- Author: Elizabeth Fichtner
- Contributor: Therese Kapaun
California nut growers have benefited from the use of phosphite products, marketed and sold both as fertilizers and EPA-labeled fungicides. These products offer plant protection from root and crown diseases caused by a group of pathogens known as Oomycetes. Dr. Elizabeth Fichtner, UCCE Tulare County, has utilized the plant pathology laboratory at Lindcove Research and Extension Center to identify new root diseases of pistachio and document the efficacy of phosphite products in maintaining plant health when challenged with soilborne pathogens.
The results of Dr. Fichtner's studies demonstrate that foliar phosphite application two weeks prior to pathogen introduction may protect pistachio rootstocks from symptoms of root rot. However, the combination of experimental data and observations gained by farm calls with pistachio growers and PCAs suggest that pistachio rootstocks may be susceptible to foliar burn resulting from phosphite use. In greenhouse studies, foliar phosphite application (1.14% active ingredient) on UCB-1 clonal rootstock resulted in foliar burn and plant dieback, however, plants recovered from the foliar burn and maintained root mass comparable to plants grown in the absence of the pathogen.
In April 2015, Yelena Martinez, an undergraduate chemistry major at College of the Sequoias, initiated a study to demonstrate the symptoms associated with foliar phosphite application. Yelena's work demonstrated that phosphite application (0.68% and 1.14% active ingredient) may alter leaf morphology, with affected leaves exhibiting a kidney shape. One month after phosphite application, the new leaves emerging from the plant's apical meristem exhibited normal leaf morphology. Similar studies are planned to assess the impact of phosphite on plant growth and development during the summer season when plants may encounter more environmental stress than in the spring study.
The results of these projects demonstrate the value of phosphites for pistachio rootstock protection from soilborne pathogens and the potential for plants to overcome and outgrow phytotoxicity resulting from foliar phosphite application.
- Author: Roberta Barton
The Lindcove Research and Extension Center partnered with the Tulare Public Library on March 28 to present a special Kids' Citrus Farmers Market at the Library. The event incorporated the Library's ag-themed motto, "Come Grow with TPL," into a fun-filled afternoon of citrus tasting, citrus trivia and educational citrus activities to kick off National Library Week. Other participants included the International Agri-Center and the Fresno County Ag Detector Dog Luna.
- Author: Elizabeth E Grafton-Cardwell
Western region Research and Extension Directors from California, New Mexico, Utah, Oregon Wyoming and Colorado met at the Kearney Research and Extension Center to discuss programs and potential collaborations. As part of their meeting they toured the facilities and programs at Lindcove REC. Lisa Fischer, Associate Director for the California REC system, developed the program for this meeting.
- Author: Roberta Barton
Second and third grade students at Snowden Elementary School in Farmersville learned all about citrus this month. Roberta Barton, ANR Community Educator, teamed up with Grilda Gomez, Tulare County CE Nutrition Educator, to visit 125 students in nine classes. Lessons focused on citrus varieties grown at the Lindcove Research and Extension Center and promoted healthy eating and physical activity. Students viewed samples of pummelo, mandarin and citron fruit and then participated in a citrus tasting after a nutrition and exercise session. The presentations were given during National Nutrition Week and to highlight agriculture in the weeks leading up to National Ag Week.
- Author: Therese Kapaun
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.