Drones help rice farmers hone fertilizer application and reduce crop fungal diseases

University of California rice researchers are exploring a more precise way of deciding whether the crop would benefit from a side-dress nitrogen fertilizer application, using drone-mounted cameras. Hand-held Greenseeker-normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) readings have already replaced color charts as a research tool for in-season fertilizer decisions, but drone photos of the normalized difference red…

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Russell Ranch Field Day – Kernza, Corn, and Small Grains (amongst many other topics)

“More than Yield: Exploring the Full Potential of Our Agroecosystems” was the theme at Russell Ranch Field Day on June 12. Field tours included three topic areas: Soil Structure, Carbon, and Microbes Management and Cropping for Resilience Irrigation, Nutrient Retention, and Disease In addition to field tours, there were a number of flash talks (in…

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Study Finds Indigenous Mexican Variety of Corn Captures the Nitrogen It Needs from the Air: Association with Nitrogen-Fixing Bacteria Allows the Corn to Thrive Without Fertilizer

Summary A corn variety growing in nitrogen-depleted fields derived 28–82 percent of nitrogen it needed from the atmosphere A sugar-rich, gel-like substance on the corn’s aerial roots, called mucilage, attracts bacteria and other microbes that fix nitrogen A team from UC Davis, UW–Madison, and Mars, Incorporated worked in partnership with indigenous community in Sierra Mixe…

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Weed Day 2018

A sold-out crowd attended the 62nd annual Weed Day at UC Davis to learn about weed control practices; herbicide resistance and symptomology; aquatic weeds; weed management in vineyards, orchards, beans, and rice; and weed identification (including apps for weed ID). Weed Day is coordinated by the UC Weed Research and Information Center. Participants include academics…

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UC Davis Students Breed Beans for Organic Farming: New Varieties Will Be High Yield, Disease Resistant

Quick Summary Field tests have begun on high-yield, disease-resistant organic beans Hope is to have varieties available for commercial production after 2020 Researchers are breeding fast-growing plants to outcompete weeds Graduate students at the University of California, Davis, have begun field tests on very rare commodities: high-yield, disease-resistant bean varieties that can thrive on organic…

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