- Author: Jodi Azulai
—Jodi Azulai, UC Statewide IPM Program
Summer is upon us, and nothing quite says summer more than eating freshly picked blueberries or using them in delicious desserts. California blueberry growers can find an additional treat – the newly published UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for blueberry on the UC IPM web site. California is quickly becoming a top producer of blueberries, and the new guidelines can help with management information on blueberry pests such as thrips, light brown apple moth, and spotted wing drosophila with additional information on pesticides and resistance.
It may be hard to believe but as of 1996, blueberry production was limited to colder states like Washington, Michigan, New Jersey, and Oregon, where naturally acidic soils and winter climates suit the traditional highbush varieties. As recently as 1997, California blueberries were only growing on less than 200 acres across the state. According to the latest CDFA statistics, 2012 continued to show what has been an increasing trend for California blueberries, with more than 40 million pounds harvested, $133 million sold, and plantings in more than 4,700 acres spanning San Joaquin, Tulare, Kern, Ventura, and Fresno counties.
In 1995 the University of California Small Farms Program and cooperating farmers started evaluating low-chill southern highbush varieties in San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. They found that “low-chill” southern highbush varieties offered the most promise for extended season production on the central coast. By 1997, Kearney Agricultural Center trials found that southern highbush cultivars were also well adapted to the semiarid climate of the San Joaquin Valley. Further evaluations identified the best yielding and flavorful cultivars. Initial and ongoing UC Small Farms studies have escalated California blueberry production swiftly up the learning curve, providing California farmers of small to moderate operations a niche in a very competitive market.
Today, California blueberries are harvested from May through July in the San Joaquin Valley and January through May on the central coast. While consumer demands are on the rise and profits can be excellent, producing and harvesting blueberries in California is expensive. It can run over $10,000 per acre to prepare a field because successful cultivation in many areas necessitates soil and irrigation water acidification and adding tons of mulch per acre. Specialized equipment, labor-intensive pruning, and pests like light brown apple moth, thrips, and spotted wing drosophila can add substantially to cost. Therefore, getting the right information and planning is imperative. While the UC Small Farms Program continues to develop field and market research for blueberry production in California, growers can also turn to the newly published Pest Management Guidelines for blueberries.
At the IPM Training for Professional Landscapers meeting held in San Diego a couple of weeks ago, one of the speakers (from Blankinship and Asso.) gave a nice presentation about the permitting process needed when applying herbicides near or in waters. The NPDES permit has some upcoming changes so this presentation points out some of those changes as well.
If you, your company, or your agency is applying pesticides in those situations, it would good for you to review this presentation:
Most of the information starts at page 6.
Also see information from the State Water Resources Board:
For information about aquatic weed identification see http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/weeds_multi.html#AQUATIC
Management: Aquatic Pest Control Pesticide Application Compendium Published 2001 UC ANR Publication 3337
There is also an Aquatic Weed School in Davis in September. For more information see:
IPM for Landscape Professionals
Please join us for the 14th Annual IPM Training Seminar. The Seminar will offer insight into identification of landscape pests and diseases and cultural practices for improved plant health and water quality.
The $50 registration fee ($75 after May 13) will include the Seminar, continental breakfast, lunch, and the University of California Publication: Weed Pest Identification and Monitoring Cards.
Registration received after May 13 or at the door is $75 and you will not be guaranteed a lunch or the publication.
See the attached file at the end of this blog for Agenda and mail in registration.
Click HERE for online registration with credit card payment.
Scientists at UC Irvine say they've proved that titanium-coated clubs can cause vegetation to burst into flames.
“What this proved was that you could produce sparks with these golf clubs that contain titanium, and they will persist in burning for well over a second,” said James Earthman, a chemical engineering and materials science professor and an author of the golf club study. “And that gives the spark plenty of time.”
When struck against a rock, perhaps by a golfer trying to hit a ball out of the shrubs and weeds in the rough, the titanium coating on the club can produce sparks.
Full story at http://www.ocregister.com/articles/titanium-606130-clubs-golf.html
I am working on a project to determine knowledge about snails and slugs in ornamental production. I am a few short of my goal. If you would take about 5 minutes and complete the survey at
by February 15, 2014, I will enter your name in a drawing for the the tool I described in a previous post (the hori-hori knife) . Chances are pretty good - right now there are less than 10 people in the drawing.
Anybody (growers, PCAs, Advisors, etc.) involved with ornamental production is welcome to complete the survey. Be sure you put your contact information in the box at the end of the survey.