Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
University of California
Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources

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Three agriculture scholarships offered by UC ANR

Agriculture majors are eligible for UC ANR scholarships, including one to study soil improvement.
Three scholarships are being offered to college students majoring in agriculture by the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The scholarships will be awarded for the fall 2018 semester or quarter. The deadline to apply or nominate for the scholarships is May 18, 2018.

KNOWLES A. RYERSON AWARD IN AGRICULTURE

Amount:  $2500 – two awarded each year, one each at UC Berkeley and UC Davis

The Knowles A. Ryerson Award in Agriculture is awarded annually to a foreign undergraduate student in a college of agriculture at UC Berkeley and UC Davis, in any curriculum, preferably after completion of the junior year. Students must be nominated by UC faculty or academic advisors. The $2,500 award is made on the basis of high scholarship, outstanding character and promise of leadership. One recipient will be selected from the Berkeley campus and one from the Davis campus.

HOWARD WALTON CLARK PRIZE IN PLANT BREEDING AND SOIL BUILDING

Amount:  $5,000 – one awarded each year

The Howard Walton Clark Prize in Plant Breeding and Soil Building is given to a senior student in a college of agriculture at UC Berkeley, UC Davis or UC Riverside who seems to show the greatest promise. Students must be a senior at some point during the 2018-19 academic year and nominated by UC faculty or academic advisors. Selection for the $5,000 scholarship is based on high scholastic achievement, talent for independent research and other characteristics, with particular reference to either plant breeding (leading to new/improved crops and new/improved varieties using appropriate tools) or soil building (leading to improving soil quality related to soil productivity and sustainability as a resource).

BILL AND JANE FISCHER VEGETATION MANAGEMENT SCHOLARSHIP

Amount: $1,000 – one awarded each year

The $1,000 Bill and Jane Fischer Vegetation Management Scholarship will be given to promising students with demonstrated interest in vegetation management (weed control) careers. Students from any accredited California university are eligible, with preference given to graduate students. The recipient will have an academic major and emphasis in one of the following areas (listed in order of preference): 

  • Vegetation management in agricultural crop production;
  • Plant science with emphasis on vegetation management in horticultural crops, agronomic or vegetable crops;
  • Soils and plant nutrition with emphasis on field, vegetable crop relationships;
  • Agricultural engineering with emphasis on developing tools for vegetation management;
  • Agricultural botany with emphasis on weed biology and weed ecology;
  • Plant pathology with emphasis on integrated vegetation management;
  • Plant protection and pest management with emphasis on field, vegetable, or horticultural crop relationships; or
  • Agricultural economics with emphasis on vegetation management in field, vegetable or horticultural crops.

For more information about the scholarships and nomination and application processes, visit http://ucanr.edu/Development_services/Awards_and_scholarships.

 

Posted on Thursday, April 19, 2018 at 12:16 PM
Tags: scholarships (2)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UC Agricultural Issues Center releases cost estimates for growing processing tomatoes

Processing tomato harvest. A new report estimates costs and returns for of processing tomatoes in Fresno County and provides an overview of common production practices related to irrigation, fertility and pest management.

A new study on the costs and returns of producing processing tomatoes in Fresno County and the central San Joaquin Valley has been released by the UC ANR Agricultural Issues Center. Growers contemplating crops to grow may use the estimates to help decide whether to plant processing tomatoes.

The report estimates costs and returns and provides an overview of common production practices related to irrigation, fertility and pest management of processing tomatoes. In this report, some specifics are assigned and calculations are based on a hypothetical well-managed farming operation, which is described in detail.

The cost study for processing tomatoes can be downloaded for free at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu.
Net profits are calculated relative to a range of yields and prices. Monthly cash costs, hourly equipment costs, operational annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs are included. The authors received input and reviews from UC Cooperative Extension vegetable crops advisors and other agricultural associates.

The new study, “Sample Costs to Produce Processing Tomatoes in the San Joaquin Valley South, Fresno County – 2018,” can be downloaded for free from the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu. Sample cost of production studies for many other commodities are also available.

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the study, contact Jeremy Murdock at the Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or jmmurdock@ucdavis.edu, or Tom Turini, UCCE farm advisor for Fresno County, at taturini@ucanr.edu.

Posted on Friday, March 23, 2018 at 6:43 AM

California state senator to honor University of California 4-H program in Mexicali

California State Senator Ben Hueso will honor California and Baja California 4-H with a resolution in the State Senate at 2 p.m. April 2 to recognize the cross-border team that established a 4-H Club in Mexicali, Baja Mexico, in January 2017.

Last year, UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston signed a memorandum of understanding with the Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Development, Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras, to offer UC's 4-H expertise to youth south of the border. The agreement increases the academic, scientific, technological and cultural cooperation that are part of UC President Janet Napolitano's Mexico Initiative.

UC ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston, left, and Baja California Secretary of Agriculture Development Manuel Vallodolid Seamanduras shake hands in January 2017 after signing an agreement to establish a 4-H Club in Mexicali.

Senator Hueso's resolution attests to the value of building relationships as a means of cooperative engagement between Mexico and California on shared concerns, such as drought and global climate change. The resolution notes that the creation of a 4-H Club in Mexicali is an inspiring reminder that the need for education doesn't stop at the border. 

Senator Hueso represents the 40th District, which includes parts of San Diego County and all of Imperial County, running along the entire border between California and Mexico.

What:

Resolution honoring the establishment of a 4-H Club in Mexicali, Baja Mexico.

Where:

California State Senate
Senate Chambers
Sacramento, CA 95814

When:

2 p.m., Monday, April 2, 2018

Who:

Manuel Vallodolid Seamaduras, Secretary of Agriculture Development in the State of Baja California, Mexico (Secretaría de Desarrollo Agropecuario del Estado de México - SEDAGRO)

Hortencia Medellin Acosta, Director of Rural Entrepreneurship, Mexicali, Baja California

Carlos Orozco Riesgo
Member of the UC ANR 4-H Multicultural and Community Engagement Advisory Committee
Former Undersecretary of SEDAGRO

Belem Avendaño Ruiz
Director of Inspection, health and safety SEDAGRO

Guillermo Gonzalez Rubio
Director, Livestock health department SEDAGRO

Agustin Manuel Velazquez Bustamante
Legal Advisor SEDAGRO

Mark Bell, Ph.D., Vice provost, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources

Shannon Horrillo, Ph.D., 4-H Youth Development statewide director

Lupita Fabregas, Ph.D., 4-H Youth Development assistant director for diversity and expansion

Claudia Diaz Carrasco, 4-H Youth Development advisor, Riverside & San Bernardino, Calif.

Contact:

(English) Jeannette Warnert, UC ANR Strategic Communications, (559) 240-9850, jewarnert@ucanr.edu


(Spanish) Ricardo Vela, UC News and Information Outreach in Spanish, (951) 660-9887, Ricardo.vela@ucr.edu

Posted on Thursday, March 22, 2018 at 11:07 AM
Focus Area Tags: 4-H

UC ANR to host exchange in Northern California promoting business partnerships across the Americas

Representatives from North, Central and South America met in Florida for the 8th Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship in December 2017.

The tenth Americas Competitiveness Exchange on Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ACE) will be held for the first time in Northern California in October. To promote partnerships, the exchange will bring economic and political leaders from across the Americas and beyond to visit Northern California's world-class innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems, and to experience the best California has to offer in food, wine and local products. The milestone “ACE 10” is sponsored by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, Central Valley AgPlus and other California partners.

From Oct. 21 to 27, approximately 50 high-level economic and political leaders from across the Americas, selected through a competitive application process, will participate in ACE 10, which will highlight innovation and entrepreneurial activity.

ACE 10 program themes include:

o Improving health: Bioscience, food safety, healthy food access and nutrition

o Feeding the world: Sustainable food systems & communities, food security, ag tech

o Maximizing resources: Resource management, water and energy, waste-to-energy uses

o Fostering resiliency: Environmental sciences, mobility, global leadership

o Innovation ecosystems: Innovation communities, supporting entrepreneurs, financing ventures

“The University of California is pleased to host the milestone ACE 10 in Northern California to highlight our world-class innovation and entrepreneurship that drives local and regional economic development,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “We look forward to building new and lasting partnerships across the Americas.”

The ACE 10 program will start in San Francisco at UCSF's renowned biotech research center and start-up incubator in Mission Bay, followed by a visit to NASA Ames Research Center. The tour includes stops in Santa Cruz, Monterey, Salinas, Fresno, and Davis, and will conclude in Sacramento. Site visits will focus on food and agriculture, water and energy technologies, life and environmental sciences and advances in manufacturing.

“It's a tremendous honor and important opportunity for Northern California to host the 10th Americas Competiveness Exchange,” said Valley Vision's chief executive Bill Mueller. “Hosting this global delegation gives California not just the chance to showcase our assets, but also provides an unmatched platform to build global economic and research alliances.”

Gabriel Youtsey, UC ANR chief innovation officer agrees. “Innovation and entrepreneurship are California's biggest ‘exports' to the world and we aim to set off the next wave of innovation in our state's distinct areas of strength: food, agriculture and life sciences.”

The agenda is designed to provide the delegates opportunities for interactive learning, sharing of best practices, networking and partnership development as they travel from the coast to the inland areas of the state. “During the tours, our visitors will discover opportunities and create new collaborations that will continue to flourish long after they return to their home countries,” Humiston said.

ACE toured the Arizona-Southern California corridor in 2016. The most recent exchange, ACE 8, was held in Florida in December 2017. ACE 9 will be held in Israel and Germany this June where the baton will be passed to Humiston to take lead on ACE 10.

Valley Vision—a civic leadership organization headquartered in Sacramento that is committed to building a prosperous and sustainable future—is a co-host for ACE 10, along with UC ANR. The Northern California leadership team also includes California State University, Fresno and California State University, Chico; the cities of Davis, Fresno, Sacramento, Salinas, San Francisco and Santa Cruz; Bay Area Metro and Monterey County. The successful bid to host ACE 10 is an outgrowth of the Central Valley AgPlus food and beverage manufacturing consortium.

The principal ACE convening institutions are the U.S. Department of Commerce, through the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA); the U.S. Department of State; the Government of Argentina;and the Organization of American States (OAS) as the Technical Secretariat for the Inter-American Competitiveness Network (RIAC). ACE is a core component of the Work Plan of the Inter-American Competitiveness Network.

Past examples of mutually beneficial partnerships developed by ACE exchanges include:

• Research centers and co-ops such as Organic Valley in Wisconsin and Escuela Superior Integral Lecheria (ESIL) of Villa María in Cordoba, Argentina, working on business and export development in the dairy industry;

• Young entrepreneurs from UNITEC Honduras interacting and collaborating with the entrepreneurship ecosystems led by UC San Diego;

• An industrial internship program between Canada and Mexico through Mitacs, a Canadian not-for-profit research and training organization, and Mexico's National Council of Science and Technology (CONACYT).

Posted on Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at 12:16 PM
Focus Area Tags: Innovation

Roof rats unnerve farm workers, damage orchard crops

Roof rats are causing damage in nut and tree fruit orchards.

Monitor for rodent activity and use bait stations before the growing season to prevent problems, UC ANR scientists recommend.

Roof rats are running rampant in California orchards this year, according to UC Agriculture and Natural Resources scientists.

“In pistachio and other nut orchards, roof rats are burrowing and nesting in the ground where they're chewing on irrigation lines, causing extensive damage,” said Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension advisor. “They are also nesting in citrus trees, feeding on the fruit and terrifying field workers when they jump out as people are picking fruit. The chewing pests are also girdling citrus limbs, causing branch dieback.” 

Rats like to eat fresh avocados.
The wet winter of 2017 led to lots of weed seeds for rats to eat. “Last season, rats were also nibbling on pomegranates, avocados, and other fruit and nut crops, rendering them unmarketable,” Long said.

Holes in the ground around the base of pistachio trees throughout a Yolo County orchard puzzled the grower.

“We looked for ground squirrels, but never saw any,” Long said. “We set up game cameras, but only got birds and rabbits. We put rodent bait in the holes, but the digging didn't stop.”

Long, the pest detective, cracked the case by consulting Niamh Quinn, UC Cooperative Extension human-wildlife interactions advisor based in Irvine. “She informed us that the damage we were seeing was from roof rats.”

Burrowing roof rats sounds like an oxymoron. While roof rats generally don't burrow in urban environments, their country cousins have been known to burrow.

“It's not true that they don't burrow,” Quinn said. “When I worked as staff research associate for Roger Baldwin, UC Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist, that is mostly what we studied, burrowing roof rats in orchards.”

Roof rats are nocturnal animals that climb in trees and burrow underground.

Control measures

Baldwin said, “It seems to be a good year for rats in a number of different areas and crops throughout the state. I've received more questions and comments about rats this year than perhaps the last 10 years combined. As for bait application, putting bait down burrow systems for rats doesn't usually work too well, so I'm not surprised that approach didn't work. Growers will likely have better luck with bait stations in the trees.”

Because the rats climb, Baldwin suggests attaching bait stations to tree branches.

“In addition, elevating the bait stations will eliminate access to bait for many protected mammal species, such as kangaroo rats,” Long said. “The bait diphacinone grain can be purchased from some ag commissioners' offices. This is what Roger Baldwin said they tested and it worked.”

As for the bait stations, they should be designed so that there isn't any spillage for nontarget animals to eat, Long said. 

When roof rat outbreaks occur, rodenticides are often needed to prevent crop damage. However, timing is critical as diphacinone use is highly restrictive and not allowed during the growing season, which is beginning as the weather warms. 

“Check the product label for application instructions,” Long reminds growers. “It's the law.”

Because roof rats climb, UC Cooperative Extension wildlife specialist Roger Baldwin recommends attaching bait stations to tree branches.

Identifying the pest

Roof rat holes are typically 3 to 4 inches in diameter.
One way for growers to identify whether they have roof rats is by the size of the burrows. The nocturnal pests are active above ground in trees and below ground.

“Roof rats can forage away from their nest, so you won't likely find signs of their activity, such as rat droppings outside their burrow, to help identify them,” Long said.

Ground squirrels are active during the day, so they are more likely to be seen, dig holes about 4 inches in diameter and forage above ground near their burrows. Vole and mouse holes are 1- to 2-inches in diameter. Roof rat holes are typically 3 to 4 inches in diameter and might have nut shells in front of them, for example pistachio or almond shells. Rabbits will feed on seedling crops, but do not dig burrows.

Ground squirrels are active during the day and their burrows are 4 inches or more in diameter.
Roof rats are prolific breeders that reproduce year-round, according to Baldwin. Females typically have three to five litters per year with five to eight young, enabling their populations to rapidly increase. The omnivores feed on a wide variety of plant and animal materials, allowing them to adapt to any environment, including urban and agricultural lands.

“Rats are sneaky and hard to spot,” Long said. “If you see damage, including digging in the soil but no wildlife, suspect rats.”

For more information on controlling roof rats, download Quinn and Baldwin's free UC ANR publication 8513, Managing Roof Rats and Deer Mice in Nut and Fruit Orchards at http://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8513.

For more information about ground squirrels, download the free UC IPM Best Management Guidelines http://www.groundsquirrelbmp.com or UC IPM Pest Note http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/PESTNOTES/pn7438.html.

 

Posted on Friday, March 9, 2018 at 3:11 PM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture Pest Management

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