Biological and Agricultural Engineering

April 16 – BAE Departmental Seminar – Conservation agriculture and drought resilience: A tale of two regions

Thursday, April 16, 2015
4:00 PM

2045 Bainer Hall



Amélie Gaudin, Assistant Professor, Department of Plant Sciences, UCD

Jeffrey Mitchell, CE Extension Specialist, Department of Plant Sciences, UCD



California irrigated systems and the rainfed Midwest Corn Belt are the backbone of US agriculture and two of the most valuable agricultural systems in the world. While the current multi-year drought has drastically reduced irrigation water supply in the Central Valley, warmer and drier summer conditions and more frequent extreme precipitation events are of great concerns in the Midwest. Using case studies from both regions, we will show that conservation agriculture (CA) practices (continuous minimum soil disturbance, soil cover, and diversification of crop species grown in sequences and/or associations) provide agronomic benefits when water is limiting and reduce risk of crop failure. We will discuss the potential of CA practices to enhance productivity and maintain sustainable and economically rewarding production systems in a changing climate. Finally, we will highlight some of the engineering challenges associated with implementing CA practices in California and opportunities to enhance adoption by growers.

2045 Bainer Hall University of California Davis

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