The Long Term Research on Agricultural Systems (LTRAS) and Sustainable Agriculture Farming Systems (SAFS) projects are located on three hundred acres at the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agricultural Facility. The facility has both long-term cropping systems comparisons and various shorter-term experiments, focused on investigating the sustainability and environmental impacts of agriculture.
LTRAS is a "hundred-year" study located on the main plots at Russell Ranch. The LTRAS study began in 1993 with a uniform sudangrass crop to evaluate inherent soil differences and the original cropping systems were first planted in 1994. SAFS combined with LTRAS in 2002 to continue research on impacts of farming systems and reduced tillage practices on agronomic and soil properties, runoff and economics.
The Putah Creek Riparian Reserve is a stream and grassland ecosystem, managed for teaching, research, and wildlife and habitat protection. Mitigation areas near Russell Ranch are set aside for valley elderberry longhorn beetle (VELB) and Swainson's Hawk. The runoff plots were the site of a SAFS research project investigating runoff volume and pollutant loads from different cropping systems. The organic plots are a great opportunity for student involvement and the small plots allow researchers to investigate short-term research questions.