Scow Soil Microbial Ecology Lab

Russell Ranch

Overview

The Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility is a unique 300-acre facility near the UC Davis campus dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate. It’s also a unit of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI).

The Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility is a unique 300-acre facility near the UC Davis campus dedicated to investigating irrigated and dry-land agriculture in a Mediterranean climate. It’s also a unit of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute (ASI).

Among Russell Ranch’s ongoing experiments is a 100-year study referred to as the Century Experiment (formerly known as LTRAS-Long Term Research on Agricultural Sustainability), which is comprised of 72 one-acre plots. We measure the long-term impacts of crop rotation, farming systems (conventional, organic and mixed) and inputs of water, nitrogen, carbon and other elements on agricultural sustainability. Sustainability is indicated by long-term trends in yield, profitability, resource-use efficiency (such as water or energy) and environmental impacts.

We have monitored changes in crop and soil properties, greenhouse gas emissions, weed ecology and economic indicators since 1993. Russell Ranch is primarily a research facility and also supports UC Davis' extension and teaching missions by hosting field days, class field trips, undergraduate interns and graduate student research.