Most breeds of sheep grow their body hair ... normally referred to as wool ... continuously, so typical management of a sheep flock calls for shearing them at least once per year. An average adult sheep in the United Sates produces 7.3 lbs. of wool annually. Some sheep producers prefer to shear their sheep prior to lambing, but at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center this is NOT done to allow the sheep to retain their wool for winter warmth. Also, for HREC, late spring/early summer shearing makes more sense to prepare the sheep for warm weather and also reduce the risk of "fly-strike".
So, an alternative management scheme is to "Tag" the ewes just prior to lambing. This is a quick modification to full shearing ... where only the wool around the vulva area and udder is removed. In some sheep-producing regions of the world this technique is called Crotching or Crutching. The removal of wool from the crutch area of the pregnant ewe keeps the area dry, reduces the risk of fly-strike, and allows cleaner and easier access to the udder by the soon-to-arrive lambs.
Here you see HREC's contracted shearer "tagging" a ewe on the shearing platform in HREC's main lambing barn.
The western fence lizard is known to be the primary host of immature western black-legged ticks in many areas of California where the tick and lizard co-occur. Come to the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center this next Monday evening and find out more about lizards, ticks, and lyme disease from Dr. Robert S. Lane, professor emeritus of Medical Entolomogy at UC Berkeley. Dr. Lane's seminar presentation is titled "Lyme Disease in California: a tale of woodlands, nymphs, and their significant others".
Dr. Lane has conducted over thirty years of research here at HREC and throughout the North Coast on the ecology, epidemiology, and prevention of tick-borne diseases ... particularly the spirochete (bacterium) that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne infection in the United States and in other temperate regions in the Northern Hemisphere.
So come and hear from Dr. Lane this next Monday, November 25th, at 7:00PM at the Rod Shippey Hall, located at HREC, and find out why it is good to have western fence lizards around in relation to the prevalence of the Lyme disease spirochete. The seminar is FREE and open to the public ... light refreshments will be provided.
This next Monday evening, November 25th, the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center will host yet another public seminar. Dr. Robert S. Lane, professor emeritus of Medical Entomology at UC Berkeley, will be the presenter with his "Lyme Disease in California: A tale of Woodlands, Nymphs, and their Significant Others" presentation.
Dr. Lane has conducted over thirty years of field research here at HREC and throughout the North Coast on the ecology, epidemiology, and prevention of tick-borne diseases... particularly the spirochete (bacterium) that causes Lyme disease. Lyme disease is the most commonly reported vector-borne infection in the United States and in other temperate regions of the Northern Hemisphere.
Dr. Lane's broad objectives of this research are intended to clarify the transmission cycles of the Lyme Disease spirochete and other emerging bacterial disease agents and to determine what behavioral and environmental factors place people at elevated risk for acquiring such infections. We hope to see you at HREC this next MONDAY at 7:00PM for this fascinating yet FREE public seminar.
Integrated Pest Management (IPM) is an eocsystem-based strategy that focuses on long-term prevention of pests or their damage through a combination of techniques such as biological control, habitat manipulation, modification of cultural practices, and use of resistant varieties. Pesticides are used only after monitoring indicates they are needed according to established guidelines ... and treatments are made with the goal of removing only the target organism. Pest control materials are selected and applied in a manner that minimizes risks to human health, beneficial and nontarget organisms, and the environment.
Last Friday the UCCE (Lake and Mendocino), Mendocino County Dept. of Agriculture, the Lake County Winegrape Commission, the Mendocino WineGrowers Inc., and the Mendocino College Agricultural Dept. held an IPM Seminar targeted towards the Lake and Mendocino Counties' viticulture industry. Current topics such as controlling nematodes in vineyaards, updates on Virginia Creeper Leafhopper and grape vine red blotch, aquatic weed control in irrigation ponds, and impacts of illegal pesticide use in cannibis cultivation kept the audience engaged.
The IPM Seminar was held at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center's Rod Shippey Hall which was packed with the 110 or so participants. Here you see some of the partipants enjoying a homemade hot-soup lunch outside of the Rod Shippey Hall.
After many days of preparation, four days of USBCHA sheep dog trials (three days of "pro" dogs and one day of "novice" dogs), the Vassar Barn and trial run field are almost back to a normal, quiet state. However, for the four days of competition the site was bustling with activity. Over 40 dog handlers, an incredible breakfast/lunch 4-H crew and food booth, and probably over a hundred spectators made for a busy event here at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.
Here are a couple photos ... one of a typical border collie during a trial run (no ...the dog is not suffering or overly tired as the long, dangling tonque is typical of border collies in action and a way to cool their body down). The second photo shows a dog moving the group of four sheep towards the handler.