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How to Improve Soil Health in Potato Cropping Systems

Minimizing soil disturbance is one of the key tenets promoted to build soil health in agricultural systems. Many farmers across the county have adopted reduced and no-till systems to build soil carbon, a central component to healthy soils. But what if you grow a crop where the part you sell is underground – like potatoes? What are some options to build …

Grower-Shippers Asked to Bear Burden of Unsustainable Dilemma of Under-Compensation

In the past two years, West Coast vegetables growers have been asked to absorb stratospheric aggregate inflationary input costs while at the same time trying to find a way to pass on 20%-30% inflationary costs, presenting them with an unsustainable dilemma. Without a long-term solution to this dilemma, we could all see fewer vegetables finding their way to grocers’ shelves. …

2021 Pacific Northwest Potato Production & Sales Announced

Growers were happy to see potato prices rise overall in the Pacific Northwest last year. The final value of Idaho’s 2021 potato crop sold was $1.04 billion, up 14 percent from 2020. The marketing year average price for potatoes in Idaho was $8.46 per cwt, up $1.18 from last year. In Oregon, the 2021 potato crop sold was valued at $218 million, up …

Texas A&M AgriLife Research to Improve Organic Spinach Production

Despite the greatly increasing consumer interest for organic spinach in the U.S. and worldwide, production is not keeping pace with demand. To help overcome some of the challenges facing organic spinach production, Vijay Joshi, Ph.D., a Texas A&M AgriLife Research plant systems physiologist at the Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center in Uvalde, was recently awarded a grant from the U.S. Department of …

A New Way to Battle Powdery Mildew in Strawberry

Strawberry farmers worldwide may get help from new University of Florida research that shows a way to battle one of the fruit’s fiercest foes. The key: combine genomic data with phenomics. The genome amounts to all the DNA in an organism. Phenomics is the study of plant growth, performance and composition. Through phenomics, scientists use DNA to measure plant traits. …

Wild Tomato Genome will Benefit Domesticated Cousins

A team of researchers has assembled a reference genome for Solanum lycopersicoides, a wild relative of the cultivated tomato, and developed web-based tools to help plant researchers and breeders improve the crop. Solanum lycopersicoides (S. lycopersicoides) harbors a gene making the plant resistant to a particular strain of bacterial speck disease. The gene could be introduced into cultivated tomatoes to protect …

AI Helps Detect Watermelon Disease Quickly, Accurately

If you savor a juicy watermelon in the scorching summer heat, farmers toil to meet your tastes. But, like all farmers, those who produce watermelons seek ways to control diseases, so they don’t lose all or part of their crops. The needs of growers drive Yiannis Ampatzidis to use artificial intelligence to detect pathogens early and accurately. One such disease, …

Anaerobically Digested Dairy Manure to Serve as Liquid Fertilizer for Tomatoes

Researchers at UC Davis have found a new, safe way to treat dairy manure for use as a high quality, organic liquid fertilizer on fresh produce crops.  Watch this interview with Ruihong Zhang from UC Davis as she shares the results of their studies and read more in California Dairy Magazine. Please thank this video’s sponsor Clean Energy for their industry support.

Exploring Different Options for On-Farm Groundwater Recharge

While they can’t make it rain, California water districts and farmers are finding creative ways to be a part of the solution to severe drought conditions and subsiding groundwater levels by sinking water back into the earth during the “wet season”.  Watch this brief interview with Chase Hurley from Triangle T Water District as he shares some success stories and …

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