FFAR grant awarded for research on regenerative agriculture and vines

A foundation created under the 2014 Farm Bill has released a major grant to support studies on regenerative agriculture in vineyards.

The Food and Agriculture Research Foundation awarded the University of California, Davis a $999,003 Seeding Solutions grant. The grant was matched and topped by Jackson Family Wines for a total investment of $2.6 million in the project. UC Davis research will be rooted in soil health and carbon levels in grape productions.

“Timbery perennial crops like wine grapes have great potential for sequestering carbon and mitigating climate change,” said Dr. Cristina Lazcano, associate professor in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources at UC Davis in a Press release. “For this reason, the wine grape industry is uniquely positioned to spearhead regenerative farm management efforts. We are proud to contribute to the development of science-based best management practices to support the sustainability efforts of the wine grape industry.

Lazcano will be joined by researchers from UC Davis, the USDA Agricultural Research Service, California Polytechnic State University, Oregon State University and Skidmore College as the team determines the impact the regenerative agriculture could have on soil carbon health and vineyard productivity.

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The research hopes to establish a method for understanding soil carbon abundance and will measure the impact of 12 regenerative fields from Willamette Valley, Oregon to Santa Barbara, California.

“This grant is a great example of how collaboration between farmers, researchers and industry partners can produce agile and scalable solutions that can improve resilience to extreme weather conditions,” said the program director. FFAR scientist Dr. LaKisha Odom. “By providing evidence-based soil health management practices, this research will ensure growers have the tools, knowledge and strategies to grow sustainable and profitable crops.”

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