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Posts Tagged: Faith Kearns

California agriculture industry must act now to adapt to climate change

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Overview of California’s Central Valley, showing the distribution of orchards that require winter chill
The new study “Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture” by UC scientists Tapan Pathak, Mahesh Maskey, Jeffery Dahlberg, Faith Kearns, Khaled Bali and Daniele Zaccaria was published Feb. 26 in the journal Agronomy.

"This article received more than 1000 views in less than a day," Pathak wrote in an email to colleagues.

The review article summarizes historical and future climate trends and their impacts on California agriculture. The authors also suggest adaptation and mitigation strategies.

Shortly after Kearns, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator, tweeted, “We've got a new paper out, led by @Ag_Climate: “Climate Change Trends and Impacts on California Agriculture: A Detailed Review”. Everything we know about #ClimateChange & California #ag, all in one place http://bit.ly/2opsDtB,” journalists took notice.

“Climate change could decrease the yield of some crops in the state by up to 40 percent by 2050. That's a big deal for farmers growing more than 400 commodities,” Ezra Romero of Capital Public Radio reported. “Tapan Pathak, a UC Cooperative Extension specialist based in Merced, and his research team analyzed more than 90 studies on climate change and discovered that warming temperatures may alter where crops grow across California. Their findings were published in Agronomy Journal.

“In order to make California agriculture more sustainable we have to act now,” Pathak said.

Ian James of the Desert Sun spoke with Kearns. “One under-appreciated aspect of California's climate is how important our temperature envelope is to California's agricultural sector. The right temperatures at the right times are absolutely crucial,” said Faith Kearns, a scientist with the California Institute for Water Resources who was part of the team. “For example, warm weather in January and February can reduce almond yields, but warm summers can reduce peach yields. So, there really is no-one-size-fits-all adaptation approach.”

In her report for KQED, Amel Ahmad noted, “Climate scientist and author Peter Gleick called it the most important report he's seen on the impact of climate change on California agriculture.”

The study was also covered in Courthouse News Service by Nick Cahill, Think Progress by Natasha Geiling, Digital Journal by Karen Graham, Grist by Nathanael Johnson, NPR by Ezra Romero, Modern Farmer by Dan Nosowitz and Fresno Bee by Brianna Calix.

This study was supported by the UC President's Carbon Neutrality Initiative and UC ANR.

 

 

Posted on Wednesday, February 28, 2018 at 10:08 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Environment

'Never ending' drought news from UC ANR

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Warm and sunny winter days are no cause for celebration among the farmers, ranchers and forest managers who rely on UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' research-based information and expertise to make their work more profitable. Such is the feeling shared by UC Cooperative Extension advisor Dan Macon in his Foothill Agrarian blog. He began worrying more than a month ago about the spate of dry weather in the state.

"While I'm a worrier by nature, I think worrying about the weather is natural for anyone who relies on Mother Nature directly," Macon wrote.

The UC Food Observer blog warmly praised the quality of Macon's blog in a post titled The NeverEnding (#drought) story.

"He knows his subject and he writes well about it. I read every post, but his most recent piece about Old Man Reno, one of his farm dogs, really resonated with me. Read his blog every chance you get: it will make you feel better about life," wrote Rose Hayden-Smith, the author of the UC Food Observer.

The column included a shout-out about the recent launch of a three-video series on the drought produced by UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources (CIWR). The series opens with Cannon Michael of Bowles Farming in Los Banos. The alfalfa grower works with UCCE specialist Dan Putnam.

“There's a lot of misunderstanding about alfalfa as a crop,” Michael said. “It does take water to grow it, as with anything, but you get multiple harvests of it every year.”

Videos two and three will be launched March 2 and April 6.

The UC Food Observer also recommended a blog produced by the CIWR's Faith Kearns – The Confluence. She recently wrote about how California's idea of “natural” beauty may have shifted during the drought. 

As blossoms begin to pop on Central California fruit and nut trees, farmers are worried about the low levels of rainfall seen in the state so far this winter.
Posted on Wednesday, February 7, 2018 at 3:43 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture
 
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