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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 …

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.

How Drones Can Help Farmers

Have you seen a drone buzzing by in a park and wondered what all the fuss is about? These flying vehicles may seem like just an upgrade to the remote-controlled helicopters of yesteryear. But drones are receiving a lot of attention for good reasons. Drones can help people, including farmers and scientists, look at and analyze pretty much anything. When …

Finding Truth & What to Do Amidst the Controversy Over Crop Protection Materials “Pesticides”

Agriculture and the science of crop protection materials is too often misunderstood by the public and is under constant attack by extremists in the political arena. As legislation and jurisdiction begins to more commonly ignore sound science in their decision-making, farmers are rightfully concerned about the future of agriculture and what may or may not be in their power to …

Soil Health Partnership Celebrates 5 Years of Growth and Collaboration

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has been fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health since 2014. This year, SHP celebrates its fifth anniversary and the foundational collaborations that developed the program. SHP was founded by a diverse group of organizations with a shared vision of developing a farmer-led research network to measure the impacts of implementing soil health practices …

Video Series on Vegetable Production of the Future

Video Series on Vegetable Production of the Future

A 26-episode weekly video series has debuted on YouTube to help train the next generation of vegetable crop workers and increase their use of effective stewardship practices in vegetable production. Projections for near-future retirements of people working in California’s agricultural production, marketing and post-harvest handling sectors indicate severe re-staffing needs in the coming years. Technological advances have reduced manual labor …

Polyploidy – or how do we get seedless fruit?

Having an odd number of chromosomes can produce sterile – and seedless fruit. Spitting out watermelon seeds can be a summertime rite of passage for some folks. Others like their watermelons seedless. How did those seedless watermelons (and other plants) come about? The May 7th Sustainable, Secure Food blog explains the topic of polyploidy. “Plants can have multiple sets of chromosomes, which …

Western Growers Launches AgTech Innovation Directory

Western Growers has officially launched an interactive directory that acts as a marketplace for agricultural technology (agtech) startups. Found at https://www.agtechpages.com, the Western Growers AgTech Innovation Directory allows users to identify, research and connect with start-up companies who are developing technologies and innovations to solve the biggest issues facing the agriculture industry. These startups are specializing in everything from automation …

USDA Launches New Farmers.gov Features to Help with H2A Applications, Managing Loans

H-2A temporary agricultural visa program

(WASHINGTON, D.C., April 2019)– Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue announced today that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) launched two new features on farmers.gov to help customers manage their farm loans and navigate the application process for H2A visas. “Customer service is our top priority at USDA and these new features will help our customers as they manage their farm loans …

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