Report touts upside, refutes downside of hedgerows

A two-year study by University of California researchers says that hedgerows, the strips of vegetation along the edges of fields, take up so little space that they are not a shelter for rodents or a source of food-borne pathogens.

Legal fight over CRISPR patent goes to appeals court

The University of California has turned to the U.S. appeals court based in Washington, D.C., in a dispute with the Broad Institute over who owns the patents for the gene-editing tool known as CRISPR, says The Verge. "This means the heated battle over who owns one of the most revolutionary biotech inventions of our time will likely continue for months or even years from now," the report says.

University of California pledges millions to stop malnutrition on campus

“Four in 10 University of California students do not have a consistent source of high-quality, nutritious food,” says the Los Angeles Times, citing a recent survey of the state’s public university system. Of the 9,000 student respondents, 19 percent said they occasionally went hungry, while another 23 percent said they had enough money to eat, but didn’t always have access to high-quality, nutrient-dense foods.

Removing ground cover fails to reduce food pathogens

After an E. coli outbreak in bagged spinach in 2006, growers in California's Central Coast were pressured to remove vegetation that bordered their fields as a way to keep out wildlife and prevent food contamination by pathogens.

Crop insurance inefficient but popular, says analyst

The federally subsidized crop insurance program is an inefficient way to support growers and a drain on taxpayers, says a critique in Choices, the journal of agricultural economics.

In a mega-drought, California ag would adapt to aridity

California's agriculture sector would shrink but survive a mega-drought that lasts decades, says the Los Angeles Times, based on computer simulations by university scientists.