Published: Sunday, March 3, 2013 at 4:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:34 p.m.
Applications invited for ag entrepreneur program
A program designed to help beginning farmers and ranchers is accepting applications for a special class that begins May 17.
The AGROpreneurship program is sponsored by the UC Cooperative Extension and Santa Rosa Junior College.
The class will meet three times a month for six months at the college’s Shone Farm. Participants will learn from college instructors and receive guidance from experienced farmers who serve as mentors.
Each participant will develop a comprehensive business plan and qualified grads can receive assistance finding suitable land.
The cost for the course is $650, with limited scholarships available. Information is available online at http://ucanr.edu/bfr2013 or from the cooperative extension’s Linda Peterson, 565-2648.
Study: Wild honey bees more productive than domesticated bees
Wild honey bees fertilize blossoms more efficiently than the domesticated varieties brought in to help pollinate farm crops, according to researchers.
Scientists calculated that free-living bees were twice as effective as domesticated honeybees at prompting flowers to produce fruit. In addition, the proportion of flowers that matured to fruit improved in every field visited by wild insects, compared with only 14 percent of fields visited by rented honeybees, according to a report published online last week by the journal Science.
The findings have important implications for agricultural and land-use policies worldwide, said study leader Lucas A. Garibaldi, an agricultural scientist at the National University of Rio Negro in Argentina. Unless habitats for wild insects are protected and nurtured, farmers around the world could face a future of drastically lower yields.
“Honeybees cannot replace the service wild bees provide,” Garibaldi said. “Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes matters and can help increase production.”
Scientists gather at UC Davis to discuss climate change
Scientists and policymakers will gather March 20-22 at UC Davis to grapple with the threats of climate change for global agriculture and to recommend science-based actions to slow its effects.
The Climate-Smart Agriculture Global Science Conference builds on a 2011 international meeting held in the Netherlands. The gathering was planned in coordination with the World Bank,
“Climate change, which brings severe weather events and more subtle but equally menacing temperature changes, presents unprecedented challenges to the global community,” said UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi.
Topics will include the implications of research for improving agricultural management and development. The conference will conclude with participants developing and endorsing a declaration on science-based policies and actions that can mitigate climate change and encourage adaptation.
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