A Foundation created under the 2014 farm bill released a large grant to support studies on regenerative agriculture in vineyards.  

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

“Woody perennial crops like wine grapes have large potential to sequester carbon and mitigate climate change,” said Dr. Cristina Lazcano, an associate professor in the UC Davis Department of Land, Air and Water Resources in a press release. “Because of this, the wine grape industry is uniquely positioned to spearhead efforts in regenerative agricultural management. 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, USDA Agricultural Research Service, California Polytechnic State University, Oregon State University and Skidmore College as the team determines the impact 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 California’s Santa Barbara. 

“This grant is a terrific example of how collaboration among farmers, researchers and industry partners can yield nimble, scalable solutions that can enhance resiliency to extreme weather,” said FFAR Scientific Program Director, Dr. LaKisha Odom. “By providing evidence-based soil health management practices, this research will ensure producers are equipped with the tools, knowledge and strategies to grow sustainable, profitable crops.”

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