Jan 11, 2016
Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture to present annual report

The Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture will present its annual report on Jan. 12. The center was created after the University of Arizona (UA) College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS) partnered with growers, shippers and subsidiary agriculture companies.

The center aims to grow collaborative networks with businesses and industry, and improve all aspects of desert crop production systems and economics, the organization said.

The YCEDA was established with a three-year initial funding commitment from 27 agriculture businesses and organizations in Arizona and California. An advisory council of 8 agriculturalists and Dr. Shane Burgess,CALS dean, advise YCEDA Executive Director Paul Brierley on future trends and issues which will affect the industry.

Brierley will present the Center’s annual report, which includes accomplishments, results, programs they are currently executing, and plans for the upcoming year. A few of these highlights include:

  • Working with UA Cooperative Extension Service Researchers to publish and distribute short papers for industry with advice on the initial focuses of plant pests and diseases (Bagrada Bug, Fusarium Wilt)
  • Hosting annual issue-specific conferences to bring researchers and industry together to solve issues.
  • Working with the Center for Produce Safety and the California Leafy Greens Research Program to fund research to correlate soil levels of cadmium with tissue levels of spinach at harvest
  • Matching industry needs and desires for information and decision-making tools. Dr. Frank D’Agnese of Earth Knowledge will present about Big Data and Decision Tools.
  • YCEDA is working with military contractors and other high tech companies, as well as UA and USDA researchers, to apply new and existing technology to agriculture applications
  • Working to secure private and public investment for new and enhanced diagnostic laboratory facilities to enable commerce and trade, as well as research and education
  • Working with UA CALS to educate political representatives on the issues that are critical to agriculture. This includes tours, meetings, and town halls.

Click here to see the complete annual report. To learn more, visit the Yuma Center of Excellence for Desert Agriculture website.

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