The popular herbicide paraquat works well and is inexpensive, but emerging research shows a correlation of paraquat exposure and Parkinson's disease, reported Kerry Klein on Valley Public Radio.
Klein met with UC Cooperative Extension weed advisor Kurt Hembree at an almond orchard near Selma that was clear of weeds. Growers kill weeds because weeds kill crops, Hembree said.
"Direct competition for water and nutrients. Whatever the tree likes, the weeds like," he said.
Hembree explained how the paraquat works.
"Paraquat's a contact-type...
Weeds are easiest to control when they are tiny emerging plants, reported Jeanette Marantos in a Los Angeles Times blog post. Marantos got tips on weed management from Cheryl Wilen, UC Cooperative Extension integrated pest management advisor in Southern California.
Wilen recommends home gardeners use a swivel (or hula) hoe to scrape the surface and decapitate weeds. “It's a bit of exercise,” she said, "but you can do it so quickly, it's not a problem.”
Another weed control strategy is a thick layer of mulch, with does double-duty by...
- Author: Brenda Dawson
Reporter Amina Khan with the LA Times profiled husband-and-wife entomologist team Christina and Mark Hoddle of UC Riverside (Mark is also a UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist). The pair travel the world seeking parasitoids that can serve as biological control to invasive California pests and then test the results at the Center for Invasive Species Research at UC Riverside. "Bugs don't take weekends," Christina Hoddle told the reporter, "so neither do we."
UC Cooperative Extension weed specialist Brad Hanson was featured on the Capital Public Radio program Insight, an in-depth interview show hosted by environmental reporter Jeffrey Callison. The interview came a day after the 55th annual Weed Day at UC Davis.
In the 8-minute segment, which runs from about 23:50 to 31:30 in the hour-long show, Hanson outlined Cooperative Extension weed management research.
"Weeds are a tremendous problem...
For automated, mechanical weed control to work, scientists must teach machines how to distinguish between unwanted vegetation and the crop being cultivated. A new, high-tech system using x-rays to detect tomato stems is under development by UC Davis Cooperative Extension agricultural engineer David Slaughter and USDA Agricultural Research Service researcher Ron Haff. The output from the x-ray detector is input to a microcontroller that controls a pair of pneumatically powered mechanical weed knife blades.
Slaughter and Haff's work was explained this week in an online newsletter produced by