Captain Kirk of Star Trek movie fame would feel right at home operating the controls of Planet Earth’s largest agricultural robot, currently located in an energy sorghum varietal trial in Maricopa, Ariz.
The crop analytic robot, similar in appearance to a gantry crane, features a Volkswagen-sized field scanner loaded with the latest precision agriculture tools to precisely measure crop growth with unprecedented resolution....More
Falling nut crop prices may - or may not - impact land prices.
Four years of drought have had an impact on some California agricultural land values, but not as much as plummeting crop prices could have on those values this year....More
Drought and California's need for sustainable water are nothing more than a political ping pong ball to be hit back and forth by politicians and environmental groups. Decades after the State Water Project was started the state's population has quadrupled without adding any appreciable storage for a growing state....More
The Environmental Protection Agency has registered BASF’s Varisto herbicide for use in clover grown for seed, dry beans, dry peas, English peas, lima beans (succulent), snap beans, and soybeans.
BASF says this new herbicide helps maximize yield potential by delivering a wide spectrum of broadleaf and grass weed control....More
On May 4, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) designated Yuma County, Ariz. as a primary natural disaster area, due to damages and losses caused by drought.
“Our hearts go out to those Arizona farmers and ranchers affected by recent natural disasters,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.
Farmers and ranchers in Arizona’s Maricopa and Pima counties also qualify for natural disaster assistance since the counties are contiguous with Yuma....More
Although the use is centuries old, noisy hail cannons have been employed only recently by several Central California fruit growers as a possible defense against early spring hail storms. Neighbors hope quieter weapons can be found.
Aimed upward to intersect the clouds of an approaching hail storm, these huge metal tubes emit thunderous blasts of compressed air which manufacturers claim reduce hail stones to a frosty slush....More
Thanks to precision agriculture and advancements in equipment and computing technology, America’s farmers are building a treasure trove of production information that will help fuel future innovation.
A new organization, the Agricultural Data Coalition (ADC), plans to help farmers better control, manage, and maximize the value of their data....More
The California rice industry is pleased as punch with the rainfall this past fall, winter, and the ‘Miracle March’ in the Sacramento Valley where the majority of the state’s crop is grown.
The rice industry is glowing over the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation’s decision this spring to provide a 100 percent surface water allocation for agriculture to the area....More
A hearty applause for California urban dwellers who almost met Gov. Edmund Brown Jr.’s 25 percent water conservation mandate for the nine months since mandatory urban conservation began.
The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) reports that statewide cumulative water savings from June 2015 to February 2016 were 23.9 percent, compared to the same months in 2013....More
The opposition to the Dam Train Initiative once again exposed California agriculture’s political underbelly, disunity. Many agricultural interests opposed it, even though its backers claimed to have agricultural backing....More
You’ll find plenty of disagreement in California’s farm community on the widely held opinion that global warming is the result of human activity. Yet farmers and their friends in agricultural research are anticipating warmer temperatures just the same.
In the current issue of the University of California’s quarterly journal California Agriculture, findings in a carefully researched article projects the effects of expected temperature increases on a range of crops grown in Yolo County....More
El Niño-related rain and snow falls last fall, winter, and early this spring have been on the sporadic side. Yet we should be (and are) thankful for the fallen moisture from the heavens. The Pacific Ocean-based warmer water phenomenon tossed more than a couple of buckets of rain and snow at California and Arizona – both facing severe drought....More
California’s agricultural diversity is the envy of the world. It’s also its Achilles Heel. Getting all of the state’s agricultural groups to agree on anything is like herding cats. This has been the state’s No. 1 industry’s major weakness in accomplishing much politically.
Agreements have been few and far between. The greatest occurred 40 years ago when agriculture united to defeat Proposition 14, which would have given the United Farm Workers open access to every farm in the state....More
The statewide snowpack – source of much of the California’s water supply – is only 83 percent of the March 1 average, the result of moderate precipitation since last October and relatively warm temperatures, according to the Department of Water Resources (DWR).
“Mother Nature is not living up to predictions by some that a ‘Godzilla’ El Niño would produce much more precipitation than usual this winter,” says DWR Director Mark Cowin. “We need conservation as much as ever.”...More
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a notice of intent to cancel all Bayer CropScience, LP and Nichino America, Inc. flubendiamide products that pose a risk to aquatic invertebrates important to the health of aquatic environments.
Flubendiamide is registered for use on more than 200 crops, including soybeans, almonds, tobacco, peanuts, cotton, lettuce, alfalfa, tomatoes, watermelon, and bell peppers, with some crops having as many as six applications per year....More