At a recent meeting for current and prospective avocado growers near Visalia, Yosepha Shahak a retired researcher from Israel's Volcani Institute presented information on photo-selective netting. This netting was an outgrowth of netting that is used in the Mediterranean region to protect crops from frost damage and the unpredictable hail storms that can occur just as fruit might be coming to harvest. Netting is currently used in commercial orchards and vineyards throughout Europe. San Joaquin Valley growers like the idea of frost protection.
Netting over loquats (nespero) in Spain (Espana)
Netting over apples in Australia
Netting for light modification in Israel. Tractors can work here.
Photo-selective netting refers to covering crops by nets having the capacity to selectively filter the intercepted solar radiation, in addition to their protective function. The technology is based on plastic net products into which light dispersive and reflective elements are introduced during manufacturing. These nets are designed to screen various spectral bands of the solar radiation, and/or transform direct light into scattered light. The spectral manipulation intends to specifically promote desired physiological responses, which are light-regulated, while the scattering improves the penetration of the modified light into the inner plant canopy. So, depending on the crop, more and better fruit set, bigger fruit and some other desirable properties. The netting can also substantially reduce evaporative demand and wind damage. This can lead to not only lower water use, but also such water stress related diseases, such as blight caused by Botryosphaeria fungi. Lower evaporative demand and less water application can lead to less salt damage.
A recent additional aspect to the photo-selective nets refers to their effects on pest behavior. The photo-selective netting concept was developed and tested in Israel in ornamental, vegetable and fruit tree crops. It is gradually spreading all over the world, for implementation in different crops, climatic regions and cultivation methods. Applying it to avocado orchards is going to require pruning and keeping trees so that they can be picked and pollinated. And would probably lead to high density orchards.
And how we do pest management – more or less, and maybe not by helicopter?
This might also be the future for how citrus is grown in an HLB environment. 24 sprays a year to control ACP in Florida -Yikes.
A link to a Shahak talk that she gave to Washington state apple growers can be found at:
The USDA's Farm Service Agency and Natural Resources Conservation Service will have workshops to aid agricultural producers; including cattle, tree, nursery, vegetable, and berry farmers in filing for federal assistance programs. Appointments can be arranged now for filing applications during these workshops.
Yes, Coffee is now being Commercially Grown in California!
Are you interested in growing, processing and marketing Coffee in California? Would you like to learn about new opportunities for this high-value crop and speak with industry professionals?
The Huntley College of Agriculture is hosting an Inaugural Industry “Coffee Summit” on January 18th at the AgriScapes Outreach Center located on the campus of Cal Poly Pomona.
Hear from the California coffee industry leaders from Santa Barbara and San Diego Counties and from long-time professionals with the University of California, University of Hawaii and USDA. In addition you'll learn about current research field trials to determine which varieties are suitable for production in California.
Summit topics include development of estate coffee, coffee production, pests and diseases, processing methods and marketing. Please join us on January 18th at the AgriScapes Conference Center from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm. Continental breakfast, lunch and coffee tasting will be provided!
Summit Contact: Duncan McKee - Cal Poly Pomona firstname.lastname@example.org
And more info along with agenda and registration:
In the meantime watch the CBS "This Morning" video of California coffee growing
The destruction after a fire can be pretty gruesome and sad. Many times, though the fire moves through the orchard so fast that, even though the canopy has turned brown, there is a good chance the trees can come back. It all depends on how much damage has been done to the trunk. If the fire has substantially damaged the base of the trunk, it is unlikely to come back, even if the canopy is still green. That is the saddest thing, because you think you've dodged the bullet, but if the trunk is too damage, the canopy collapses gradually over a few weeks. However, the canopy may look a goner, but if the trunk is still intact, the tree will come back and may still be as productive as before.
The thing to look for at the base of the trunk is the discoloration. If it's black, it's probably not coming back. However, it can come back if after a few weeks you don't see the pencil-sized cankers that indicate that the sap has bubbled to the surface (see photo 1 below). If after a few weeks, the trunk is still clear of those bubbles (photo 2), even though the canopy looks gone, it is quite likely to come back.
It's also possible that the trunk may be damage in just one part of the trunk and not on the rest. In this case, it can also come back. The problem with these ones, is that they may come back and given enough time will be good trees again. But if they haven't recovered enough and there's a sudden heat spell, they may go down suddenly as if they had been burned again. That's the way they will look, like they have been burned again. Given enough time, though the avocado will grow from good areas to cover the poor areas and the tree may be productive again.
Avocados are amazing in their ability to recover. Eucalyptus can do it. But you singe the trunk of a lemon, and good-bye lemon.
Photo 1 and 2.