The $101 million in grant money will be apportioned to promote two areas:
- $55 million in specialty crop block grants to state that fund 748 initiatives to strengthen markets and expand economic opportunities for local and regional producers.
- $46 million to support new and continuing research and extension activities to address challenges and opportunities for growers and businesses that rely on a sustainable, profitable specialty crops industry.
Specialty crops include fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, horticulture, floriculture and nursery crops.
The key research areas for funding are:
- Improving crop charactistics through plant breeding, genetics and genomics
- Addressing threats from pests and diseases
- Improving production efficiency, productivity and profitabilitiy
- Developing new innovations and technologies
- Developing methods to improve food safety
These grants reflect the continuing efforts by the USDA to stimulate agriculture and food based economic development. UC Ventura County Cooperative Extension and statewide extension in turn provides the research, outreach and expertise to local and potential growers seeking specialty niches in agriculture.
Find out more about this grant program and read the USDA news release in its entirety here.
Here attendees will be able to visit stations staffed by UCCE experts who will speak on a variety of topics of interest to growers and horticulturists. The structure is informal and will allow for easy interchange between speakers and attendees.
Each station will feature informational talks on the following subjects:
- Effect of compost on long term disease control and fertility of soils in peppers
- Cultural management of Prime Ark 45 Blackberry
- Differential plant response of salts in summer strawberry
- Subtropical fruit collection
- Herbicide efficacy and safety in drip-irrigated celery
- Water quality and sensors
- Effect of pruning in landscape roses
Continous education credits from the Department of Pesticide Regulation and VCAILG credits have been requested.
The agenda with more details about the event can be found here.
For more information about the UC Hansen Agricultural Center, please click here.
The meeting focused on updating growers and interested members of the public on subjects relevant to producing strawberries in Ventura County and other areas. The agenda included topics on:
- Strawberry cultivar performance and research updates
- Management of Macrophomina and Fusarium and treatments
- Irrigation practices for strawberries in Oxnard and Watsonville
- Water quality monitoring results for strawberry production fields in Ventura County
- Fertility research updates
- Management of mites, thrips, corn earworm and spotted wing Drosophila
- California Strawberry Commission update on research and regulatory issues pertaining to strawberry production
The production meeting included lunch and attendees could receive continous education credits from the Department of Pesticide Regulation.
For a list of this and other strawberry meeting presentations online, please click here.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Many weed species commonly found in California can be found on the UC IPM website. The site is designed for easy identification.
The identification process is separated by type of weed – broadleaf, grass, sedge, and aquatic. Each of these sections includes: tutorials, high quality photos at multiple life stages, common and scientific names, and recommend management practices.
Resources for home gardeners and agricultural producers are available.
We also have our own website with all the local weeds that was compiled by Susan Latham, UCCE Master Gardener.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Strawberry production growers face many challenges. One such challenge is strawberry anthracnose, which is caused by Colletotrichum acutatum. This plant pathogen is often undetectable on transplants purchased from nurseries for the planting season, but can become very destructive after transplanted into the field.
UCCE’s Oleg Daugovish and collaborators researched this disease and how to best reduce risk and loss. The researchers studied irrigation systems effects on fruit yields, canopy size, and crown tissue infection to determine best management practices.
Their research has recently been published in the American Society for Horticultural Science Journal. You may view the abstract at this site. The full text may also be viewed by following a link on the abstract page. The full article may also be viewed in the UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County office.