How Vulnerable is California Agriculture to Higher Energy Prices?
Determinants of California Farmland Values and Potential Impacts of Climate Change.
After Methyl Bromide: The Economics of Strawberry Production with Alternative Fumigants.
1. The Cost of Delaying Approval of Golden Rice.
2. Managing International Migration in the Americas.
3. Buffer Zone Regulations and Alternatives to Pre-plant Soil Fumigation: Using Steam in California Strawberry Production.
Use of cover crops and compost increased soil quality in irrigated, intensive production of lettuce and broccoli in the Salinas Valley. These methods had the beneficial impacts of increasing soil microbial biomass, increasing total soil carbon and nitrogen, reducing surface bulk density and decreasing the potential for groundwater pollution as a result of nitrate leaching below the root zone. These soil benefits did not lead to lower yields and occasionally resulted in fewer weeds and lower lettuce corky root disease. Although surface minimum tillage reduced yields, it led to reduced potential for nitrate leaching below the root zone. Use of conventional tillage, cover crops, and compost produced high vegetable yields and acceptable net economic returns over a 2-year period, but broccoli was more profitable than lettuce under this regime. Understanding the trade-offs of various costs and benefits will help growers choose management practices that optimize economic and environmental benefits.
A 5-year project to facilitate the adoption of strawberry production systems that do not use methyl bromide initially focused on fumigant alternatives and resulted in increased use of barrier films that reduce fumigant emissions. The focus shifted in year 3 to evaluating and demonstrating nonfumigant alternatives: soilless production, biofumigation, anaerobic soil disinfestation (ASD) and disinfestation with steam. In the 2010–2011 strawberry production season, fruit yields on substrates were comparable to fruit yields using conventional methods. Anaerobic soil disinfestation and steam disinfestation also resulted in fruit yields that were comparable to those produced using conventionally fumigated soils. Additional work is in progress to evaluate their efficacy in larger-scale production systems in different strawberry production districts in California.