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

News Feed

From superweeds to Pierce’s disease: California Agriculture reports on fighting diseases and pests

This issue of California Agriculture focuses on pests and diseases.
California agriculture is unique and diverse — and so are its pest and disease problems. Take herbicide resistance. While in the rest of the country herbicide resistance problems center on broadleaf weeds in corn, soy and wheat, in California the greatest problems are found in grasses and sedges in orchards, vineyards and rice fields. Herbicide resistance among California crops also varies widely. In vegetable fields, for instance, resistance is not a serious problem and is unlikely to become one.

An article in the current issue of California Agriculture, the peer-reviewed journal from the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, examines the spread of herbicide-resistant weeds in California and shows how UC researchers and Cooperative Extension specialists are helping growers to understand and manage the factors that drive it.

Five more articles in this special issue of California Agriculture highlight the work of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources on pests and diseases that threaten the state's people, agriculture and natural resources. The commitments to research and outreach profiled in the issue include the Endemic and Invasive Pests Strategic Initiative, the UC Statewide IPM Program and several successful collaborations with regulatory agencies and the agricultural community.

European grapevine moth
Excluding pests and pathogens

Diagnostics in animal health: How UC helps exclude and minimize impact of livestock pathogens

Whether it's pinkeye, bluetongue or poisonous plants, UC maintains a strong network of laboratories and field experts to protect livestock health in California.

Plant health: How diagnostic networks and interagency partnerships protect plant systems from pests and pathogens

Regional alliances of federal, state and university plant diagnostic labs work together to identify and control disease spread.

Managing newly established pests

Growers, scientists and regulators collaborate on European grapevine moth program

A regulatory program coordinated by government agencies, scientists and growers successfully contained an infestation that threatened California vineyards.

Pierce's disease symptoms on grapevine.
Cooperative efforts controlled spread of Pierce's disease and found genetic resistance

The 1999 arrival in California of a new Pierce's disease vector, the glassy-winged sharpshooter, posed a major new threat to California vineyards and orchards. A 15-year collaborative effort has successfully contained the sharpshooter and led to major improvements in our understanding of the biology of Pierce's disease, including promising advances in the development of disease-resistant grapevine lines.

Maintaining long-term management

Herbicide-resistant weeds challenge some signature cropping systems

Little or no crop rotation and limited herbicide options have contributed to the rise of herbicide-resistant weeds in orchards, vineyards and rice fields.

Over 35 years, integrated pest management has reduced pest risks and pesticide use

The UC Integrated Pest Management Program helps provide management solutions for invasive pests that destabilize IPM programs in agricultural and urban landscapes.

E-edition research article

The cost of the glassy-winged sharpshooter to California grape, citrus and nursery producers

The spread of the invasive insect in the late 1990s led to increased costs and changes in agricultural practices for grape, citrus and nursery producers.

These articles and the entire October-December 2014 issue are available at http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.edu.

California Agriculture is the University of California's peer-reviewed journal of research in agricultural, human and natural resources. For a free subscription, go to http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.edu or write to calag@ucanr.edu.

University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is the bridge between local issues and the power of UC research. UC ANR's advisors, specialists and faculty bring practical, science-based answers to Californians. Visit ucanr.edu to learn more.



Sharing successful agritourism marketing ideas among goals of April 8 summit

The agritourism industry is finding new ways to connect consumers with farms.

Visiting a farm to pick fruit is a fun family activity and an exciting way to teach kids how food is grown. The money spent by farm visitors also helps keep farmers in business. As farmers find more innovative ways to pique the interest of consumers, agritourism continues to expand in California.

People who host a farm stand, U-pick, farm stays, tours, on-farm classes, fairs, festivals, pumpkin patches, Christmas tree farms, winery weddings, orchard dinners, youth camps, barn dances, hunting, fishing, guest ranch or any activity associated with a farm, are considered part of California's agritourism business.

Everyone involved in California agritourism is invited to share ideas and make plans together at a Statewide Agritourism Summit on Wednesday, April 8, at the Heidrick Agricultural History Center in Woodland. The day-long event will be hosted by the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Cooperative Extension and collaborating partners.

UC's small farm program and Cooperative Extension advisors provide resources for farmers to add agritourism activities to supplement their farm income. UC also hosts a directory of California agritourism operations to visit at http://calagtour.org.

“Many California agricultural producers host great opportunities for the enjoyment and education of the public and are ready for visitors, but challenges persist in most regions,” said Holly George, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Plumas and Sierra counties and leader of the UC Nature and Agricultural Tourism Workgroup. “Groups working on agritourism are thriving in some locales and struggling in other areas.”

“Communication and collaboration beyond the ‘farm trail' group appears to be part of the solution to success,” said George, who is one of the summit organizers. “We hope this one-day Agritourism Summit will encourage and strengthen regional and cross-regional working relationships among agritourism operators, organizers, regulators, educators and general tourism promoters throughout California.”

Farm Visitors ride a horse-drawn wagon at Full Belly Farm Hoe Down Harvest Festival"
People who should attend include agritourism operators and associations, agritourism regulators, agricultural associations and educators, tourism marketing and economic development professionals, county and state government staff, elected officials and anyone else involved in California agritourism.

This participatory event will be 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., with lunch provided. Participants are invited to bring marketing and organizational information to display and share.

The goals of the summit are to:

  • Build awareness and understanding of successful local and regional networks that benefit agricultural producers and communities, and connect agritourism operators, the larger tourism community and county staff and officials
  • Promote sharing of successful agritourism activities and marketing efforts
  • Encourage and assist agritourism producers to collaborate with others in their region
  • Expand the reach of regional efforts to market agritourism to the public statewide
  • Generate a voice for agritourism at a legislative level
  • Initiate plans for a statewide framework for agritourism communication and collaboration

This project is funded in part by the California Department of Food and Agriculture's Specialty Crop Block Grant program. Additional sponsors are Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (WSARE) for California, Sierra Nevada Conservancy, and California Rangeland Conservation Coalition.

Funding is available through these generous sponsors to assist with travel costs for a limited number of agricultural producers and agricultural educators who could not otherwise attend the summit. For information about travel assistance, please contact Penny Leff at paleff@ucdavis.edu or (530) 752-7779.

For more information, visit the Statewide Agritourism Summit website athttp://ucanr.edu/agtoursummit2015info. Registration costs $20 until April 3, 2015, or $30 at the door. Register online at http://ucanr.edu/agtoursummit2015.    


Posted on Tuesday, February 3, 2015 at 9:08 AM

Allen-Diaz honored by range management professionals

Barbara Allen-Diaz receives Frederick G. Renner Award. From left, Amy Ganguli, David Diaz, Allen-Diaz, Fee Busby and Maria Fernancez-Gimenez.
The Society for Range Management bestowed its highest honor, the Frederic G. Renner Award, on Barbara Allen-Diaz, UC vice president for the Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, at the society's annual meeting today (Feb. 2) in Sacramento. A tremendous milestone, Allen-Diaz is the first female SRM member to receive the award in the society's 68-year history.

The premier award is given annually to SRM members who have sustained accomplishments or contributions to rangeland management during the last ten years.

“Barbara has a record of outstanding research productivity that has affected the understanding and management of California rangelands and has had global impacts,” said Amy Ganguli, assistant professor of range science at New Mexico State University.

“Barbara is also a well-regarded educator who has mentored several graduate students and young professionals who are making significant contributions to rangeland and natural resource management,” said Ganguli, who, along with Fee Busby, Utah State University wildland resources professor, nominated her for the award.

This is not the first time Allen-Diaz has been recognized by her peers for her research on the effects of livestock grazing on natural resources, oak woodlands and ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. The national society honored her with its Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001, and the following year the California chapter named her Range Manager of the Year.

In 2007, Allen-Diaz was among 2,000 scientists recognized for their work on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change when the Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the IPCC and Vice President Al Gore. Allen-Diaz's contributions focused on the effects of climate change on rangeland species and landscapes. She has authored more than 170 research articles and presentations. She has been an active member of the Society for Range Management, serving on its board of directors and on various government panels.

Allen-Diaz, who has served as UC ANR's vice president since 2011, is also a tenured UC Berkeley faculty member in the College of Natural Resources and currently holds the prestigious Russell Rustici Chair in Rangeland Management. She has been with the University of California since 1986.  She earned her bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees at UC Berkeley.

Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 9:53 AM

New UC studies outline costs of growing tomatoes under furrow and sub-surface drip irrigation

Planting processing tomatoes on a West Side San Joaquin Valley farm.
Two new costs and returns studies for growing transplanted processing tomatoes under furrow irrigation and sub-surface drip irrigation (SDI) in the Sacramento Valley and northern delta are available from the University of California Cooperative Extension.  

The studies focus primarily on production costs in the counties of Yolo, Solano, Sacramento and San Joaquin. The two separate studies list estimated production costs for growing transplanted processing tomatoes under furrow irrigation and under sub-surface drip irrigation on 60-inch beds.

The major differences between the two companion studies are inputs related to irrigation and tillage and from yield outcome. 

Each analysis is based upon a hypothetical farm operation using practices common to the region. Input and reviews were provided by growers, pest control advisers and other agricultural associates. Assumptions used to identify current costs for individual crops, material inputs, cash and non-cash overhead are described. A ranging analysis table shows profits over a range of prices and yields. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.

These two studies –“Sample Costs to Produce Processing Tomatoes, Sub-Surface Drip Irrigated (SDI) in the Sacramento Valley & Northern Delta - 2014” and “Sample Costs to Produce Processing Tomatoes, Furrow Irrigated in the Sacramento Valley & Northern Delta - 2014” – and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available and can be downloaded from the Agriculture and Resource Economics Department website, http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu. Some archived studies are also available on the website at http://coststudies.ucdavis.edu/archived.php

For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the study contact Karen Klonsky, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis, at (530) 752-3589, klonsky@primal.ucdavis.edu; or Don Stewart, staff research associate, (530) 752-4651, destewart@ucdavis.edu.

The studies were prepared by Gene Miyao, UCCE advisor, Yolo and Solano Counties; Brenna Aegerter, UCCE advisor, San Joaquin County; Karen Klonsky and Don Stewart.

Posted on Monday, February 2, 2015 at 8:34 AM

Media advisory: Range managers to meet, Temple Grandin to speak in Sacramento

WHAT: Rangeland managers, livestock producers and scientists from across the country will gather in Sacramento to discuss "Managing Diversity" at the 68th Society for Range Management Annual Meeting. Topics of discussion will include invasive species, wildland fires, urban-rural interface, water, water quality regulation, drought, livestock distribution, rangeland conversion and wildlife habitat.
VISUALS: Several tours of grazing sites will be offered in the Bay Area (Jan. 31 & Feb.1) and in the Sacramento Valley (Feb. 4).
WHEN: Jan. 31 - Feb. 6, 2015
WHERE: Sacramento Convention Center, 1400 J Street, Sacramento, CA 95814
WHO: Temple Grandin, rangeland managers, livestock producers, University of California scientists

Rangeland managers, livestock producers and scientists from across the country will gather in Sacramento to discuss "Managing Diversity" at the 68th Society for Range Management Annual Meeting.
On Monday, Feb. 2, Temple Grandin, a professor of animal science at Colorado State University and livestock-handling equipment designer, will discuss how people with different approaches to problem-solving can complement each other's skills to do innovative research and solve problems.

"I am a visual thinker and another person may be a more quantitative mathematical thinker," said Grandin, who is autistic. "My talk will help both research scientists and people in the field to understand each other and work together more effectively. I will also discuss how visual thinking helped me understand animal behavior."

On Wednesday, Feb. 4, several tours are being offered:

  • Grazing for National Security and Conservation Tour
  • Hedgerow Farms and Stone Ranch: Ranching with Restoration
  • UC Sierra Foothill Research and Extension Center
  • California Rangelands: Earth, Air, Fire and Water - and Regulations
  • Invasive Species Management and Challenges
  • Targeted Grazing Tour
  • Grazing for Habitat Improvement and Conservation – Refuge Land
  • Introduction to the National Vegetation Classification and its Value for Range Management
  • Ecological Site Descriptions in Blue Oak Woodland

The schedule of events is at http://rangelands.org/sacramento2015/schedule.html. For tour details, click the "Training & Tours" tab at the top of the page.  There's a mobile app that contains the conference schedule. The app also works on computers. To download the app, visit https://guidebook.com/guide/20297/ and type in "SRM2015" for the redemption code.

To obtain a press pass to conference events, contact Sheila Barry, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, at sbarry@ucanr.edu or (408) 282-3106.

For more than 100 years, University of California Cooperative Extension researchers and educators have been drawing on local expertise to conduct agricultural, environmental, economic, youth development and nutrition research that helps California thrive. UC Cooperative Extension is part of the University of California's systemwide Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. Learn more at ucanr.edu.

Posted on Friday, January 30, 2015 at 9:34 AM
Tags: livestock (3), rangeland (2)

Next 5 stories | Last story

Webmaster Email: jewarnert@ucanr.edu