About us

This project will investigate sorghum as a low-input crop for the production of bioenergy, food and feed in California. The project will have three broad goals:

  1. Identify the best sorghum varieties for the production of bioenergy, food and feed in California.
  2. Continue experiments to demonstrate the water use of sorghum in California.
  3. Use variety trial and water use data to validate the crop economic and production models, and use the models to estimate the economic viability, productivity, water and nitrogen use of sorghum under different rainfall and management regimes as well as current and future climate scenarios.

Jeffrey A. Dahlberg
Dr. Jeffrey Dahlberg is the Director of the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, CA. He was formerly Research Director for the United Sorghum Checkoff Program and the National Sorghum Producers, and is an international expert on sorghum germplasm and research. He has worked and published in the fields of renewable fuels, sorghum genetics and germplasm, and nutrition. Dr. Dahlberg is a founding member and Past-President of the Whole Grains Council. The Council has worked to encourage greater consumption of whole grains in the diets of all Americans. He has over 20+ years experience working with sorghum and sorghum researchers.

Bob Hutmacher
Dr. Robert Hutmacher is an Cooperative Extension Specialist and Center Director for the West Side Research and Extension Center. His field of expertise is cotton production issues, water stress and nutrient management.


Christer Jansson
Jansson portraitProfessor, and Senior Staff Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratories in Berkeley California, is a plant biochemist with a background in photosynthesis and metabolic and genetic regulation in plants and photosynthetic bacteria, called cyanobacteria. He also currently heads projects aimed at engineering cyanobacteria to produce and secrete hydrocarbon biofuels. Prior to this, Dr. Jansson was the Head of Department at the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences in Uppsala, Sweden. He is a scientific advisor for the start-up bioenergy company Kiverdi, Inc.

Stephen Kaffka
Dr. Stephen Kaffka is an Assistant Cooperative Extension Agronomis and Lecturer in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. He works on sugar beets and safflower, particularly ways to improve the efficiency and reduce the environmental impact of producting these crops. Also works on water quality and agricultural drainage and salinity management.

Peggy G. Lemaux
Lemaux portraitMember of the Faculty at UC Berkeley and a statewide Cooperative Extension Specialist, is recognized worldwide for her successful efforts in the genetic engineering of plants, particularly cereal crops. The Lemaux lab has published broadly in this area and in the application of these technologies to create value-added crops. Lemaux has numerous issued patents, several of which are licensed to companies. Prior to her UCB position, she performed research in algal biology. She has an active outreach program to reach growers and consumers regarding agriculture, foods and technology.

Bill Orts
Dr. William Orts is Research Leader at the USDA-ARS Western Regional Research Center directing a team that provides biorefinery strategies relevant to the Western US. The research focus of the team includes; (1) development of new enzymes, (2) improvements in separation technology, (3) isolation of value-added co-products, and, (4) optimization of biofuel production from biomass. The overall mission is to improve the rural economy via bioproduct development.

Daniel Putnam
Dr. Daniel Putnam is an Extension Specialist and Agronomist at UC Davis. His specialty is alfalfa and forage crops systems, forage quality and utilization, alternative field crops, cellulosic energy crops (switchgrass, miscanthus) and crop ecology.

Steven Wright
Dr. Steven Wright is a Farm Advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, Tulare & Kings Counties. (approximately 200,000 acres of cotton, 200,000 acres of small grains). He conducts a regionally Extension education and research program in cotton, cereal crops, and weed control. He has also done extensive weed research in cotton, cereals, trees, vines, range, and ditch banks focusing on difficult to control weeds.  Dr. Wright is Past President and Honorary member of the California Weed Science Society.