A contribution from Yara North America will provide the University of California, Merced, with the potential to take agricultural research to a new level of innovation and improve crop yields, particularly in almonds.
Yara, known for its fertilizers, crop nutrition programs and technologies to increase yields, improve product quality and reduce the environmental impact of agricultural practices, has established the Yara North America Almond Scholarship and Fellowship Fund to help support a three-year graduate fellowship and scholarships to two undergraduate students each year for three years. Areas of research may include soil fertility, plant nutrition, and water- and nutrient-use efficiency across disciplines.
“This generous contribution from Yara North America allows UC Merced to expand on the outstanding agriculture-related research our faculty members and students are already conducting,” Vice Chancellor for Development and Alumni Relations Kyle Hoffman said. “It will give more students the opportunity to discover solutions to the agriculture industry’s most pressing questions.”
Yara has worked with farmers in North America for 70 years, but this is its first project to support students and research at a California university. The company entered into a similar collaboration this summer with University of Florida to encourage innovation to improve citrus crop quality and quantity. Yara believes that improving knowledge is key to increasing farmers’ profitability while protecting the environment.
Yara is exploring the opportunities and challenges facing California agriculture, and almonds specifically. The company leveraged its strong relationship with the Almond Board of California (ABC) to find the ideal research university partner.
As the only research university situated in the center of California’s San Joaquin Valley, and with ABC’s recommendation, UC Merced was an ideal match for Yara’s goals.
UC Merced is in the final stages of the scholarship and fellowship selection process and expects research to begin in the spring semester.