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ALARC HIGHLIGHTS - What's New at the Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center


ALARC Highlights Archive



U.S. Arid-Land Agricultural Research Center hosts a seminar series each year from September through May.  This provides a way to keep our staff, other researchers and our stakeholders abreast of the latest research developments on a wide range of topics. All interested persons are invited and encouraged to attend the seminar presentations.

Questions or suggestions for future topics may be directed to the Center Director (

Seminars are held in the US ALARC conference room, 21881 N. Cardon Lane, Maricopa. For directions to the facility please download this map.


Recent Unit News


ALARC Intern Wins Contest at Purdue. Working with an ALARC scientist, a repeat student intern was able to win a re-search competition that highlighted her work on plant fats. From Purdue University [Link] 

Rapid Phenotyping Gantry System. An overview is given of the automated scanning platform shared by ALARC with other institutions. From Wall Street Journal [Link] 



ALARC recognized for research accomplishments. ALARC scientists are working on a number of fronts to help agriculture to be more productive and economical. Highlighted is the Center’s recent work on biological control of fungi that produce aflatoxin, a potent human and animal toxin that infests many desert crops, and the development of alternative crops that reduce water use and provide growers with options. From the Maricopa Monitor [Link]

Tracking water use and salinity in Yuma. ALARC scientist are cooperating with University of Arizona, U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Cotton Inc., irrigation district managers, and private growers to measure and improve water use efficiency and salinity management in a variety of Yuma crops with sophisticated proximal and remote sensing technology. From Western Farm Press [Link]

Unlocking the secrets of plant energy. In collaboration with scientists at the University of North Texas and the University of Guelph, ALARC scientists are gaining a better understanding of how to improve the storage and utilization of lipids in plants as a source of renewable bioenergy. From University of North Texas News [Link]

Secretary Perdue visits Arizona. As part of the 5th Annual Arizona Agribusiness Roundtable, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue sat down with Arizona Department of Agriculture Mark Killian to discuss trade and other agricultural issues affecting Arizona. From Western Farm Press [Link]

Farm Science Day 2020. After the Federal Government shutdown in 2018/2019 scuttled Farm Science Day 2019, ALARC was anxious to host their annual outreach event in 2020. The late February 2020 date was postponed due to rain and the COVID-19 pandemic eventually forced us to cancel our rain-date in mid March. We look forward to a big comeback in 2021! The event focuses on educating the local community about agriculture and the science behind it in family friendly environment. From the Maricopa Monitor [Link] [Link]



Project Puente Student Interns. ALARC once again hosted a number of high school and college undergraduate that  spent 8 weeks with a mentor scientist and completed their own research projects. Internships were capped with students presenting their poster at a special event. [Link] Dr. Crystal McKenna presented a TEDx talk at Central Arizona College that explores the changing faces of scientists and talks about Project Puente as a vehicle to increase diversity in STEM fields [link

 Enhanced Crop Breeding through High Throughput Phenotyping. Scientists from ALARC were featured in the Maricopa Monitor for their work on using proximal sensing technologies to measure crop health during periods of heat and drought stress. [link]

ALARC Student HTP Team. In early May, a group of interns from Central Arizona College presented some of the work they’ve been involved with at ALARC focused on high throughput phenotyping (HTP) data processing and database development. [link


ALARC Environmental Management System (EMS) Policy Statement

Click [here] to read the location's EMS policy statement as a PDF

ARS News Articles

A Long-Sought Goal: Crystallizing an Elusive Protein
Mar 22, 2013
Examining Climate Change Effects on Wheat
Feb 24, 2011