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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 …

Incentive Programs Make New Equipment Affordable

Almond harvest 2020 is upon us in all its hectic glory. As growers in the southern San Joaquin Valley start shaking this week, equipment that has been largely resting for an entire year will be put to work in furious fashion to safely bring in this year’s crop. And while harvest 2020 is understandably the key focus of this time …

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 …

Managing Strategic Deficit Irrigation with a Pressure Chamber

As we hit the final stretch of the growing season, effective management of strategic deficit irrigation can make all the difference between a stressful or successful harvest. Maintaining optimal tree stress for your current growing conditions as we approach harvest is critical, as too much stress can negatively impact kernel size and not enough stress can make it difficult to achieve a uniform shake.With that …

New Resources for Farmers with CA Irrigation Management Information System

Many farmers are already familiar with California DWR’s CIMIS program, with weather stations that collect data for them all over the state. What they may not know is some newer features to the program that can help them better determine irrigation needs for their crops wherever they may be. Watch this brief interview with Steve Ewert as he explains.

Automated Delivery System for Therapeutic Materials to Treat HLB Infected Citrus

Why is this research needed? In 2005, a disease called Huanglongbing (HLB, citrus greening, was identified in Florida’s commercial citrus groves. The disease is caused by a bacterium that affects all citrus cultivars by disrupting the flow of nutrients from the source of production, to the site of use, causing tree decline. HLB weakens the root system, increases early fruit …

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