I am asking for your support for two research and extension positions in berries we are proposing to UC ANR.
So you know, these positions don't just pop out of the ground like mushrooms after a rain. They took a lot of work to put together and shape to address what is truly needed right now. We spent serious time and effort this past winter meeting with industry leaders and scientific colleagues to accomplish this and get the best fit for our berry production enterprise in California.
What is key now for you as the reader to understand is that these are PROPOSALS, and there is no guarantee that they will be given the nod from UC ANR to fill the position. The competition for placement promises to be intense, indeed, if you look through the entire 138 position proposal list, you will see a lot backed by large acreage crops with plenty of influence or powerful lobbies in areas of prominent public interest.
The way forward for us with our two positions and get more UCCE and UC people for our berry industry is for you to demonstrate your support by writing a note or letter in the space provided under the online proposal. Just know that no or little support will mean to the people evaluating these things that, well written as they are, there is little interest in them and let's all move on to the next one. The bottom line is that without your notes and letters all of our effort will have been for naught and you're not going to be seeing any new UCCE people in berries for a while.
It's up to you.
A few comments on the positions and followed by the links to the proposals:
CE Specialist in Small Fruit Production: This position is to be based in Salinas, and would have the reach across the state to collaborate on any number of projects and any number of other scientists. That said, the position would also have the capabilities to generate funded and meaningful work in its own right on any number of subjects within the berry industry - fumigation, diseases, weeds, even automation if that is what is needed.
Proposal and write in your support here:
CE Specialist in Vines and Berries and Fruit Trees: This position will really add to the UC research and extension work being done on berry diseases. The load of diseases we are dealing with right now is tremendous - anthracose, mildew, Botrytis not to mention two major emerging soil diseases and who knows what is yet to come. This position can address all of it.
Proposal and write in your support here:
Continuing on with my perusal of the relation of fertility and plant disease out of the excellent “Mineral Nutrition and Plant Disease” by looking at potassium (K) this week. For the record, while I do a lot of reading in this area lately, don't get the impression that this is all I read about! For example I recently finished reading “The Iliad” written by the poet Homer (not in the original Greek though).
There is actually not that much to say about the relationship of potassium and plant disease. The only thing that came out of this chapter that could be relevant to us berry people is that K fertilization has been shown to reduce the severity of vascular wilts in several crop plants caused by Verticillium, but only in situations when it is deficient in the soil. When K is sufficient (something around 200 ppm K and above) in the soil, the disease mitigation benefit of potassium additions is not realized. Too, the effectiveness of the K additions is going to depend on the host plant resistance to the disease, as well as the amount of disease inoculum in the soil.
Bottom line is I'm not seeing a lot for us here. Most of our soils on the Central Coast are close to 200 ppm K or well above (see the link to an excellent survey in the Salinas Valley below), so a benefit in the way of vascular disease resistance through the use of more potassium fertilizer doesn't seem to hold a lot of promise.
Here's one that I've never seen before. True spiders with webbing so heavy that it could interfere with the growing point of raspberry.
On approaching the field, once notices a lot of the very top of many raspberry plants in this field under tunnels with those leaves rolled up. Of course this sets off alarm bells that it could be LBAM, but closer inspection reveals a far heavier webbing than is customary for a leafroller. And... lots and lots of spiders.
What would the call be to do about this? Hard to say, readers if you have experience and/or suggestions what to do, write in and I'll post your answer.
Pics taken today of the situation posted below.
Yellow rust on raspberry has been a common issue of concern for growers and PCA's this past week, very likely this has been spurred on by the wet weather of this past winter.
Recommendations for management available at the UC IPM guidelines
The pictures below are of what some of this rust manifests itself as. Viewing the leaf from the top, one sees an array of darker spots over a lighter background of the chlorotic leaf (not diagnostic, nor do I make any pretensions that this is being caused by the rust disease). Turning the leaf over, one can see the masses of pustules growing at these very spots.
UCCE Farm Advisor Mark Bolda will be providing a training on light brown apple moth (LBAM) that qualifies attendees to be an “approved scout” relating to the Compliance Agreement for shipment of berries to Canada. On completion of the brief training, attendees will receive a Certificate as a record of their participation.
This training will be held once in English and once in Spanish.
Where: UCCE Auditorium, 1430 Freedom Boulevard, Suite E, Watsonville, CA
When: May 10 – 8:00-9:00 AM in English
May 11 – 8:00-9:00 AM in Spanish
No pre-registration necessary. All are welcome to attend, even if they do not intend to ship berries to Canada.
No continuing education hours will be offered at this meeting.
Please call Mark at (831) 763 8025 if you have any questions.