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Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Farmers are relying more and more on technology to help them manage their crops and often that means working with unmanned aerial systems. Using drones to make two dimensional maps of orchards isn’t anything new, but one agricultural researcher – Ali Pourreza – in Central California is taking existing drone technology to the next level.

“I thought, okay, two-dimensional imaging has been around a long time and it's helped a lot, but right now we have the capability to make 3D models,” says Pourreza.

Ezra David Romero / Valley Public Radio

Customers love the guacamole served tableside at El Torito in Downtown Fresno so much that about half of them order it. Daniel Avalos is the general manager there.

Avalos and I just ordered some guac. For $10 the appetizer is created on a platter in front of us.

“She cuts the avocados in half and then she’s getting the pulp out of the avocado and putting in the molcajete where we smash the avocado and mix it with veggies,” says Avalos.

Alicia Griffin/Kris Robinson / Flickr

Farmers markets are full of bright colored produce at this time of year. Think sweet stone fruit, tart berries and tomatoes of every color. People love tasty heirloom tomatoes but they can be hard to grow and they’re expensive. That’s why researchers want to create a stronger plant. They’re doing this using a new twist on an old technique.

Scott Stoddard is an expert when it comes to tomatoes. He plants rows and rows of the fresh-market crop on farms across Merced and Madera counties for the UC Cooperative Extension.