- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
- Contributor: Patrick Cavanaugh
The recent alfalfa and forage meeting at Kearney attracted about 100 growers and pest control advisors.
Shannon Mueller, UC Cooperative Extension advisor and director in Fresno County, agronomy, alfalfa, hay, forage crops, honeybees, seed oil crops, and dry beans, indicated that grower knowledge of the local pest and disease pressure and selection of an alfalfa variety with desired resistance qualities is an effective IPM tool for managing pests and disease in alfalfa crops.
Dan Putnam, extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, agronomy, alfalfa and forage crops, alternative field crops, cellulosic energy crops, crop ecology, shared that some of the nitrogen produced by alfalfa (a legume) remains and is available for subsequent crops. Current research has a goal of developing alfalfa’s nitrogen credit to help manage nitrogen fertilizer supplementation for non-legume rotational crops (like wheat). Putnam also shared the potential value of sorghum as a summer irrigated forage crop for dairy and livestock production that requires less water and nitrogen as compared to corn (California’s main forage crop). Research on the sorghum is ongoing, with benefits and limitations being identified.
Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Joaquin, Contra Costa, Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties, crop production, soil and water quality, the Delta, discussed concerns and management strategies related to the co-existence of Roundup Ready (RR) alfalfa and conventional alfalfa. Gene flow between seed producing alfalfa fields has been observed. Gene flow between hay producing alfalfa fields is mainly prevented by management barriers, particularly the cutting of hay at a stage that minimizes any seed development. Best practices to allow growing and separating both RR and conventional alfalfa were discussed. Additionally, growers can use test strips that allow easy and quick detection al RR alfalfa if customers do not want any RR alfalfa.
Jeffery Dahlberg, director at Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center, plant breeding, agronomy, field crops, sorghum, plant production, plant genetics, discussed sorghum variety trials designed to assess many characteristics, including water use, fertility, forage quality and yield. Dahlberg indicated that sorghum serves as a grain and forage crop for livestock, and biofuel crop.
Robert Hutmacher, cooperative extension specialist and director at West Side Research & Extension Center, cotton production issues, water stress, nutrient management, indicated that water conservation is a high priority. Hutmacher highlighted water timing and reduction research that indicated that although yields are lowered with less water, acceptable sorghum crop yields can still be obtained. Yields of grain sorghum were impacted less than yields of forage sorghum with reduced water use.
Steven Wright, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare and Kings counties, cotton, small grains, weed control, discussed how nitrogen/wheat variety management strategies help maximize both yield and protein levels while minimizing ground water contamination in growing areas.
Larry Godfrey, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in the Department of Entomology, UC Davis, entomology, discussed the Blue Alfalfa Aphid, which caused extensive economic damage throughout California last year. The Blue Alfalfa Aphid was a major problem in the 1970s, and a minor problem in the interim. The pest management materials that were effective historically were not effective last year. New pest management strategies have been developed and a new use registration and/or section 18 use permit are pending, hopefully in time for the 2014 alfalfa growing season.
Kurt Hembree, UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in Fresno County, weed management strategies in crop and non-crop settings, discussed weed management strategies for RR and conventional alfalfa stands. Hembree indicated that best practices are to design weed management strategies according to existing and anticipated weeds with extra weed control effort during early stand development. Hembree stressed that if growers want to preserve the benefits created by RR alfalfa, they need to reduce the chances of weed resistance to glyphosate with escapes control, mode of action rotation, and/or tank-mixing with other herbicides.
For more information, please look at the California Ag Today blog.
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center has provided a strong research presence to meet the University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources strategic vision of helping ensure that California has healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities and healthy Californians.
As part of that continued commitment, research and extension programs will be strengthened in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) through the appointment of Dr. Kris Tollerup. Dr. Tollerup was recruited to develop and deliver IPM strategies and practices to nut, fruit and vine growers and pest control advisers in the San Joaquin Valley and surrounding areas. This position, located at Kearney, will build on the excellent work of Bill Barnett and Walt Bentley and is dedicated to the 30 year mission of Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM) . Kris will start his new position at Kearney on October 15, 2013.
Dr.Tollerup earned a B.A. in Pomology, Tree and Vine Culture from California Polytechnic State University and an M.S. in Entomology, Integrated Pest Management and a PhD in Entomology, IPM and Insect Behavior from UC Riverside.
From 2010 until joining UCCE, Kris Tollerup worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Davis. Through October of 2012, Kris collaborated with Dr. Larry Godfrey, specialist in the Department of Entomology, Rob Wilson, Farm Advisor and Director of Intermountain Research and Extension Center, and Dr. Dan Marcum, Farm Advisor in Shasta County on a project to develop arthropod IPM programs for peppermint in California. From November 2012 to October 2013, Kris and this same group of collaborators continued working on peppermint to integrate the use of biopesticides into arthropod IPM programs. Prior to coming to UC Davis, Kris worked with Dr. Peter Shearer (currently at Oregon State University, Hood River Experiment Station) to develop effective mating disruption strategies to manage oriental fruit moth on peaches and apples in New Jersey. He served on an inter-agency committee that worked with chemical companies, researchers, growers, and the Interregional Research Project No. 4 (IR-4) to promote the development and registration of ant baits for use in California agriculture.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
Free Twilight Field Day and bus tour 1 to 8 p.m. Sept 12, 1 pm to 8 pm September 12.
Sustainable agricultural systems involving precision irrigation and conservation tillage will be featured at the University of California Cooperative Extension's annual "Twilight Field Day," which will feature a new farm tour.
"We want to introduce more farmers to these proven technologies," said field day coordinator Jeff Mitchell, UCCE specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. "We've done research here, and there's a lot of work from other areas showing that these systems work and they save water, reduce dust, store carbon in the soil and save farmers money."
Specific innovative technologies that will be presented include:
- Proper irrigation application package selection for specific soil types and conditions
- Salinity and irrigation management to avoid penetration and surface sealing problems
- ‘Innovative Boomback’ technologies for maintaining dry wheel tracks with ‘tire-to-tire’ production
- Economic comparisons of irrigation systems
- Innovative soil and crop residue management practices to improve long-term soil properties and function
The program focuses on both the potential benefits of combining these practices to achieve greater profits and resource conservation as well as specific strategies for avoiding problems.
This year, the event has been expanded to include an afternoon bus tour to three San Joaquin Valley farms where conservation agriculture systems are already being successfully implemented. Registrants will gather at 1 p.m. at the UC Westside Research and Extension Center, 17353 West Oakland Ave., Five Points, to load the buses.
The farm tour visits include:
- Johnny and Joann Tacharra Dairy in Burrel. The Tacharras will explain their plans to apply dairy waste water through an overhead irrigation system to grow forage crops.
- Armando Galvan of Five Points Ranch. Galvan will show how he refined his irrigation system to apply water to vegetable and row crops. Galvan installs special nozzles and boom configurations on his overhead irrigation drop lines that are designed to improve water infiltration and avoid ponding and crusting on the soil surface.
- Scott Schmidt of Farming 'D' Ranch in Five Points. Schmidt will discuss the new management strategies that must be applied to successfully implement new agricultural systems.
Following the tour, the participants reconvene at 4 p.m. at the UC Westside REC for a workshop on the economic and environmental benefits of conservation agriculture systems. The event continues with a free barbecue dinner, entertainment by the Wheelhouse Country Band and a keynote address by Suat Irmak, director of the Nebraska Water Center and professor of biological systems engineering. The Water Center was established at the University of Nebraska by congressional mandate in 1964. Nebraska farms currently lead the nation in adopting precision irrigation systems.
Following Irmak's presentation and discussion, Mitchell will name the 2013 Conservation Tillage Farmer Innovator of the Year award winner.
The expanded event coincides with a concerted effort by the Conservation Agricultural Systems Innovation (CASI) Center to grow the conservation agriculture movement in California. CASI is a diverse group of UC researchers, farmers, public and private industry and environmental groups formed to develop and exchange information on sustainable agricultural systems for California row crops.
"In each century, there are just a handful of times when agriculture can transform itself in revolutionary ways," Mitchell said. "There is growing evidence that today presents one of those rare chances for agriculture in the San Joaquin Valley to reinvent itself."
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
Dry beans are an important rotational crop in the Southern San Joaquin Valley. They are not a high value crop, so effective growing and marketing practices are a priority. The dry bean meeting held at Kearney on August 27, 2013 attracted about 30 attendees. It focused on many aspects of new crop management and marketing strategies to improve the return per acre of dry beans.
There were four field presentations. Larry Schwankl, UC Cooperative Extension irrigation specialist at Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, and Carol Frate, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County, alfalfa, dry beans, corn and plant pathology, discussed a subsurface drip irrigation trial for blackeye production. Carol Frate discussed the evaluation of insecticides for lygus bug management. Phil Roberts, chair and professor in the Department of Nematology at UC Riverside, nematode host-parasite relations, genetics and pest management in field and vegetable crops, discussed screening bean varieties and breeding lines for root knot nematode resistance. Phil Roberts and Bao Lam Huynh discussed developing new varieties of beans for insect and disease resistance.
Indoor sessions included PowerPoint presentations and related discussions. Gary Luckett, manager of the Cal-Bean & Grain Warehouse, provided an update on the blackeye market. Bao Lam Huynh discussed using marker-based techniques for developing new blackeye varieties. Kurt Hembree, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, weed management strategies in crop and non-crop settings, discussed past, present and future methods of weed control in dry beans.
The meeting provided:
- PCA hours: 1.5 hours of “other”
- CCA hours: 1.5 hours of IPM; 0.5 hours of crop management
- Author: Laura J. Van der Staay
The Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis is recruiting for a faculty member in the Department of Plant Pathology at the University of California, Davis, and located at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, California. The plant pathology department has a research, teaching and outreach mission to develop and disseminate comprehensive basic and applied knowledge regarding the interactions among plants, pathogens and their environment. A Cooperative Extension (CE) Specialist is being recruited to conduct original applied research with the goal of achieving more effective management of diseases affecting nut and fruit trees. The successful candidate will bring visibility and cohesion to CE academics and other researchers and educators involved in the study of nut and fruit tree diseases. Research and outreach activities will be closely integrated with UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR), county-based CE colleagues and clientele as well as campus based CE and ladder rank faculty.
Closing date: September 30, 2013
Job description: Download
Applications should be submitted on-line at https://recruit.ucdavis.edu/.