Neonicotinoid pesticides are at the center of a global storm. Implicated in the mysterious deaths of honeybees, neonics (as they are often called for short) were banned in Europe for two years in 2014. In Canada, neonics have been banned in Ontario and several other cities and counties.
In the U.S., President Obama this year asked for a detailed report to determine the best ways to protect pollinators. His request asks the Environmental Protection Agency to assess the effect of pesticides, including neonicotinoids, on bee and other pollinator health and “take action, as appropriate,...
The University of California Master Gardener Program offers simple tips for saving water in home landscaping in a six-part video series that debuts today, Aug. 24.
In the first episode, embedded below, UC Master Gardener director Missy Gable tells viewers about prioritizing plants in the landscape when making irrigation decisions. Because of the four-year drought, most California residents are required to reduce their water use 25 to 36 percent. Gable recommends making trees and shrubs a top watering priority in your home landscape because they take longer to become established and are more costly to replace, while inexpensive and easily replaced annual plants are a lower water...
- Author: Maddie Herndon, UC ANR Cooperative Extension intern, Kern County
There is a mysterious sort of feeling that comes with being in a vineyard very early in the morning. It's tranquil and cool; it deceives you into thinking the temperatures won't be sweltering in a mere few hours. Surrounding alfalfa fields sweeten the air, and the sunlight that soon envelops the valley is soft. Though it's early, there is an industrious hum beneath the serenity. Birds are chirping, bugs are crawling, plants are growing, and already, workers are beginning their day.
Maybe it's the elusive feeling of belonging to something bigger than yourself, of being a part of the community whose work is rarely seen up close and even less frequently understood by the majority of society. It's a feeling of being connected to the...
- Author: Brad Hooker
The gauge reads 105 degrees in California's state capital as this article is being drafted. The four-year drought has baked itself into the landscape, with dead lawns crunching under feet and trees wilting under the heat, and has so far stolen a year's worth of precipitation. Deprived of moisture, the state has lost to wildfires three times the acreage of an average year. The once green valleys are now murky fishbowls of haze.
The total cost to the state, according to a new report released Tuesday by the
Research has shown that hedgerows of native California flowering shrubs planted along the edge of a crop field helps keep crop pests under control by increasing the activity of natural enemies.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources and UC Berkeley researchers analyzing hedgerows in Yolo County have found that not only are farmers diversifying their land by planting hedgerows, but those hedgerows are attracting natural enemies that provide economic benefits.
The two-year study of hedgerows planted adjacent to processing tomatoes showed higher numbers of natural enemies such as lady beetles (aka lady bugs) and fewer crop pests compared with conventionally managed field crops edged with residual weeds.