Mark your calendar with these upcoming meetings brought to you by UC Cooperative Extension, USDA-NRCS, and the California Rice Experiment Station. See the links or attached flyer for more information.
1. UCCE Rice Production Workshop
Tuesday, August 7, 2018
8:30am - 3:00pm (lunch included with registration)
5311 Midway, Richvale, CA 95974
2. USDA-NRCS Warm Season Cover Crops Field Day
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
Lockeford Plant Materials Center, 21001 N. Elliott Rd., Lockeford, CA 95237
No registration required. See agenda in the attachment (below).
3. UC Davis Dry Bean Field Day
Thursday, August 23, 2018
UC Davis Agronomy Farm: Take Hutchison Dr. approximately 1.5 miles west from Hwy 113, in Davis. Turn south on Hopkins Lane, and then take the first left turn (heading east) onto a gravel/broken pavement road with a row of olive trees; park along the fence. The field is located north of the Bee Biology Center.
4. Rice Experiment Station Annual Field Day
Wednesday, August 29, 2018
7:30am-12pm (lunch included)
Rice Experiment Station, 955 Butte City Hwy, Biggs, CA 95917
No registration required. For more information, visit http://www.crrf.org/.
4. UCCE Alfalfa and Forage Field Day
Wednesday, September 19, 2018
7:30am-12:30pm (lunch included)
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, 9240 S. Riverbend Ave., Parlier, CA 93648
More information will be forthcoming.
I sent plant samples to the UC Davis Plant Pathology Diagnostics lab for confirmation on disease. Rather than Rhizoctonia, the lab identified Fusarium oxysporum on all of the plant tissue submitted. While Fusarium oxysporum is the causal agent of Fusarium wilt (a.k.a. Fusarium yellows), the symptoms on these plants indicated root and crown rot, and NOT yellows. Fusarium root rot is common on other beans; however, it has not been a common problem in California limas. For this particular field, its cropping history has been various vegetables for the last couple years, including tomatoes with a severe Fusarium problem in 2016. Rotating out of beans or vegetables to grains would be a good management strategy for future years because Fusarium can live in the soil for several years. Fungicide seed treatments may also help. In this particular case, we talked about managing water well to try to avoid moisture stress (too much or too little) of the current crop to optimize the crop that is there. The grower and PCA assured me that they can manage the moisture well with the drip irrigation on this soil type. For future bean planting, waiting until soil temperature is warmer and not planting as deep would also be important strategies.
UC Cooperative Extension will host a Rice Production Workshop on August 7, 2018 from 8:30am to 3:00pm at Lundberg Family Farms (5311 Midway, Richvale, CA 95974). The Rice Production Workshop is an in-depth workshop that covers the principles and practices of rice production. It is intended for those who are new to the rice industry or those who are looking to brush-up on their knowledge of the applied sciences of rice production. These workshops are generally hosted every two to three years. We ask for registration by August 1st, and the registration fee covers lunch, snacks, and a manual. Enrollment is limited to 75 people. We have applied for DPR and CCA continuing education credits. The agenda is below and in the attached flyer. Please contact your local farm advisor for more information.
8:30 Sign in, pick up class materials
9:00 Introduction and Workshop Overview
9:10 Rice Growth and Development
9:30 Land Formation, Water Management
9:50 Tillage, Planting and Stand Establishment
10:30 Variety Selection
Last week was California Invasive Species Action Week. Guest authors Tunyalee Martin, with the UC IPM Program, and Gene Miyao, farm advisor, describe a parasitic plant that has been found in the Delta. Help in the fight against invasive species by learning more about California Invasive Species Action Week.
Watch out for parasites! Wait, in my tomato field?
Broomrape has quite a rap sheet. Egyptian broomrape, whose first detection in the U.S. in 2014 was in California, is on the federal noxious weed list. Branched broomrape is on the California noxious weed list (A rating = eradication, containment, rejection, or other holding action); on the federal noxious weed list; and is listed as noxious in 10 other states. Broomrape has the potential to damage many economically important crops in California including bell pepper, cabbage, carrot, celery, eggplant, legumes, melons, potato, tomato, and sunflower.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture describes branched broomrape as “terrible” and justifies the A rating because it: 1) could establish itself widely in California, 2) can parasitize many plant hosts (both agricultural crops and many common agricultural weeds), 3) produces many tiny seeds (over 100,000 and only 0.3 mm long) that can easily disperse, 4) has a high potential to harm commercial agriculture, and 5) could also harm rare or endangered wild plants.
As a parasitic plant, broomrape acquires the nutrients and water it needs from the host plant. You might observe symptoms of stunting or yellowing in your crop plants, but broomrape grows and attaches underground, and the only part of broomrape that you may observe above ground are the flower spikes.
If you see this pest, contact your local agricultural commissioner, or for identification, your UC Cooperative Extension office. Use certified seed and clean nursery stock.
USDA-APHIS factsheet for Egyptian broomrape
UC IPM Weed Gallery for branched broomrape
CDFA Pest Rating for branched broomrape
The meeting showcased the UC Davis wheat and triticale variety testing program for the Delta, and presentations were given by UC Cooperative Extension and USDA-NRCS scientists. UCCE Grains Specialist, Mark Lundy, demonstrated a soil nitrate quick test and how it can be used in small grains fertility programs. UCCE Cropping Systems Specialist, Jeff Mitchell, described tillage research taking place at the UC Westside Research and Extension Center and demonstrated how no-till plots had better soil aggregation and tilth than conventionally tilled plots. USDA-NRCS Director, Margaret Smither-Kopperl, described winter and summer cover cropping trials at the Plant Materials Center in Lockeford, CA.
Additionally, Brenna Aegerter and I described an upcoming cover cropping trial that we will conduct on Staten Island. We were awarded a CDFA Healthy Soils Program grant with our farm advisor colleagues in the Sacramento and San Joaquin Valleys – Sarah Light, Amber Vinchesi, and Scott Stoddard – along with Jeff Mitchell and Will Horwath at UC Davis. On Staten Island, we will trial legume cover cropping versus no cover cropping treatments for soil health properties, greenhouse gas emissions, and grain yield from 2018-2020.
The trial will take place in a field that is in small grains (wheat and triticale) rotations, with soil classification Valdez silt loam. Cover cropping will take place in the summer months following the small grains harvest. Initial soil sampling will take place after wheat harvest and subsequent tillage. We will take baseline soil samples, measuring bulk density, pH, salinity, total C and N, aggregate stability, infiltration, and active C (a measure of the carbon available as an energy source for soil microbial communities) in the top foot of soil. At deeper depths, we will also test bulk density and total C. We will soil sample each fall, at the end of the cover crop season, to evaluate changes in soil properties over the three years. Greenhouse gas (N2O and CH4) monitoring will allow comparative evaluations of cumulative emissions between the soil management systems. Small grains yields will also be determined.
We look forward to this trial and will share results as we have them. We want to thank Dawit Zeleke and Morgan Johnson at The Nature Conservancy's Staten Island, Margaret Smither-Kopperl and Valerie Bullard at the USDA-NRCS Plant Materials Center, and Tom Johnson at Kamprath Seed for their collaboration on this trial.
For more information on UCCE or USDA-NRCS programs, please visit the following blogs and websites: