many were disappointed by the cancellation of the annual convention this year due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, very interesting research performed by USDA exploring alternative uses for almond hulls and shells — including plastics and vehicle tires through a process of torrefaction. Watch …

Environmental Benefits of Modified Subsurface Drip Irrigation Systems at Dairies

California is the top milk-producing state, accounting for 21 percent of the milk produced in the United States. With that comes responsibility to find innovative solutions for managing cow manure while ensuring food and water safety and security – and California farmers and ranchers remain on the forefront in helping find new agriculture technologies that lead to environmental solutions. The …

UCR Wins $10 Million to Develop AI for Sustainable Ag

The University of California, Riverside, has won a $10 million grant to develop artificial intelligence that will increase the environmental and economic stability of agriculture in the Western U.S.  This Sustainable Agricultural Systems grant is one of nine given by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, or NIFA, annually to shape the future of U.S. agriculture toward …

Mechanizing Vineyard Canopy Management

Are you struggling to meet the labor needs in your vineyard and having difficulty converting to a mechanized approach? Watch this brief interview with Craig Edwards from Acampo Machine works as he shares some of the struggles and solutions growers are experiencing on the journey to a completely mechanized vineyard canopy management system.  Read more about it in American Vineyard …

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