For the past 17 years, Kevin Day, a UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Tulare County, and Ted DeJong, UCCE specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, have been comparing the quality of fruit on conventional peach and nectarine trees and smaller trees grown on size controlling rootstock, reported KSEE Channel 24 news and KMJ Farm Report in Fresno. The impact of plant spacing and limb training were also assessed.
The goal is to have trees below 8 to 9 feet with traditional scion cultivars on size controlling rootstock. With reduced yield per tree due to the size, the distance between rows and trees in the row can be reduced to get the same or higher yield per acre. Controller 9 is currently being planted commercially. Farmers can get some yield the second year after planting.
Shorter trees can eliminate ladder work, reducing labor costs and increasing worker safety. For more information, please see the ANR News blog.
See the video on the KSEE Channel 24 website.
Listen to a podcast of the KMJ Farm Report with the story on the peaches and nectarines on 8/12/2014 located at 44:30 minutes into the podcast./span>
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
A group of 22 produce executives and supervisors from the SaveMart Corporation - which includes Lucky and FoodMaxx grocery stores - spent a morning at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center today to experience another part of the food journey.
The visitors were the guests of Carlos Crisosto, UC Cooperative Extension postharvest physiologist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis. They toured the F. Gordon Mitchell Postharvest Laboratory, which includes 18 controlled temperature and relative humidity rooms, eight of which are capable of controlled atmospheres. Years of work in the state-of-the-art facility by Crisosto and his colleagues resulted in a completely new protocol for handling peaches, plums and nectarines as they journey from the farm, to packing sheds, in the backs of trucks to distribution centers and finally to the supermarket produce aisle.
The findings came as a surprise to the industry when they were introduced nearly 10 years ago, but they have been widely adopted. In a nutshell, fruit is now "preconditioned" before it is cooled, a process that results in better tasting fruit, and subsequently, better sales of this Central California summertime staple.
The SaveMart tour continued in the field, where the group saw research plots of kiwifruit, pistachios, stone fruit, grapes, blueberries and other crops. A highlight was the fresh fig orchard, where all the participants hopped off the tram to pick and eat the tree-ripened fruit.
After attending the 6th World Congress on Conservation Agriculture in Winnipeg, Manitoba, in June, Jeff Mitchell, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, stated, "Focusing on soil care will improve soil water intake and storage...Reducing soil water evaporation can be achieved by preserving surface residues. Together these steps reduce energy use and greenhouse gas emissions – very important goals.”
Mitchell is the chair of the UC Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center. CASI is exploring options to help support the implementation of conservation agriculture in California. Read more.
Pacific Ethanol, Inc., Chromatin, Inc., CSU Fresno's Center for Irrigation Technology and the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources received a $3 million matching grant for the California Energy Commission to collaboratively develop a sorghum feedstock program in California. This includes the California In-State Sorghum Program that facilitates California's production of low-carbon ethanol from Californian feedstock so that we can meet the state's renewable fuel and greenhouse gas reduction goals mandated by the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and the Californian Low-Carbon Fuel Standard.
Jeff Dahlberg, Ph.D., the director of Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, is part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources sorghum research group. Collaborative efforts of the group will be managed from KARE.
This week, Anthony Cornel, a UC Davis entomologist based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier, started a new mosquito surveillance and control program in Clovis. The goal is to abate populations of Aedes aegypti mosquitos, which appeared in the Clovis, Madera and San Mateo communities last year. The Ae. aegypti, which has the ability to spread the yellow fever, dengue fever and Chikungunya viruses, survived the winter and is now being actively tracked and eradicated by mosquito abatement officials in an effort to prevent Ae. aegypti from getting a strong foothold in California.
Cornel is working with Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District to deploy new inexpensive and safe "black bucket traps" that do not require power. Read more.