Agronomy Research & Information Center
Agronomy Research & Information Center
Agronomy Research & Information Center
University of California
Agronomy Research & Information Center

Welcome to University of California Agronomy Research and Information Center

Delivering scientific, research-based information, resources, education, and on-line tools on California agronomic crops to growers, researchers, industry professionals, governmental agencies, and the general public.

Fact Sheets
Informative resources available to the public

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Agronomic Crops in California

California map showing counties in each agricultural region
Agronomic crops occupy over 5 million of the approximately 8 million irrigated acres in California, having large impacts on water use, nutrient management, farm profitability and human health. more

News, Updates & Blogs

For more blogs on specific commodity, please visit:

Rice      Alfalfa      Small Grains      Dry Beans

History of Agronomy at the University of California

Letter A in vintage font type
In 1904, a Division of Experimental Agronomy was established in the College of Agriculture of the University of California, Berkeley. By 1906, it was clear that a Berkeley location for experimental work could not meet requirements and the division was shifted to the University Farm at Davis. more

What is Agronomy?

Facets of agronomy science
Agronomy is the application of science and technology from the fields of biology, chemistry, economics, ecology, soil science, water science, pest management and genetics to the improvement and management of the major food crops of the world. more

Agronomy Progress Reports
Archive & Numbering Request

alfalfa leaves, close-up image


Alfalfa production occurs over about 1,000,000 acres throughout California, with the highest-producing regions in Imperial County and the San Joaquin Valley.

variety of dried beans with bags and scoops


California farmers grow mainly four classes of dry beans — limas (99% of U.S. supply), common beans, garbanzos, and cowpeas — on about 50,000 total acres.

canola bloom close-up


Imported corn and sorghum are currently used to produce bio-fuel in California. However, canola, camelina, sugar beets, and sorghum offer promise as a basis for in-state production.

corn stalks on plant


Corn is grown on nearly 600,000 acres in California, primarily in the Central Valley. It is mainly used for silage and grain, with a small specialty crop market comprised of sweet corn, corn nuts and popcorn.

cotton bolls on plant


Uses for cotton fibers range from heavy industrial to fine fabrics. California cotton grows mainly in the San Joaquin Valley on 200,000 to 300,000 acres.

safflower bloom on plant

Oil Seeds

Safflower is the primary oil seed grown for oil in California. Sunflower hydrid seeds are grown and exported for oil production. Canola and camelina are showing promise as new oil seed crops.

rice grains on plant


California rice is grown primarily in the Sacramento Valley on approximately 550,000 total acres. Mostly high quality medium grain rice is produced as well as some other specialty rice varieties.

wheat stalks on plant

Small Grains

Small grains are an important rotation crop in California and include wheat, barley, oats and triticale planted on over 800,000 acres. Wheat is the predominant California small grain crop.

Sorghum plant


Sorghum is being rediscovered as a valuable rotational crop and forage that can help California meet future water needs, specialty food markets, and potentially as a renewable fuel crop.

sugar beets

Sugar Beets

California sugar beet production began in 1870 and beets have been produced in nearly all agricultural areas. Beets are now grown only on about 25,000 acres in the Imperial Valley.


Wild Rice

In California, wild rice has been grown commercially since the 1970s and is planted in cultivated paddies where yields range from 1200 to 2000 lb/ac. 

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