(Photo Alamri/Arizona Sonora News)

A hundred cows at the Caballero dairy munch alfalfa under the spacious barn while fans and misters keep them cool during a 79-degree spring day.

The cool digs are not just about making cows feel comfortable, especially when temperatures hit 115 or more in the summer, said dairy owner Craig Caballero. New research indicates that ambient temperature affects milk production, and for Arizona farmers that means money.

Heat stress causes about $39,000 of annual loss to the average dairy farm in the United States, according to a study published in 2014 by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Read more

The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences is now offering online courses for its nutrition minor during each summer and winter session.

Over the course of more than one summer, a student can complete the required 18 units, the equivalent of six classes, from a list of 10 approved courses in the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences.

"The minor provides an opportunity for a student to learn more about a topic that permeates into many different disciplines, as well as everyday life," said Kelly Jackson, assistant professor in the UA Department of Nutritional Sciences.

Read more

The bond between mother and child has long been recognized as critical to children's development, but what about Dad?

Increasingly, scientists have turned their attention to the role of fathers in the family. It's a timely topic, as an estimated one-third of U.S. children grow up in homes without their biological dads, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.    

At the University of Arizona, researchers are investigating the role of fathers under the Fathers, Parenting and Families Initiative, a research and education effort within the Frances McClelland Institute for Children, Youth, and Families.

Read more

Two University of Arizona professors have received the highest honor bestowed on faculty in the Arizona state university system.

The appointment of Bruce Tabashnik and Julia Clancy-Smith as Regents’ Professors, approved recently by the Arizona Board of Regents, brings to 99 the UA’s number of Regents' Professors since the designation was created in 1987. The honor is reserved for faculty scholars who have achieved national and international distinction for their work.

Read more

Researchers in the University of Arizona's BIO5 Institute have entered into a collaboration with Johnson & Johnson Consumer & Personal Products and Janssen Biotech Inc. to leverage foundational discovery research aimed at determining environmental factors that underlie asthma and allergies.

The project's goal is to identify compounds present in dust in the farm environment that may be protective against asthma. Findings from this study could lead to the development of medicines to prevent the disease.

Read more
The plenary panel for "Edible Cities: Building Resilience With Urban Agriculture" at the GFIA (from left): Maximilian Loessl, founder of the Association for Vertical Farming; Marcelo de Andrade, chairman of Pro-Natura Brazil and partner of Earth Capital Partners, LLP; Joel Cuello, UA professor of biosystems engineering; Roger Platt, president of the U.S. Green Buildings Council; and Gus van der Feltz, global director of City Farming, Philips. (Photo: George Zaharescu)

The University of Arizona again served as Official Knowledge Partner to the 2015 Global Forum for Innovations in Agriculture held in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, this spring. With 102 countries represented at the Forum — launched just a year ago — the GFIA has become one of the world's most influential global platforms for scientists, entrepreneurs and policymakers to present and explore innovations toward sustainable agriculture and food security.

UA-sponsored exhibits have included various controlled environment agriculture greenhouse technologies, a patented algal bioreactor for biofuels and aquaculture systems.

Read more
Arizona cotton growers are concerned that water deliveries from the Colorado River via the Central Arizona Project may be cut as soon as next year.

Shane Burgess has an answer for those who say it’s time to drop cotton from Arizona’s "five C’s" for the demands it places on water resources.

Not so fast.

Although farmers planted more than 161,000 acres of cotton in Arizona in 2013 — the second-highest total for any crop in the state — irrigated farmland actually has decreased in recent decades with improvements in technology and crop engineering.

Read more

As the world's population of older adults increases, so do conversations around successful aging — including seniors' physical, mental and social well-being.

A variety of factors can impact aging adults' quality of life. Two big ones, according to new research from the University of Arizona, are the health and cognitive functioning of a person's spouse.

Analyzing data from more than 8,000 married couples — with an average age in the early 60s — researchers found that the physical health and cognitive functioning of a person's spouse can significantly affect a person's own quality of life.

Read more

Part of the reason American shoppers are so attracted to wholesale shopping is their belief that bulk-buying not only prevents waste but can save time and money, providing more value for the dollar.

However, results from a qualitative investigation by the University of Arizona of buying habits suggest that the opposite may be true.

Victoria Ligon, who earned her master's degree from the UA Retailing and Consumer Sciences Program, studied food purchasing and preparation habits of U.S. consumers for her thesis, finding that those in the study tended to buy too much food and waste more of it than they realized. Ligon has begun doctoral studies in the program.

Read more
Surrounded by media, trainer Bob Baffert and owner Ahmed Zayat hoist the trophy after their horse, American Pharoah, won the Belmont Stakes on Saturday. (Photo: Horsephotos.com)

As he registered some time ago for the inaugural Pan American Conference on thoroughbred breeding and racing, scheduled to coincide in New York with the fabled Belmont Stakes, Doug Reed allowed himself a momentary flight of fancy.

"Wouldn’t it be neat," he thought, "if there was the possibility of a Triple Crown winner?"

Reed, coordinator of the Race Track Industry Program at the University of Arizona, got his wish — and so much more — at Saturday’s 147th running of the Belmont in Elmont, New York.

Read more

Dr. Jimmye S. Hillman, former head of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, passed away from complications of a stroke on June 4th, 2015.

George Frisvold, specialist in agricultural and resource economics, interviewed Dr. Hillman in 2004. An excerpt from this interview is republished here.

Born and raised in rural Mississippi, Dr. Hillman first joined the faculty of the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of Arizona in 1950, serving as Head of the department from 1961 to 1990. Dr. Hillman’s research interests centered on agricultural and trade policies.

Read more
Raphael "Rafe" Sagarin (Photo: Tom Uhlman)

His "favorite office," in his words, was the tide pools along the rocky coast of Monterey, California.

Following the example of marine biologist Ed Ricketts, whom he admired, Raphael "Rafe" Sagarin spent much of his time as an aspiring marine ecologist observing and studying these microcosms teeming with life, pounded by waves at one moment, only to slowly evaporate under the scorching sun in the next, until they were washed over by the returning tide — all in the course of a day.

Read more
Entrepreneurs John Jackson (left) and Ricardo Hernandez of Grafted Growers (Photo courtesy: Tech Parks Arizona)

University of Arizona alumni entrepreneurs Ricardo Hernandez and John Jackson of Grafted Growers, LLC have been awarded a $100,000 Phase I USDA-SBIR grant. Small Business Innovation Research grants support technology innovation by providing federal research funds to help grow small, technology-based businesses.

With the award, the two are working in collaboration with Chieri Kubota from the School of Plant Sciences and Murat Kacira from the Department of Agriculture and Biosystems Engineering at the UA, as well as with team members from the Arizona Center for Innovation and Tech Launch Arizona. The multidisciplinary team will commercialize novel crop-production strategies that got their start — and are continuing to develop — through UA research.

Read more

To the Earth, it was just a shudder. The sudden thrust that caused the tragedy of the Nepal earthquake on April 25 occurred about nine miles underground beneath the Himalayas, releasing built-up stress of unimaginable force along the major fault line where the Indian Plate, carrying India, is slowly diving underneath the Eurasian Plate, carrying much of Europe and Asia.

The shudder raced around the planet, grazing the boundary where the Earth's molten core meets the so-called mantle of partially molten rock, at a depth of about 1,800 miles. Fifteen minutes later, the temblor reached Tucson, too weak to be felt by anyone but with enough force to send a stir through a highly sensitive instrument locked in a vault deep in the granite of the Santa Catalina Mountains just north of the city.

Read more

A large majority of Arizona residents believes the world’s temperature has been rising and that global warming will be a serious problem for the nation if nothing is done to curb it, according to a survey conducted by the University of Arizona’s Institute of the Environment and Stanford University.

The survey also found that more than 70 percent of Arizonans support government action to reduce global warming, and a majority of state residents believes people are at least partly to blame for the planet’s warmer temperatures.

Read more
Eliot Herman of the UA School of Plant Sciences and his collaborators have produced a soybean plant low in allergen and anti-nutritional proteins (Photo: Monica Schmidt)

In the United States, nearly 15 million people and 1 in 13 children suffer from food allergy. In Arizona alone, every classroom contains at least two children with a food allergy.

Soybeans are one of the eight foods regulated by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act, or FALPA. Soybean is a major ingredient in many infant formulas, processed foods and livestock feed used for agriculture. Soybeans contain several allergenic and anti-nutritional proteins that affect soybean use as food and animal feed.

Read more
(Charles Hedgcock/University of Arizona/charleshedgcock.photoshelter.com)

If you thought that a beetle with a machine gun built into its rear end was something that only exists in sci-fi movies, you should talk to Wendy Moore at the University of Arizona.

Many beetles secrete foul-smelling or bad-tasting chemicals from their abdomens to ward off predators, but bombardier beetles take it a step further. When threatened, they combine chemicals in an explosive chemical reaction chamber in their abdomen to simultaneously synthesize, heat and propel their defensive load as a boiling hot spray, complete with "gun smoke." They can even precisely aim the nozzle at the attacker.

Read more