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University of California
Capitol Corridor

Industry leaders make the case for UC ANR funding

A UCCE advisor makes a field day presentation.
Research through university campuses, UC Cooperative Extension, and USDA Agricultural Research Service not only improves productivity and makes California growers more competitive in the international market, it also helps producers use resources more efficiently and minimize environmental and other societal impacts, wrote Bob Curtis and Gabriele Ludwig of the Almond Board of California in an op-ed published by Western Farm Press.

The article noted that grants have been helpful in recent years to conduct research, but they do not address the loss of "research capacity," a phrase the authors use to describe cuts to permanent funding that sustains faculty and staff.

"To date, 44 percent of the state’s almond acreage is not covered by a farm advisor, with current vacancies in Fresno, Madera, Kern and Glenn counties," wrote Curtis and Ludwig. "These farm advisors regularly conduct problem-solving research under regional growing conditions, often adapting and applying basic research findings, and also regularly communicate with growers and their PCAs, and farm managers through field days and farm calls. The lack of farm advisors in this important San Joaquin Valley region also puts significant strain on current farm advisors in other counties."

Merced Sun-Star puts local spin on almond story

In Merced County almonds have been the second leading commodity for some time, wrote Joshua Emerson Smith in the Merced Sun-Star.

David Doll, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Merced County, said the California Almond Commodity Board has successfully marketed the nut to the world.

"It's one thing to be able to produce a big crop," he said. "It's another to be able to sell that crop and make money."

Doll said technology has greatly improved almond yields and efficiency.

"The thing that pushed production beyond any of our hopes and dreams was the ability to apply both water and fertilizer at the same time through an irrigation system," he said. "We're able to get these nutrients in the right place at the right time."

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Posted on Tuesday, October 30, 2012 at 10:36 AM
Tags: budget (32), David Doll (26)

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