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Posts Tagged: Beth Grafton-Cardwell

High school students who worked with UC mentors big winners in ag science fair

Nine Woodlake High School students took part in the UC Davis Agriscience fair research project competition, held at the campus March 2-3. Several who worked with UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center scientists took home winning ribbons.

"We are very proud that we played a part in making these students winners," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove director.

Lindcove has been conducting an ag science ‘experience research' day for Woodlake High School ag academy students the past three years. Last September, the students participated in a research project on citricola scale taught by Grafton-Cardwell. Students learned about experimental design, studied the life cycle of the insect using microscopes, collected leaves from a research plot, evaluated the survival of the scales exposed to different treatments, and plotted their data.  

"This was a great opportunity for students to see how science applies to agriculture and to talk about careers in agricultural science," Grafton-Cardwell said.

The Woodlake winners who were part of the program were Kirsten Killian and Nate Reeves. Kirsten was mentored by Lindcove staff research associate Therese Kapaun. Kirsten won first place in plant systems and fifth place overall. Nate Reeves took fifth place in plant systems. In addition, Woodlake High School won the overall novice Division 1 team award.

The students' teachers are Jason Ferreira, agriculture academy instructor, and teaching assistants Joshua Reger, Joel Leonard and Stephanie Doria.   

Woodlake High School student pose with Beth Grafton-Cardwell at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center near Exeter.
Posted on Monday, March 5, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Pesticide spray ban could assist spread of huanglongbing disease

A Sacramento County Superior Court judge has ordered California agricultural officials to stop spraying pesticides in parks, schools and residents' backyards to control pests that threaten the ag industry, reported Gregory Mohan in the Los Angeles Times

CDFA issued a statement saying it will consider appealing the case, and will continue to conduct spraying "in compliance with" state environmental laws.

Julia Mitric of Capital Public Radio spoke to UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell about the ruling. Grafton-Cardwell said it's a "huge setback."

She said spraying trees to control Asian citrus psyllid, which spreads the devastating huanglongbing disease of citrus, is crucial to buy time for scientists to develop long-term solutions to the threat.

"The state has managed to contain it to three counties in California — for the moment," Cardwell said. "But it's starting to spread very rapidly and so it's the most critical point in time to limit the psyllid spread."

Mottling and yellowing of leaves is a symptom of huanglongbing disease in a citrus tree. HLB is incurable and the tree will eventually die.


Posted on Friday, March 2, 2018 at 1:35 PM

Three old trees might save the citrus industry

Three citrus trees that produce inedible fruit at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Visalia may be a game-changer for the citrus industry, reported Ezra David Romero on Valley Public Radio.

The trees are thought to be resistant to huanglongbing, a severe disease of citrus that has devastated the Florida industry and could become a serious problem in California. The citrus-saving potential of the three 34-year-old trees was outlined in an article by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources writer Hazel White in the most recent issue of California Agriculture journal.

UC Riverside citrus breeder Mikeal Roose collected seed from the trees and will test seedlings as soon as they are large enough. 

"So what (breeders) have to do is cross this with some edible varieties and eventually create something that has the gene for resistance, but also the genes for good fruit," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove director and research entomologist.

Huanglongbing disease has cut citrus production in Florida by more than half. It's been found in residential citrus trees in Southern California, but hasn't reached the state's vast commercial orchards yet. Grafton-Cardwell said she expects the disease will arrive in 4 or 5 years.

Eremocitrus crosses at Lindcove REC are potentially promising in the pursuit of a genetic source of resistance to HLB. The fruit is golfball size and inedible.
Posted on Friday, February 24, 2017 at 1:35 PM

Community enjoyed 100s of citrus fruit at UC's Lindcove REC

Mandarins, oranges, pomelos, citrons, lemons, limes and other citrus were on display - more than 100 different varieties - at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center on Dec. 10, reported Calley Cederlof in the Visalia Times-Delta.

“We're trying to expose homeowners to the fact that there are more than five varieties of citrus,” said Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist and director of the Lindcove REC. “We also like to let them know we exist.”

The public came out in droves to taste the fruit and take home some of their favorites. The event came on the heels of a similar citrus tasting for industry representatives and farmers on Dec. 9.

More than 400 varieties of citrus are on display annually at the UC Lindcove REC citrus tasting events.

“People are shocked at how many varieties there are,” Grafton-Cardwell said. “Everything related to citrus happens here.”

The Lindcove REC also hosted a mock citrus judging for local FFA students during the tasting event. The students observed citrus with 47 different types of damage and were asked to judge them. The team typically learns about different possible citrus damage through textbooks, one student said.

“To see them in person is actually really helpful,” he added. “It's a good experience.”

Lindcove REC hopes to work more with local schools in the future, Grafton-Cardwell said. She and her team are currently in the early stages of creating a teaching garden where students can learn more about the citrus industry.

A fundraiser is in the works and donations can be made on the research center's website,

Posted on Monday, December 12, 2016 at 3:19 PM

Citrus trees sprayed for Asian citrus psyllid in Highland

Beth Grafton-Cardwell.
Backyard citrus trees in Highland, Calif., were sprayed with a pesticide to kill Asian citrus psyllids, reported Jim Steinberg in the San Bernardino Sun. The invasive pests pose a threat because they can carry huanglongbing disease, which is incurable. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is treating trees that have ACP to keep the pest number in California low.

“What they are really doing is buying time until disease resistant trees become available, or there is some treatment for the (huanglongbing) disease,” said Matt Daugherty, a UC Cooperative Extension entomology specialist based at UC Riverside.

The reporter also spoke to Beth Grafton-Cardwell, who is a UCCE entomology specialist at UC Riverside and director of the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center in Tulare County. She said that it is unlikely huanglongbing was completely wiped out in the Southern California areas where infected trees have been found, even though CDFA destroyed the infected trees.

A tree can be infected for a year before it shows symptoms, she said. 

Grafton-Cardwell asks homeowners to monitor backyard trees for signs of Asian citrus psyllid and report any finds to CDFA or their county agricultural commissioner's office. For more information, see the video below.

Posted on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 at 1:29 PM

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