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New AI Institute Expands UC Merced’s Smart, Sustainable Ag Effort

With a new $20 million federal grant, UC Merced becomes part of a multi-institutional research collaborative to develop artificial intelligence — or AI — solutions to tackle some of agriculture’s biggest challenges related to water management, climate change and integration of new technology into farming. The new institute is one of 11 launched this year by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and …

ARS, NASA Join Forces To Monitor Earth’s Water Supply

Scientists with the USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have teamed up with NASA to use satellites to monitor the water cycle on Earth, specifically “evapotranspiration” — the amount of water that enters the atmosphere through evaporation and transpiration from plants. Transpiration occurs during photosynthesis when plants take up carbon dioxide and release oxygen. That information is especially important for farmers …

Don’t Miss Malcolm Media’s Grape, Nut & Tree Fruit Expo in Fresno, Nov. 12

Save the date, Friday, November 12th for the annual Grape, Nut & Tree Fruit Expo at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds.  Held by Malcolm Media Ag Publishing in cooperation with California Ag Network, Pacific Nut Producer, American Vineyard, and California Fresh Fruit Magazines, it is the ultimate postharvest industry gathering place for regional grape, nut & tree fruit growers and crop …

Don’t Miss the Sonoma Grape Expo, Nov. 5

Save the date, Friday, November 5th for the Sonoma Grape Expo at the Cloverdale Citrus Fairgrounds in Sonoma County, Malcolm Media’s premier event for North Coast  Wine Grape Growers and PCAs.  Held biennially in collaboration with American Vineyard Magazine, California Ag Network (and the Sonoma County Vineyard Technical Group this year), it is the ultimate postharvest regional gathering place for …

The Organic Center Digs into AgTech for Organic

The Organic Center is teaming up with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service; California State University, Fresno; and Purdue University on a free virtual conference series and hackathon examining technology to address complex issues for organic agriculture. Because organic farmers are prohibited from using common conventional materials such as most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers, the tools available for them to …

Western Growers Launches Global Harvest Automation Initiative

Western Growers (WG) is spearheading a Global Harvest Automation Initiative (GHAI) to accelerate harvest automation across the fresh produce industry, with a goal of automating 50 percent of harvest within 10 years. “For well over a decade, our members have struggled with a dwindling number of available workers. If we don’t come together as an industry to quickly and efficiently …

California Dairy Farmers Help Lead the Way for Clean Energy

Dairy Cares — California is leading the nation toward a 100 percent clean energy future. Multiple state policies are working to achieve a cleaner, more efficient energy grid and transportation sector. The state’s dairy farmers are also world leaders in energy-smart practices. They’re reducing usage, electrifying equipment, generating renewable energy, and producing carbon-negative transportation fuel. California has already made great …

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 …

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