Hero Image


The Desert Research & Extension Center (DREC) is soliciting proposals for new research and extension projects July 1, 2023, through June 30, 2024. Existing projects wishing to continue will need to confirm this during this open call process by logging into the REC Proposal System and selecting the green Continue button or selecting the yellow Complete button if the project is completed.

We have attempted to reduce the redundancies in reporting by eliminating the requirement for 3-year reports and submitting a new Land, Labor, and Facilities form each year (template is attached or can be found as a link within the proposal system). A continuing project will only need to submit a short Annual Report (template is attached or can be found as a link within the proposal system) identifying accomplishments in the previous year and any significant changes to the original research proposal. 

Proposals may be submitted into the REC Manage System via the Desert REC Website (http://drec.ucanr.edu/Research/Submitting_a_Proposal/).  Following review of new projects by the DREC Research Advisory Committee, an off-cycle proposal submission process will be opened July 1st or earlier if possible.

Approved full cost recharge rates and UC ANR funding levels for UC-led research projects conducted at DREC for the 2023-24 are listed in the table below. Additional funding is available for researchers new to the REC or Co-PIs initiating new research where they are serving as the PI. Please contact Desert REC Director, Jairo Diaz at jdiazr@ucanr.edu, for more information about eligibility and the amount of funding available. 

Line of Service Full Cost UC Affiliated PI
Acreage $7,375.45/ac $4,499.02/ac
Pressurized Irrigation $679.10/ac $679.10/ac
Direct Research $45.50/hr $45.50/hr
Pen Feedyard $2,028.00/pen $2,028.00/pen

The Center provides research projects with skilled farming equipment operators, irrigators, laboratory research facilities, and technical and management support. 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, but the full cost rate is charged plus the non-university differential (NUD currently is set at 33.7%). 

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; UC Signal barley; and Desert King wheat. 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, carrots, 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.

For questions about research opportunities at DREC or technical difficulties with the proposal process, please reach out to the following:

Jairo Diaz, Center Director, jdiazr@ucanr.edu

Gilberto Magallon, Superintendent, gmagallon@ucanr.edu

Kat Hicklin, Business Officer, khicklin@ucanr.edu