Lindcove REC was kept busy during the World Ag Expo, which is held annually in Tulare. This year's event took place from February 10-12 and was visited by more than 100,000 attendees.
Busloads of visitors came to LREC for fruit tastings, guided tours through the Demonstration Orchard, informative talks by Therese Kapaun about the research projects here at the Center and by Dr. Rock Christiano of the Citrus Clonal Protection Program about the clean citrus budwood program. One group toured the packline and listened to Donald Cleek explain the types of measurements the machine can record.
We were delighted to receive high school students from Utah, college students from Washington, a group on an Ag Expo tour to visit nearby ag-related industries, and citrus growers from Morocco and Mexico.
- Author: Roberta Barton
- Author: Therese Kapaun
- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
Recently, severe root rot and mortality was observed on young potted pistachio rootstock trees housed in a research plot in California. Dr. Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County and Dr. Cheryl Blomquist, California Department of Food and Agriculture found a new Oomycete, Phytopythium helicoides associated with the observed root rot and mortality. Phytopythium is a newly designated genus exhibiting characteristics similar to both Phytophthora and Pythium and is considered to be an evolutionary intermediary between the two genera. In collaboration with Dr. Greg Browne, USDA-ARS, and Dr. Blomquist, studies are underway in a greenhouse at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center to determine pathogenicity of P. helicoides to UCB1 pistachio rootstock.
This week at Lindcove REC the John Deere Company installed two John Deere Field Connect™ soil moisture systems in two of our mandarin research plots. The systems were donated to Dr. Mikeal Roose of UC Riverside (Dept. of Botany and Plant Science) for use in his citrus rootstock trials that are based both here and at the UC Riverside campus.
The soil moisture probe takes a reading every 30 minutes and transmits the data through either cellular or satellite communication to a dedicated website every two hours where the information can be securely reviewed from the internet. The soil moisture probe installed here has sensors at depths of 4, 8, 12, 20, and 40 inches. The system allows us to see the depth of an irrigation water application, understand where the active root zone is, and allows us to capture observations in the field through notes on the graphs. The photo below shows Technical Service Manager Craig Hornung of the Visalia John Deere office installing one of the sensors in between two Nules clementine trees. The next photo shows a sample screenshot of the data from the system installed at the UC Riverside rootstock field trial.
Pummelo (Citrus maxima) is one of several ancient lineages of citrus thought to have originated in China. Modern hybridizations of pummelo with orange have resulted in what we know today as grapefruit (Citrus paradisi), however there are many varieties of pummelo that are great tasting on their own, and in addition they tend to lack the bitterness of grapefruit. Pummelo and grapefruit have the ability to grow into enormous trees, so be careful when deciding where to plant these trees in urban settings. The largest tree at Lindcove REC is also one of the oldest, a Brown Marsh grapefruit planted in 1963 on Troyer rootstock.
Today the Citrus Clonal Protection Program (CCPP) used the Fruit Quality Lab at Lindcove REC to test several varieties of pummelo to determine whether they would be palatable and thus harvestable for the early season market. Three varieties stood out as clear taste-winners, these are Mato Buntan, Thong Dee, and Tahitian. In terms of °Brix, Mato Buntan was 10.9, Thong Dee was 11.1, and Tahitian was 11.5. As for percent acid, Mato Buntan was 0.46, Thong Dee was 0.89, and Tahitian was 0.91. Thong Dee was regarded by the ad hoc volunteer taste panel as having the best tasting juice. These three varieties will be retested every two weeks for a number of months to determine the timing and duration of "good flavor".
Fruit quality data for many varieties of citrus can be found on the websites of both CCPP and the Citrus Variety Collection (CVC), both organizations are based in Riverside, California. Their websites are as follows: