Desert Research and Extension Center
Desert Research and Extension Center
Desert Research and Extension Center
University of California
Desert Research and Extension Center


The Desert Research & Extension Center (DREC) is soliciting proposals for new research and extension projects for the period July 1, 2020 through June 30, 2021. DREC will continue to accept off-cycle proposals throughout the 2020-2021 year as long as resources are available to meet the needs of the project. The Center provides research projects with skilled farming equipment operators, irrigators, laboratory research facilities, and technical and management support.

Among the Center's major contributions to desert agriculture are the development of several crop varieties including Calmar, Imperial, and Calicel lettuce; Moapa, UC Cibola, CUF 101, and Sonora alfalfa; UC 157 asparagus; Imperial artichoke; and UC Signal barley. Many current irrigation practices, including sprinkler irrigation and the use of plastic tile for field drainage, resulted from research conducted at the Center. The Center has developed key requirements for the livestock feedlot industry, and, because of its winter climate, it is a major germplasm testing point for various agronomic and vegetable crops.

Crops of importance in the area and at the Center are alfalfa, wheat, barley, cotton, melons, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, onions, and sugarbeets. In an area where annual rainfall is less than three inches, research stresses the development of optimal irrigation-fertilization strategies that take advantage of desert conditions. The Imperial Valley has an important cattle-feeding industry, and researchers use DREC facilities to study beef and sheep feeding practices under low-desert valley conditions, where summertime temperatures can reach 120 degrees Fahrenheit.

Projects led by UC academics receive funding directly from UC ANR and Desert REC to reduce the actual cost of research and extension at the Center. Proposals from non-UC organizations will be considered, if resources (space and labor) are available, the full cost rate is charged plus the non-university differential (NUD currently is set at 33.7%).

Full Cost recharge rates and UC ANR funding levels for UC-led research projects for Desert REC for the 2020-2021 year will be published after approval on the Desert REC website ( this Spring.

Proposals may be submitted into the REC Manage System via the Desert REC Website ( beginning March 1, 2020 and are due no later than Apriil 10, 2020.

For questions about the research proposal process/research opportunities at Desert REC: Jairo Diaz, Center Director, or Gilberto Magallon, Superintendent,




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