In a recent newsletter of the Western Plant Diagnostic Network, (WPDN) for First Detectors, a new pest of California was highlighted. This pest is the Bagrada Bug, Bagrada hilaris, Burmester 1835, Order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae. Following is the text and a few pictures from the newsletter. The article was written by Richard, Hoenisch, Editor of WPDN First Detector Network.
The Bagrada Bug is a species of shield bug known by the common names bagrada bug, painted bug, and harlequin bug. It is native to much of eastern and southern Africa and parts of southern Europe and Asia. It is now known in CA and AZ, where it was first reported in 2008. It is a major pest insect of Brassica oleracea crops, including cabbage, kale, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli, and related crucifers such as turnips, rape, and mustard. The adult and nymph of the species suck sap from the leaves of the plants, causing wilting, yellowing, and stunting of growth. Please see The Bagrada bug, a New Invasive Pest of Cole Crops in Arizona for a view of the damage. Besides crucifers, the bugs are known on papaya, sorghum, maize, potato, cotton, caper, pearl millet, and some legumes. Large numbers of the bug congregate on the plants and cause extensive damage. The adult bug is 5 to 7 millimeters in length, shield-shaped, and black with white and orange markings. The female, which is larger than the male, lays up to 100 oval or barrel-shaped eggs on leaves or in soil beneath plants. The eggs are white when freshly deposited and turn orange over time. Within 8 days the first-instar nymph emerges. It is bright orange-red and turns darker as it develops, becoming mostly or predominantly black by the last instar. The bug made a sudden appearance in Los Angeles in June, 2008, its first sighting in the Western Hemisphere. It then moved into the cropland of the heavily agricultural Coachella and Imperial Valleys of California, doing damage to cole crops there, especially those grown organically. Dr. Gevork Arakelian, entomologist for Los Angeles County, says this insect has the potential to become a very serious pest.
Happy Holidays and Happy Winter Solstice!
I love when the winter solstice comes because it means that we will be through the shortest day of the year. It means that now the days will begin to get longer and there will more time in the day for gardening! But seriously, as the end of the year rolls around, I want to take a moment to thank you all for your terrific volunteer efforts for the UC Master Gardener Program.
You have accomplished so much in your counties in reaching the public about sustainable landscape and gardening practices, raised money to support your programs and worked diligently to record all those hours in VMS J. We so appreciate the over 7 million dollars in value that your donated time is worth to UC.
Without you, we would not have contacted over 3 million people this year, written countless articles, taught more than 400 classes and hands-on workshops or helped thousands of individuals solve their home garden problems at the helpdesk.
Thank you for the gift of your time. It makes a difference in the lives of many Californians.
I personally want to wish you the happiest of holiday seasons and a productive, fruitful new year. Warmest regards,
Pam Geisel, Director
Statewide Master Gardener Program
Oh, I love this time of year. The harvest is on for prunes, almonds, walnuts and soon, olives for processing into both table olives and olive oil. While making olive oil at home is possible, it isn't easy. But it is easy to cure your own olives at home using one of several great methods. You may cure them using the traditional lye cured method. They can be salt cured using black ripe olives, which creates a dry olive that is wonderful when rinsed and coated with good olive oil and chopped rosemary. You can water cure them or finally you can ferment them like one would ferment cucumbers for dill pickles. What is really great about olives though is that once they are cured, the real art comes down to the seasonings you apply to them. The cured olive is only a carrier for the seasonings and stuffing that add the final embellishment. For example, you could lye cure a green olive. Once cured, then you can stuff them with pimento, blanched almonds, feta cheese, anchovies or garlic and then store in packing salt brine solution. You can add different seasonings such as chopped oregano, crushed garlic, chopped dry red chilies and preserved lemon slices or fennel seeds. The options are endless but you do want to be sure that you process your olives in a way that is safe both in terms of handling lye and from a food safety perspective. You can learn these techniques at one of several olive workshops coming up. The first is being held at the Mondavi Center for Food and Wine at UC Davis Campus on September 24th. Cost is $45.00 and you can register by clicking on: http://ccuh.ucdavis.edu/events/your-sustainable-backyard-olives
The second workshop is being held near Chico at the historic Mills Orchard Ranch on October 1st. Cost is $20 and you can register at: http://ucanr.org/Olive2011
Both are being taught by UC Cooperative Extension Advisor Bill Krueger, Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator Pam Geisel and UC Master Food Preservers and a few others. The UC Davis class will also include an olive oil tasting.
For recipes on how to process olives safely go to our free publication at: http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/Olives/8267.aspx
Every year as the Statewide Master Gardener Coordinator, I am asked to create a report that our adminstration can share with the National Institute for Food and Agriculture (NIFA-USDA) on the work of the UC Master Gardener Program. It includes the number of volunteers, contacts and the like. I have just completed our report for FY 2010-11 and I find that I am awestruck by your volunteer efforts.
The volunteer hours you give and the quality of work you do is breathtaking. I take my hat off to the over 5,468 Certified Master Gardener Volunteers in California. In July 2010, we had 4837 volunteers. We observe a net increase of 571 Volunteers this year.
You donated 296,301 total volunteer hours in your role as Master Gardener this year, which is 38,285 more than last year. (and we still have 15 days left in the year.....). Following is a comparison of volunteer hours reported in previous years.
- In FY 05-06: 99,321
- In FY 06-07: 143,663
- In FY 07-08: 201,096
- In FY 08-09: 238,439
- In FY 09-10: 258,016
- In FY 10-11: 296,301
If you put a current market value on your volunteer hours, it totals almost $7 million dollars in value to the community and the University.
Your volunteer hours equals 142 full time staff assuming a 40 hour work week and 2080 work hours in a year).
In addition to your volunteer hours, the contacts reported this year are quite remarkable. Last year, we documented only about 600,000 contacts. This year, because of a little bit of training in how to collect contact data, you were able to document over 3 million face to face contacts.
What is more important than just the hours and contacts is the quality of work each and every county program has been delivering to our clientele. At the Statewide Master Gardener Conference in Santa Rosa, we were able to hear five terrific Search for Excellence(SFE) Presentations. At my table however, as each of the presenters gave their talk, someone would say "well, we do that too!" referring to garden tours, publications, garden guide publications, demonstration gardens, and other types of outreach SFE caliber efforts. What that says to me is that programs are all working in harmony to extend science-base sustainable landscape information and knowledge in meaningful and impactful ways but are not reporting on it or entering it into a competition. In any case, your work is really important to the communities in which you work, and to the university because you are the primary outreach arm to our home horticulture clientele. You bring the university to the people. I am so proud to be a part of this remarkable program and again bow before your amazing work. Great job UC Master Gardeners!!!
Report Totals for FY 2010-2011
Total Volunteers: 5,468
Total Volunteer Hours: 296,301 at $23.41 per hour =$6,936,406.00
Total Contacts: 3,086,326
Do you have an expert videographer in your MG Program? Have you developed short "how to" videos for your gardening public? I saw a great one on proper staking of tomatoes done by a Master Gardener and I thought that we should have a centralized MG YouTube Channel as a place for us to post our great "How To" videos. If you would like to post or view other MG educational videos here is the link to the You Tube Channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/UCCEMG?feature=mhee
Right now we don't have any posted but if you would like to share, just send me, via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, your video and I'll go ahead and post it for you. I am excited to see what you have done!
Get your video cameras out and start making those great educational videos! Until then, I look forward to seeing you next week at the Statewide Master Gardener Conference in Santa Rosa.