- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
He's asked this question a lot.
"Does colony collapse disorder (CCD) still exist?"
Eric Mussen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology and Nematology at UC Davis says "yes."
But the winter losses are being attributed to many other causes. "Less than 10 percent of the losses are now attributed to CCD," Mussen points out.
CCD surfaced in the fall of 2006 when beekeepers starting seeing their colonies decimated. They'd open the hive, only to find the queen, the brood and the food stores. The adult workers? Gone.
"CCD still exists and it appears as though in cases where multiple other stresses combine...
- Author: John Stumbos
- Contributor: Aubrey White
It's not every day that you can take a guided tour of a 100-year-long scientific experiment, but that's what is happening May 28 as UC Davis hosts a field day at the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility.
The 72-acre “Century Experiment” at Russell Ranch is exploring the long-term impacts of crop rotation, farming systems, and inputs of water, nitrogen, carbon, and other elements on agricultural sustainability. Researchers document trends affecting crop yields, soil quality, profitability, environmental impacts, and efficiency in use of limited resources.
“We look at both organic and conventional systems,” says Russell Ranch...
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
Memorial Day weekend, traditionally considered the beginning of California's camping season, is right around the corner. If you are preparing for an upcoming trip, you can help protect California's forests by buying firewood from a local source near the campsite rather than bringing it with you.
When people move wood from place to place, they may also be moving invasive insects and diseases that threaten California's landscape and wildland trees. The goldspotted oak borer, which is devastating native oaks in San Diego, likely hitchhiked from Arizona in firewood. The polyphagous shothole borer, walnut twig beetle and thousand cankers disease, and the pathogen causing sudden oak disease, all continue to spread to new areas on...
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Every few years, when weather conditions are just right, California wheat farmers suffer devastating outbreaks of stripe rust, a fungal infection that can rob up to 50 percent of the crop's yield. Rust spores are typically carried on the wind from infected volunteer cereal plants and come to rest on the leaves of wheat, triticale and other cereal crops. The fungi grow just under the plant epidermis and tiny structures penetrate the plant to very harmful effect.
Serious stripe rust epidemics periodically claim the yield of grain growing around the world, including many places where a crop failure can mean widespread hunger in a local population.
Over time, researchers, plant breeders and farmers have found the best way to...
- Author: Mary Louise Flint
Many retail nurseries and garden centers sell lady beetles for controlling aphids in gardens and landscapes. Gardeners often ask, “Does releasing lady beetles really work?”
Lady beetles sold at nurseries for aphid control are convergent lady beetles, named for the converging white marks on its thorax. Suppliers collect beetles from large overwintering aggregations in California's foothills and mountains. Many other species of lady beetles occur naturally in California landscapes but don't aggregate in the mountains and aren't sold commercially.
University of California research has demonstrated that lady beetle releases can effectively control aphids in a limited landscape or garden area if properly handled...