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ANR in the news December 17-31

Mobile Friendly Version of Avocado Pest Guidelines Available

(AgNet West) Brian German, Dec. 31

An updated tool from the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) should made pest management a bit more user-friendly. UC ANR has recently launched a new mobile-friendly version of the Pest Management Guidelines for Avocados.

http://agnetwest.com/mobile-friendly-version-avocado-pest-guidelines-available/

 

Holiday Recycling Information

 (My Motherlode) Becky Miller-Cripps, Dec. 29

University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Master Gardeners support foothill-friendly, “smart” gardening. Two of our principles are:  Feed the Soil and Recycle. How can you follow those principles in disposing of your cut, green Christmas tree? Real Christmas trees are a renewable, recyclable resource. You may wish to chip your Christmas tree and use it at home as mulch or compost. Or, you may want to help reduce the waste stream by recycling your Christmas trees.

https://www.mymotherlode.com/news/local/961177/holiday-recycling-information.html

 

Hmong-Language Pesticide Safety Videos Available from DPR

(AgNEt West) Brian German, Dec. 24

A series of education videos have been made available to help engage Hmong farmers about the issue of safety.  The nine-part video series in Hmong describes California pesticide rules and safety and is now available to view for free online.  The videos were made possible with funding from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and were produced by Fresno State and UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County. 

http://agnetwest.com/hmong-language-pesticide-safety-videos-available-dpr/

 

UC works to fill gaps in its corps of farm advisors

(Woodland Daily Democrat/AgAlert) Kevin Hecteman, Dec. 24

...California Farm Bureau Federation President Jamie Johansson said farm advisors represent "a vital link" from UC research sites to California fields and pastures.

"Filling these positions will help address a statewide shortage of advisors," Johansson said. "Knowledge shared by farm advisors through the decades has helped California reach and retain its position as the nation's top producer of high-quality food and agricultural products, and we need to keep that resource alive."

CFBF Administrator Jim Houston described the recruiting as "a good start" but added a decades-long backup needs to be addressed.

UCCE had 202 specialists and 326 advisors on the payroll in 1990, according to UCANR figures; by 2018, those numbers had declined to 109 and 170, respectively.

"It's our members who struggle when a farm advisor isn't available," Houston said. "It's their communities that don't have as much productive capacity. It's their operations that are not going to be as efficient as they would otherwise be."

http://www.agalert.com/story/?id=13554

https://www.dailydemocrat.com/2019/12/24/university-extension-works-to-fill-gaps-in-its-corps-of-farm-advisers/

 

Your Christmas tree is lit, but how hard does it hit the environment?

(Popular Science) Erin Blakemore, Dec. 23

…Like any commodity, Christmas trees rack up an environmental toll—and not just because we use gas-guzzling helicopters and trucks to give them a lift. Fertilizer and pesticide use are the main culprits. “There is pesticide use across the board,” says Lynn Wunderlich, a farm advisor from the University of California Cooperative Extension in California's central Sierras.

…Wunderlich says that since Roundup is applied in such small quantities—and not to the trees themselves—consumers don't have to worry about pesticide residue at the time of harvesting; furthermore, consumers who cut down their own trees or buy from farmers who use no pesticides sometimes complain about “honeydew,” a sticky liquid secreted by aphids in infected trees. Bottom line, says Wunderlich: “Christmas trees have pest problems.”

https://www.popsci.com/story/environment/christmas-tree-environmental-impact/

 

California grape growers deal with mealybugs without chlorpyrifos

(Fruit Grower News) Stephen Kloosterman, Dec. 23

So scratch chlorpyrifos, but California winegrape growers have more tools left in the war chest for dealing with vine mealybugs.

Native grape mealybugs are usually kept in place by natural controls and parasitoids, said George Zhuang, a Fresno County viticulture farm advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension – an exception is when Argentine ants have protected them. Vine mealybugs, however, are an invasive species and much more disruptive.

“Vine mealybug feeds on all parts of grapevine and produces so much honeydew that it makes the grapevine wet, dark and shining,” Zhuang said. “The most damage from vine mealybug is the infestation on clusters, although the spreading of leafroll virus can be also devastating through vine mealybug.”

https://fruitgrowersnews.com/article/california-grape-growers-deal-with-mealybugs-without-chlorpyrifos/

 

UC ANR Says it is Improving California Life with Science-based Solutions

(Sierra Sun Times) Jeannette Warnert, Dec. 23

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources reflected on some of its most compelling achievements in a report that provides an overview of the sweeping impacts its scientists and educators made in 2018.

UC ANR's impacts are felt across the state – in places where water is scarce, climate is changing farming practices, children need a little extra support to get to college, and families can use guidance to stretch their food budgets. UC ANR steps in with programs and services.

Of the hundreds of ways UC ANR impacts California lives and livelihoods, 40 are highlighted in the new publication, Working for the Benefit of All Californians: 2018 UC ANR Annual Report.

https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/21416-uc-anr-says-it-is-improving-california-life-with-science-based-solutions

 

Where there's fire, is there smoke flavor in winegrapes?

(Farm Press) Pam Kan-Rice, Dec. 20

“It can be difficult to determine if fruit has been compromised in quality when exposed to wildfire smoke, and whether or not smoke flavors will result in wine when fermented,” said Glenn McGourty, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Mendocino County.

A new UC Cooperative Extension study shows wind direction and speed, temperature and a vineyard's proximity to an active fire are factors that can help growers and winemakers predict smoke damage to fruit.

https://www.farmprogress.com/grapes/where-theres-fire-there-smoke-flavor-winegrapes

 

What's in a name? When it comes to fruit, economic and genetic forces have a major say

(LA Times) David Karp, Dec. 19

…Meanwhile, the state cooperative extension programs that have historically provided essential horticultural advice to farmers have slowly atrophied as a result of public disinvestment.

One important measure, USDA grants for agricultural extension programs, declined 38% in constant dollars, from $263 million in 1993 to $163 million in 2014, said Rick Klemme of the Assn. of Public and Land-grant Universities. Increasingly, farmers who can afford it hire private agricultural consultants, he told me.

The defunding of cooperative extension in California has been especially severe.

“The whole system is broken,” said Ben Faber, a University of California Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo counties. “When I was hired in 1990, UCCE had nearly 500 advisors; now we're down to under 200.”

https://www.latimes.com/food/story/2019-12-19/fruit-names-privatization

 

What's with those little seedless holiday tangerines? (AUDIO)

(Marketplace) Mitchell Hartman, Dec. 19

…“There's the genus Citrus, subfamily Aurantioideae, in the plant family called Rutaceae,” said UC-Riverside botanist Tracy Kahn. She directs the university's world-renowned Citrus Variety Collection with more than 1,000 living specimens.

“Citrus originated in Southeast Asia — the Yunnan province of China is thought to be the seat of domestication,” she said. That was sometime in the Paleolithic era. Sometime in the mid-1800s, a small seeded orange variety grown in Morocco was imported into the U.S., Kahn said. “'Tangerine' is a term that was coined from brightly-colored sweet mandarins that shipped from the Port of Tangiers to Florida,” she explained.

…Southern California has a similar Mediterranean climate, and it's where most U.S. eating-oranges are grown. But according to UC-Davis agricultural economist Dan Sumner, the big citrus-farmers' coop, Sunkist, favored navel oranges, which have a long growing and selling season.

“For many years they resisted the move towards the seedless easy-peel tangerines,” Sumner said. “Turns out, they were wrong.”

https://www.marketplace.org/2019/12/19/whats-with-those-little-seedless-holiday-tangerines/

 

UC Davis releases five new wine grape varieties, decades in the works

(Sacramento Business Journal) Emily Hamann, Dec. 19

Wine grapes could start being planted in places it was impossible to grow them before, thanks to research from the University of California Davis.

Researchers released five new varieties of wine grapes that are resistant to a disease that has plagued grape growers in parts of the country.

This is the first time UC Davis has released new wine grape varieties since the 1980s.

The grapes are highly resistant to Pierce's disease, a vine-killing malady prevalent in warmer areas like Southern California, which costs grape growers in the state more than $100 million a year.

https://www.bizjournals.com/sacramento/news/2019/12/19/uc-davis-releases-five-new-wine-grape-varieties.html 

 

Take a class on making citrus meals

(Gold Country Media) Dec. 19

UC Master Food Preservers will teach a class on the step-by-step process of canning, dehydrating and freezing as methods of preserving citrus to use throughout the year. Learn how to make citrus-based marmalade and jelly, and how to can citrus sections. See how to use almost all parts of citrus by making candied citrus peel, preserved peels, citrus salt, powdered citrus peel and edible potpourri. Get tips and tricks to maintain top quality of frozen citrus in the freezer.

https://goldcountrymedia.com/news/151523/take-a-class-on-making-citrus-meals/

 

India's retaliatory tariffs may not hurt U.S. nut growers

(Farm Press) Logan Hawkes, Dec. 18

…Janine Hasey, University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Sutter/Yuba/Colusa Counties; Bruce Lampinen, Extension Specialist, UC, Davis; and Katherine Pope, UCCE Orchard Advisor Sacramento/ Solano/ Yolo Counties are reporting the training of young walnut trees occurs in the first 1 to 6 years in the life of an orchard. Traditionally it has been done using a modified central leader with a minimum pruning style; the basics behind this pruning style are similar for standard spaced or hedgerow orchards.

https://www.farmprogress.com/tree-nuts/indias-retaliatory-tariffs-may-not-hurt-us-nut-growers

 

New cost studies released for mechanical winegrape production

(Farm Press) Pam Kan-Rice, Dec. 18

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Agricultural Issues Center has released four new studies detailing the costs and returns of wine grape production in the southern San Joaquin Valley. All four cost studies illustrate the cost and benefit of nearly full mechanization on wine grape production.

https://www.farmprogress.com/grapes/new-cost-studies-released-mechanical-winegrape-production

 

UC to hire six new extension advisors

(Farm Press) Pam Kan-Rice, Dec. 17

Six University of California Cooperative Extension advisor positions have been released for recruitment by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

https://www.farmprogress.com/extension/uc-hire-six-new-extension-advisors

Posted on Tuesday, December 31, 2019 at 11:25 AM

ANR in the news December 1-16

After the Camp Fire, many landowners want to fight fire with fire

(Chico ER) Camille Von Kaenel, Dec. 16

Private landowners and managers throughout Northern California are increasingly interested in fighting fire with fire.

Around 75 people showed up to a workshop organized by the University of California Cooperative Extension with a Cal Fire grant at Big Chico Creek Ecological Reserve on a drizzling Friday to learn about the science and art of prescribed fire. They came from next door and from Grass Valley and Lake County. Some of them owned property burned entirely or partly by catastrophic wildfires in recent years and were determined to do something to avoid fires burning homes and taking lives in the future. The Camp Fire, they said, was a “wake-up call.”

“Everyone knows we are in the midst of a wildfire crisis,” said Kate Wilkin, a UC Cooperative Extension forestry, fire science and natural resource adviser for Butte, Yuba, Sutter and Nevada counties who organized the workshop. “We need to work on our wildland-urban interface, and our structures, but we also need to work on our wildlands. We use tools that are accepted like mastication, but what's really under-utilized is prescribed fire.”

https://www.chicoer.com/2019/12/16/after-the-camp-fire-many-landowners-want-to-fight-fire-with-fire/

https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/12/16/after-the-camp-fire-many-landowners-want-to-fight-fire-with-fire/

 

A maggot farm that upcycles food waste is coming to Southern California

(Orange County Register) Jack Katzanek, Dec. 12

…The concept of using flies to break down food and reuse it as feed has been around for almost 30 years, said Alec Gerry, a professor of entomology at UC Riverside. Using it to make money, however, is somewhat new.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation got involved, spurring commercial interest, Gerry said. Creating the maggots in a well-contained area is a key aspect for communities, and he added that black soldier flies do not carry disease and are not considered nuisances like house flies.

But he added that cities should be diligent about those key questions when a company seeks approval to locate there.

https://www.ocregister.com/2019/12/12/a-maggot-farm-that-upcycles-food-waste-is-coming-to-southern-california/

 

ASPCRO conference tackles PSFI and more

(Pest Management) Michael Page, Dec. 12

…The sessions on rodents also were heavily attended and of keen interest to meeting attendees. One session, devoted primarily to the attempted California ban on rodenticides, was particularly interesting. Dr. Niamh Quinn of the University of California Cooperative Extension, South Coast Research and Extension Center, presented an overview of legislation related to rodenticide products. Legislative attempts are being proposed to mitigate the high level of exposure and deaths of California wildlife. (Editor's Note: For an in-depth look at this topic, read Wildlife control captures profits.)

https://www.mypmp.net/2019/12/12/aspcro-conference-tackles-psfi-and-more/

 

CFBF president pledges sustained advocacy

(Ag Alert) Kevin Hecteman, Dec. 11

…He noted that CFBF, University of California Cooperative Extension and 4-H all came into existence at roughly the same time, and the latter two are dealing with funding and staffing shortfalls. Presentations to the CFBF board from Solano, Contra Costa and Monterey counties, plus the work of Fresno County members, led to a meeting with Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis, who sits on the UC Board of Regents, to discuss those concerns.

Noting the large numbers of 4-H and FFA students at the meeting, Johansson said Farm Bureau members will "hear more about what we're going to do to not only help train the next generation of farmers, but to introduce them to Farm Bureau and the responsibility that they have to agriculture once they get out of school, to give back to an industry and the opportunities that this industry has for them."

http://www.agalert.com/story/?id=13515

 

2019 Sacramento Pre-Kwanzaa Gala Celebration

(IndyBay) Michael Harris, Dec. 11

…California's “working landscape” represents the sixth largest economic sector in the state, outpacing the healthcare, real estate and construction industries, according to a recent report issued by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).
“That's going surprise an awful lot of people, because too many folks here in California just really take our working landscapes for granted,” said ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston, speaking at the California Economic Summit, California “Working Landscapes” includes traditional agriculture, fishing, forestry, mining, outdoor recreation and renewable energy. The 2018 report showed that our “working landscape” represents $333 billion dollars in sales and employment of 1.5 million people, numbers that benefit both rural and urban regions.

https://www.indybay.org/newsitems/2019/12/11/18828805.php

 

California growers prepare for end of chlorpyrifos

(Vegetable Grower News) Stephen Kloosterman, Dec. 11
California chlorpyrifos goes away in 2020, and officials and Extension agents say the state's vegetable growers have a good start on finding replacement products.

Surendra Dara, an entomologist working in the University of California Cooperative Extension in St. Luis Obispo, said the ban would have little effect on cabbage growers dealing with maggots, who have another product, Verimark, that can control them.

https://vegetablegrowersnews.com/article/california-growers-prepare-for-end-of-chlorpyrifos-seek-options/

 

People Matter: Why the Human Factor Is Essential for Successful Integrated Pest Management Programs

(Entomology Today) David Coyle, Ph.D., and Ryan Gott, Ph.D., Dec. 11

…The idea of human communication as an important aspect of IPM was highlighted in a past Entomology Today post and recently in another Journal of Integrated Pest Management paper by Surendra Dara. In that paper, Dara advocated for “communication” being one of the main factors influencing IPM program efficacy. We fully agree, and take it a step further in identifying and acknowledging deficiencies in how IPM educators are trained. Many follow the typical graduate school path with a lot of education in entomology or pest management but very little in how to deal or work with people (i.e., the IPM practitioners). Certainly, this is not a blanket statement, as each of us takes a different path to becoming an IPM educator. And, to further support this idea, we interviewed several early-career entomological colleagues to find out about their experiences as IPM educators.

https://entomologytoday.org/2019/12/11/people-matter-why-the-human-factor-is-essential-for-successful-integrated-pest-management-programs/

 

Smarter Vineyard Management and Innovative Winemaking Discussed at Wivi 2020

(Wine Business) Dec. 11

…Surendra Dara, cooperative extension advisor, entomology and biologicals, at the UC Cooperative Extension will talk about some of the biggest threats to the modern Central Coast vineyard. From traditional concerns like Vine Mealybug and Leafroll, to an emerging threat from the Spotted Lanternfly, this session will look at the state of vineyard warfare and offer practical solutions to eliminate and prevent the spread of these insects and viruses.

https://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataId=223494

 

What Oak Trees Mean to the Health of Vineyards

(Growing Produce) Kathie Zipp, Dec. 10

…Bill Tietje has studied California oaks for more than 30 years as a University of California Cooperative Extension Natural Resource Specialist. Though oak tree removal has slowed, Tietje still sees a need to encourage growers to keep, and even to plant, new oaks on their properties. To do so, he and co-researchers needed to better understand the benefits of the trees in agricultural systems.

https://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/what-oak-trees-mean-to-the-health-of-vineyards/

 

UC updates cost estimates for growing almonds

(Farm Press) Pam Kan-Rice, Dec. 9

…“These cost studies are valuable for agricultural producers all along the continuum – growers considering entering into a new crop production business, less experienced growers, and those with decades of experience,” said Emily Symmes, UC Cooperative Extension integrated pest management advisor for the Sacramento Valley. “The information in these cost studies allows growers to evaluate their production practices and associated costs relative to an exemplary hypothetical orchard specific to their geographic region, and can help with development of business models, crop insurance and lending.”

https://www.farmprogress.com/tree-nuts/uc-updates-cost-estimates-growing-almonds

 

Major Infectious Disease Threatening Oak Trees in California

(Epoch Times) Chris Karr, Dec. 6

…“The combination of a very, very wet year two years ago and a wet year this year would very easily explain the surge in infection rates,” Matteo Garbelotto, director of UC Berkeley's Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, told The Epoch Times.

The disease is estimated to have killed more than 50 million oaks in the region over the last twenty years.

https://www.theepochtimes.com/major-infectious-disease-threatening-oak-trees-in-california_3156593.html

 

California Almonds: Pruning Wound Protection – Reducing Impact of Canker Diseases
(Ag Fax) Leslie Holland and Florent Trouillas, Dec. 5

As we approach winter in the Sacramento Valley and almond trees enter dormancy, pruning becomes a top priority for many growers. Whether it's pruning for scaffold selection or to remove old, minimally productive wood to stimulate renewal of fruiting wood, pruning is often considered a dormant season practice.

https://agfax.com/2019/12/05/california-almonds-pruning-wound-protection-reducing-impact-of-canker-diseases

 

CDC: Schools aren't doing enough to teach kids about nutrition

(UPI) Brian P. Dunleavy, Dec. 5

…Even in districts where the importance of healthy food is listed as part of the curriculum, far too little classroom time, perhaps as little as five hours per academic year, is devoted to the issue, experts say.

"Health education has never been a priority in American schools," said Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources in Oakland. "We don't teach children how to read, write or do math in one period in the ninth grade, but that's what we do with food and other health issues. So it's not shocking we're in dire straits when it comes to nutrition."

https://www.upi.com/Health_News/2019/12/05/CDC-Schools-arent-doing-enough-to-teach-kids-about-nutrition/9491574879196/?sl=1&ur3=1

https://www.breitbart.com/news/lackluster-nutrition-education-in-u-s-schools-may-be-damaging-health-of-kids/

 

UC team helps farmers with climate-smart ag

(Farm Press) Jeannette Warnert, Dec. 5

Scientists are developing climate-smart farming practices, California is offering financial incentives to implement them, and now a group of 10 UC Cooperative Extension climate-smart educators are taking the program to the next level.

https://www.farmprogress.com/extension/uc-team-helps-farmers-climate-smart-ag

https://www.morningagclips.com/new-team-will-help-farmers-practice-climate-smart-ag/

 

Facebook's Andrew ‘Boz' Bosworth Donates $1 Million To 4-H For STEM Education

(Forbes) Rod Berger, Dec. 4

I spoke with Andrew “Boz” Bosworth, a prominent 4-H alum, and noted “Hardware Boss” of Facebook to learn more about his efforts in promoting STEM and the promising future of AR/VR, connectivity and entrepreneurship in education. His early association with 4-H acted as a catalyst for his career path and present position as Facebook's vice president of AR/VR. He is well known for the creation of News Feed as well as other notable Facebook programs and advancements. Boz shares his story and appreciation for 4-H while describing his early enthusiasm for technology that recently propelled a $1 million personal investment supporting 4-H efforts. 

I was lucky I went to a very good public school in the heart of Silicon Valley, and even for me, 4-H was what introduced me to a love of programming. 4-H was what introduced me to a love of technology. That's interesting to me. It speaks about how much there is for parents that they can access experiences for their children beyond what they're going to get at school.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/rodberger/2019/12/04/facebooks-andrew-boz-bosworth-donates-1m-to-4-h-for-stem-education  

 

Fire and ice on the West Coast

 (Farm Press) Logan Hawkes, Dec. 4

University of California Cooperative Extension Orchard Systems Advisor Dani Lightle and UCCE Specialist Drew Wolter report that a field experiment indicates while latex treatments may provide some level of protection, "research to support the practice is lacking."

Lightle and Wolter published their findings in a UC Weed Science Guide noting "preliminary results indicate that paint as a trunk protection method may not provide significant protection from glyphosate or glufosinate. Tree stress caused by trunk-applied herbicides was lowest in most treatments with no paint at all, which suggest that hardening of the bark is key to mitigating herbicide damage in young trees."

https://www.farmprogress.com/tree-nuts/roundup-fire-and-ice-west-coast

 

Orchard sanitation remains critical

(Farm Press) Logan Hawkes, Dec. 4

… Jhalendra Rijal, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources (UCANR) Extension Area Integrated Pest Management Advisor for the Northern San Joaquin Valley, says some growers must deal with winter rainfall or heavy ground that makes sanitation practices difficult. Others may apply cultural practices in a reduced manner, and as such many infected mummy nuts may escape discovery or destruction.

https://www.farmprogress.com/tree-nuts/orchard-sanitation-remains-critical

 

Genomic gymnastics help sorghum plant survive drought

(Farms.com) Kara Manke, Dec. 3

A new study led by UC Berkeley researchers reveals how sorghum crops alter the expression of their genes to adapt to drought conditions. Understanding how sorghum survives harsh conditions could help researchers design crops that are more resilient to climate change. 

…“With this research, we are laying the groundwork for understanding drought tolerance in cereal crops,” said Jeff Dahlberg, UC Cooperative Extension sorghum specialist. Dahlberg, co-author of the study, is also director the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, one of nine research and extension centers in California that are part of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.

https://www.herald.co.zw/genomic-gymnastics-help-sorghum-plant-survive-drought/

https://www.farms.com/news/genomic-gymnastics-help-sorghum-plant-survive-drought-151855.aspx

https://www.seedquest.com/news.php?type=news&id_article=112334

https://www.redbluffdailynews.com/2019/12/06/genomic-gymnastics-help-sorghum-plant-survive-drought/

 

New survey detects rapid growth in sudden oak tree death syndrome

(Almanac) Rick Radin, Dec. 3

An annual survey of the spread of sudden oak death (SOD) throughout the state has detected that oak trees surveyed in towns on the Peninsula between Redwood City and Los Altos Hills have a 21.6% infection rate, with significant new outbreaks reported.

The syndrome was detected locally in oaks in northern Woodside, Portola Valley, Emerald Hills, and Palomar Park, according to the report from the University of California at Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab.

… The infection rate for oaks within 15 feet of a bay laurel is about 75%, according to Matteo Garbelotto, the lab's director. After a distance of about 20 yards, the infection rate drops dramatically.

The infected oaks can fall down when they are still green, potentially on top of a house or a car, Garbelotto said.

"If an infected oak is near your house, you want to take it out because if it burns in a fire it will spread to your home," he said.

https://www.almanacnews.com/news/2019/12/03/new-survey-detects-rapid-growth-in-sudden-oak-tree-death-syndrome

 

New PD-Resistant Wine Grape Varieties Named and Released

(Wine Business) Ted Rieger, Dec. 3

The University of California, Davis (UCD) Office of Research's Innovation Access unit recently informed the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) of the official release of five new Pierce's Disease (PD) resistant grapevine varieties developed in the breeding program of UCD viticulture professor and grape breeder Dr. Andy Walker.

https://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataId=223142#.XeaMPHWU9jM.twitter

 

On Giving Tuesday UC ANR Says Invest in Every Californian with a Gift to UC ANR

(Sierra Sun Times) Dec. 3, Pam Kan-Rice

UC Agriculture and Natural Resources is participating in Giving Tuesday, launching the "You are here. So are we" campaign. Donations bring the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, and youth development to local communities to improve the lives of all Californians.

 https://goldrushcam.com/sierrasuntimes/index.php/news/local-news/21161-on-giving-tuesday-uc-anr-says-invest-in-every-californian-with-a-gift-to-uc-anr

 https://www.farmprogress.com/extension/ucanr-seeks-giving-tuesday-donations

 

New research highlights an integrated approach for managing aquatic invasive species in California

(Phys Org) Katherine Leitzell and Sonia Fernandez, Dec. 2

…"Controlling the growth of these organisms is critical for boat maintenance, because they create drag that slows vessels, reduces fuel efficiency, and makes boats harder to steer," said co-author Leigh Johnson, coastal advisor emerita with UC Cooperative Extension and former California Sea Grant Extension advisor. Johnson was instrumental in initiating the research and bringing attention to the need for a balanced biofouling control management approach. "However," she added, "the methods used to control fouling on boats can impact water quality and increase transport of invasive species so it is important to consider all of these issues when deciding how to maintain a clean hull."

https://phys.org/news/2019-12-highlights-approach-aquatic-invasive-species.html

 

Some say ‘hazing' stops coyotes from becoming urbanized. Biologists aren't so sure

(Los Angeles Times) Louis Sahagun, Dec. 1

Research scientist Niamh Quinn approached with caution as an intelligent predator with a long, narrow muzzle, sharp teeth and yellow eyes peered at her from the grip of a trap, awaiting its fate.

…It was sedated, radio collared, tagged on one ear and assigned an identification number, 19CU001. Then it was released as part of a study led by Quinn to determine whether hazing techniques — shouting, bright lights, waving arms, for example — can effectively keep big-city coyotes away from homes and urban areas.

…“There is no scientific evidence that hazing alters the behavior of urban coyotes,” Quinn, UC Cooperative Extension's human-wildlife interactions advisor, said on a recent weekday while inspecting a network of traps her team had set east of downtown Los Angeles. “Yet, it is being pitched as a good option for coyote management.”

https://www.latimes.com/environment/story/2019-12-01/urban-coyotes-bites-hazing-animal-rights-advocates

 

County officials need to take Sudden Oak Death solutions seriously

(Marin Independent Journal) William Binzen, Dec. 1

…In addition to mapping this disease as Matteo Garbelotto does, these new “SOD-blitzers” can fan out across Marin with backpack sprayers and treat diseased oaks (and other infected species) where they stand. They could also spread ground oyster shells, calcium carbonate or lime pellets on the ground from the trunk out to the drip edge of the branches. This simple procedure helps restore native soil pH, which enhances the immune system.

https://www.marinij.com/2019/12/01/marin-voice-county-officials-need-to-take-sudden-oak-death-solutions-seriously/

 

 

Posted on Monday, December 30, 2019 at 11:21 AM

UC ANR training improves food safety practices among Alameda County seniors

Participants learned to refrigerate cut fruit

At risk seniors at three low-income housing sites in Alameda County strengthened their food safety skills, reducing their chances of foodborne illnesses.     The Issue Seniors with diminished learning and retention capacity,...

Posted on Tuesday, December 17, 2019 at 10:13 AM

Three UC ANR programs receive research grants from CDFA

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded more than $1 million to fund three UC Agriculture and Natural Resources integrated pest management projects to research insects that have the potential to become pests in California agriculture. Each of the three-year projects received strong support from commodities which could be affected by invasive pests.

The projects that were awarded the funds are:

Proactive management of avocado seed and stem feeding weevils, led by UC Cooperative Extension specialist Mark Hoddle and entomology professor Jocelyn Millar, both at UC Riverside, will receive $348,893. This project will develop pheromones, identify natural enemies in the host range, and quantify flight capacity of the avocado seed weevils. Native to Mexico and invasive in Ecuador, these weevils feed directly on avocados and could cause substantial damage to the California avocado industry. The California Avocado Commission pledged an additional $150,000 to support this project. The work will be conducted at UC Riverside and in Mexico.

Stem feeding weevil (Photo: Siga, Wikimedia Commons)

A proactive approach to prepare for the invasion of Tuta absoluta into California, led by UCCE specialist Ian Grettenberger, will receive $499,847. T. absoluta, a tomato leafminer, is a serious pest throughout Europe, Africa, western Asia and South and Central America and could decimate California's tomato industry. This project will proactively test targeted insecticides, identify native natural enemies that could be used in biological control, and conduct work to assist in breeding plants resistant to this pest. This project will be conducted at UC Davis, throughout California, and in Chile and Peru.

Tuta absoluta (Photo: Marja van der Straten, Wikimedia Commons)

Detection, biology and control of the exotic Sweede midge for California cole crops, led by UCCE area IPM advisor Alejandro Del Pozo-Valdivia,  UCCE specialist Ian Grettenberger and USDA research entomologist Daniel Hasegawa. Swede midge is a pest of cole crops in the Northeastern U.S. and Canada and could cause significant management issues for California's large cole crop industry. This project will collect important information about the biology of Swede midge, test low impact insecticides and botanical products as options for control, assess the possibility of weeds as alternative hosts, and work with growers to start monitoring for the pest. This project will be conducted at UC Davis and in the Salinas Valley.

Sweede midge (Photo: Susan Ellis, USDA APHIS)

 

Posted on Monday, December 16, 2019 at 9:47 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UCCE researcher studies urban coyotes

Some people believe shouting, waving arms and flashing lights will keep coyotes at bay, but UC Cooperative Extenison wildlife-human interaction advisor Niamh Quinn isn't so sure, reported Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times. Like any scientist, she is now conducting a research project to understand whether such hazing deters the wild animals from making their homes in urban areas.

"There is no scientific evidence that hazing alters the behavior of urban coyotes," Quinn said."Yet, it is being pitched as a good option for coyote management."

Quinn is trapping coyotes, sedating them, attaching radio collars, tagging their ears and tracking their movements to understand whether the techniques recommended by some cities and animal rights groups are effective.

“We want to figure out when, where and for how long it actually works, or if it even works at all,” she said. “For the sake of our communities, and coyotes, too.”

UC Cooperative Extension human-wildlife interaction advisor Niamh Quinn is conducting research to help Southern California communities manage the growing coyote population.
Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 4:28 PM
Tags: coyotes (8), Niamh Quinn (9)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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