- Author: Stephanie Parreira
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, and 1073 people in California were poisoned by pesticides in 2014 alone. Each year since 1962, National Poison Prevention Week has taken place during the third week of March, to raise awareness about avoiding these tragedies. No one wants their workers or family members to experience illness or death from pesticide exposure, so the UC IPM Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) would like to bring special attention to preventing pesticide poisoning this week. The program also published a new edition of The Safe and...
As if one more example of our interconnected world was needed - the depletion of an aquifer 8,000 miles away is likely to impact on alfalfa growers in Seeley, CA or Pasco, Washington.
Figure 1. Compressed hay awaiting export, Long Beach, CA
Seeley and Pasco (the Imperial Valley of California and the Columbia River Basin of Washington, respectively) are major producers of hay for export. Exports are a key aspect of hay markets in the entire western US, and have buoyed hay prices in the past two years, as domestic dairies have been in an economic slump. Exports have grown considerably the past 10 years (
- Author: Rachael Freeman Long
Fiddleneck is everywhere this year, and common groundsel is common too! As winter annuals, these weeds are early-season plants. They tend to be shallow rooted, and do best in wet conditions like we've been having with all our rainfall this season.
Colorful but Deadly. Fiddleneck (Amsinckia spp.) may look bright and colorful on our hillsides, but this weed, as well as groundsel (Senecio vulgaris), are toxic to livestock, because they contain toxins known as pyrrolizidine alkaloids (PAs) that affect the liver. Cattle and horses are most sensitive to PAs; pigs and chickens are less sensitive, and sheep, goats and turkeys are the least sensitive. Younger animals are more susceptible than...
- Author: Stephanie Parreira
Invasive species are plants, animals, fungi or microbes that are not native to an area, but can quickly establish, multiply, and become pests. These species can hurt the environment, agricultural production, and even human health in some instances (e.g. the mosquito Aedes aegypti). According to the USDA, invasive species are responsible for $137 billion per year in economic losses in the United States.
In agricultural systems, invasive species may reduce yields, render crops unmarketable, or make rangeland unfavorable to livestock. In natural areas, they may squeeze out native species, change soil quality, and increase the frequency or intensity of...
- Author: Michelle Leinfelder-Miles
A consultant recently brought in some alfalfa plants to get another opinion on why growth was resuming slowly this spring. The field is located in Merced County and is a sandy loam soil. The field is in its fifth year, is glyphosate-tolerant, and has traditionally produced high-quality hay. About 5 acres of a 40-acre field are affected.
There are many reasons why growth may resume slowly this spring. The obvious reason, of course, is that we received a lot of rain this winter. With that rain has come associated problems from cool, anoxic (lack of oxygen) soil conditions. A previous blog article describes things to...