Roberta Barton has joined the University of California, Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources as a community educator. Barton will develop and lead unique outreach and educational programs that highlight key agricultural topics and research projects underway at the Kearney Agricultural, Lindcove and West Side Research and Extension Centers in Fresno and Tulare counties. The UC REC system enables the delivery of the highest quality science to promote healthy citizens and thriving communities. Barton holds a degree in Journalism from California State University, Fresno and has decades of community relations experience in the non-profit and public sectors, including previous positions with the Fresno County Public Library, Westlands Water District and Valley PBS.
Individuals interested in growing pomegranates with surface or subsurface drip irrigation are invited to attend a meeting at Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center (KARE) on October 2, 2014, to learn about improving pomegranate fertigation and nitrogen use efficiency. To attend, a reservation made with Diana Nix at 559-46-6500, extension 0, is required.
The field day will share the results of a fertigation study at KARE that uses high frequency drip and subsurface drip irrigation/fertigation systems. Check in is at 9:30 am, presentations start at 10:00 am, and the tour of the research plot begins at 11:00 am. The meeting will adjourn at noon.
The agenda includes:
- Introduction, objectives, orchard configuration and operation
- Evapotranspiration, crop coefficient and lysimeter management
- Yields, water use efficiency, and nitrogen use efficiency
- Soil matric potential measurements and hydraulic gradient calculations in the subsurface drip irrigated lysimeter
- Tissue responses to high frequency injected nitrogen at three levels of nitrogen
- Canopy cover and leaf chlorophyll measurements
- Conclusions and questions
For additional information, please contact Kevin R. Day, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County, specializing in fresh-shipping deciduous tree fruits, cultural practices and production, fruit growth and development, pruning and training systems, at 559-684-3311, or Claude J. Phene, President of SDI Plus, at 559-298-0201.
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.