Usable water – there’s seemingly not enough for life around the globe despite the many conservation efforts underway to save it.
Four consecutive years of epic drought in California continues to take its toll on available water supplies for users including the food and fiber industries. A ‘down under’ drought in Australia has stretched for nearly two consecutive decades with no immediate relief in sight....More
In late July, University of Arizona (UA) agricultural meteorologist Paul Brown remained bullish about above average precipitation chances this winter in the Grand Canyon State if the current El Niño weather system in the southern tropics continues to strengthen.
Brown is quick to note that a lot can change between now and then. He shared the optimistic weather forecast with alfalfa growers gathered for an UA-sponsored ‘Alfalfa Tent Talk’ held in Buckeye, Ariz....More
There is truth to comments made in recent months implying that California agriculture’s voice on water use during the mega drought has not been heard by intended receivers. Yet agriculture’s vocal cords and keystrokes are finally reaching the eyes and ears of the John Q. Public and mainstream media....More
California’s drought has brought much public attention to the amount of water used in agriculture, and particularly which crops use the most water. Although almonds have taken the hit lately, alfalfa is often one of the favorite whipping boys of agricultural critics due to its high water use on a state-wide basis....More
Mark Killian, tapped in April as the new director of the Arizona Department of Agriculture (ADA), is quickly finding a new home with his rural constituents on the issues and challenges which lay ahead for the Grand Canyon State’s $17 billion farming industry.
The Killian family has deep Arizona farming roots with more than a century in production agriculture.
“Agriculture has been a part of my life – I love it,” said Killian, who grows cotton, wheat, and alfalfa and raises beef on about 1,700 acres in the state....More
Agrian has developed a feature in recommendation writing program which will support the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) requirement to restrict the time of year products designated as non-fumigant high volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be applied.
Agrian users able to use the feature include those in the San Joaquin Valley counties of San Joaquin, Stanislaus, Merced, Madera, Fresno, Kings, and Tulare, and the valley floor areas of Kern County....More
When most western farmers look in a crystal ball, they see themselves using less water. The real questions are how much less and how will farmers get there?
Farmers are not being paranoid in thinking that cities are after their water. The cities do want some agricultural water, but they don’t need that much....More
Surendra Dara seemed pleased with the turn-out for his annual strawberry field day in Santa Maria, Calif.
Dara is the strawberry and vegetable crops advisor and affiliated IPM advisor in San Luis Obispo County.
More than 100 people came to hear updates on strawberry research and receive practical advice in farming practices relative to the berry crop.
Alfalfa hay grown in the desert is “over-dried” in the windrow and then baled when there is sufficient humidity to prevent leaf loss.
Humidity is typically too low during the day to bale, but increases through the night to a point where the leaves become hydrated and soft, and baling can occur without excessive leaf loss.
The hay should be checked constantly during the night before baling begins to eliminate wasted manpower and worker sleep deprivation....More
Agriculture will be the “big winner” in the commercial unmanned aerial vehicle (drone) industry, says UAV specialist and farmer Chad Colby.
“Agriculture could capture about 60-65 percent of the U.S. UAV market,” predicts Colby who has 2,000 hours of UAV flight time at his fingertips. That’s about two-thirds of total market share.
He says, “We can improve yields with this technology.”...More
The California almond industry continues to be challenged by mainstream media and others for its water use in a state trying to keep its – uh – head above water during the fourth consecutive year of drought.
It’s not just almonds under public scrutiny but California agriculture as a whole.
Those wearing the ‘almond hat’ can certainly share ‘lids’ with the western alfalfa industry which gets regular jabs for water used to grow feed for dairy cows to produce milk, ice cream, and other dairy products....More