The first-ever cost study of primocane-bearing blackberries in California has been published by UC ANR's Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension. With primocane-bearing, growers can extend the blackberry production season.
“What differentiates primocane-bearing blackberry from the traditional floricane-bearing is that it bears fruit in the first year rather than the second,” explained co-author Mark Bolda, UC Cooperative Extension advisor.
“Which, of course, opens a world of opportunity for growers, since they are able to produce fruit in the first year rather than the second as has traditionally been the case,” Bolda said. “That's what makes this study so interesting to us.”
Primocanes are the green, vegetative stalks of the blackberry plant, generally the first-year cane. The second year, they become floricanes, flowering and fruiting.
The study presents sample costs to establish, produce and harvest primocane-bearing blackberries in the Central Coast Region of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties.
The analysis is based on a hypothetical well-managed farming operation using practices common to the region. The costs, materials and practices shown in this study will not apply to all farms. Growers, UC ANR Cooperative Extension farm advisors and other agricultural associates provided input and reviewed the methods and findings of the study.
This study assumes a farm operation size of 30 contiguous acres of rented land, with primocane-bearing blackberries for fresh market planted on 15 acres. The crop is hand-harvested and packed into 4.5 pound trays. During the establishment year, there is a four-month harvest – July through August. Primocane blackberries can produce fruit on first-year growth. There is also a four-month harvest for each of the four production years.
The authors describe assumptions in detail and present a table of costs and returns based on those assumptions about production, input materials, prices and yields. A ranging analysis shows the impact on net returns of alternative yields and prices. Other tables show the monthly cash costs, the costs and returns per acre, hourly equipment costs, and the whole farm annual equipment, investment and business overhead costs.
The study also has an expanded section on labor, which includes information on California's new minimum wage and overtime laws.
“This work investigating the economics of a newer cultural system for our area came out of a close collaboration between UCCE academics and area growers,” said Bolda, who serves Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito counties, “so the level of detail and accuracy is outstanding.”
Free copies of this study and other sample cost of production studies for many commodities are available. To download the cost studies, visit the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics website at https://coststudies.ucdavis.edu
The cost and returns studies program is funded by the UC Agricultural Issues Center and UC Cooperative Extension, both of which are part of the UC Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the UC Davis Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics.
For additional information or an explanation of the calculations used in the studies, contact the UC Agricultural Issues Center at (530) 752-4651 or UC Cooperative Extension advisors Mark Bolda (831) 763-8025 or Laura Tourte (831) 763-8005 in Santa Cruz County.
California water rights holders are required by state law to measure and report the water they divert from surface streams. For people who wish to take the water measurements themselves, the University of California Cooperative Extension is offering training to receive certification April 4 in Redding and Woodland.
At the workshop, participants will:
- Clarify reporting requirements for ranches.
- Understand which meters are appropriate for different situations.
- Learn how to determine measurement equipment accuracy.
- Develop an understanding of measurement weirs.
- Learn how to calculate and report volume from flow data.
UC Cooperative Extension is offering a limited number of trainings in 2019. The next trainings will be held at Shasta College Farm and Yolo County Fairgrounds:
- Shasta College Farm in Redding – Register by completing the form at http://ceshasta.ucanr.edu, emailing Larry Forero at email@example.com or Sara Jaimes at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by calling the UCCE office in Shasta County at (530) 224-4900. Training will begin at 8 a.m. and conclude at 11 a.m.
- Yolo County Fairgrounds in Woodland – Register at http://cecapitolcorridor.ucanr.edu or by emailing Morgan Doran at email@example.com or calling the UCCE office in Yolo County at (530) 666-8143. Training will begin at 2 p.m. and should conclude by 5 p.m.
Background on the water diversion law
Senate Bill 88 requires that all water right holders who have previously diverted or intend to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year (riparian and pre-1914 claims), or who are authorized to divert more than 10 acre-feet per year under a permit, license or registration, to measure and report the water they divert.
Detailed information on the regulatory requirements for measurement and reporting are available on the State Water Resources Control Board Reporting and Measurement Regulation webpage. For diversion or storage greater than or equal to 100-acre feet annually, the law requires approval of installation and certification of measurement methods by an engineer, contractor or other approved professional.
To make it easier for farmers and ranchers to comply with the law, the California Cattlemen's Association worked with Assemblyman Frank Bigelow on a bill that would allow people to get certified to take the measurements themselves. Assembly Bill 589 became law on Jan. 1, 2018. This bill, until Jan. 1, 2023, allows anyone who diverts water and has completed an instructional course on measurement devices and methods administered by UC Cooperative Extension, including passage of a proficiency test, to be considered qualified to install and maintain devices or implement methods of measurement. The bill requires UC Cooperative Extension and the water board to jointly develop the curriculum for the course and the proficiency test.
- Author: Jeannette E. Warnert
The public is invited to taste, see and learn about many UC Agriculture and Natural Resources programs offered in California at the World Ag Expo, the world's largest agricultural exposition to be held in Tulare Feb. 12-14. The Expo is at the International Agri-Center, 4500 S. Laspina St., Tulare.
Attractions in the UC ANR tent at space 137 on I Street, just west of Pavilion A, include the opportunity to meet researchers, enjoy fresh citrus from the Lindcove Research and Extension Center, taste moringa tea, and enter to win a poster-size satellite image of one's own farm.
The tent displays include leaf-footed bugs controlled by microbes, traps for managing vertebrate pests, the superior quality of soils managed with conservation techniques, and high-tech ag innovations, including a drone.
In two booths inside Pavilion A (1411 and 1412), the UC ANR programs that target the general public will be featured. The Tulare County nutrition educators will be playing nutrition Jeopardy! with visitors. The UC Master Gardeners will reach out with research-based gardening information. The 4-H Youth Development program will invite all youth to peer into virtual reality goggles to give them an idea about the fun activities that can be part of joining 4-H.
With VR goggles, viewers can be immersed in expeditions from Mount Everest to the undersea world. Expeditions explore history, science, the arts and nature. World Ag Expo visitors will have the opportunity to experience a variety of virtual experiences, from scuba diving with sea lions to flying over Greece.
Two UC ANR academics are presenting seminars during the the show.
Getting it Right: Livestock's Environmental Story
1 to 2 p.m., Feb. 12, in seminar trailer 1
Frank Mitloehner, UC Cooperative Extension specialist
Mitloehner will discuss confusion in the media about the impact livestock supposedly has on our environment. This presentation reviews how the efficiencies in livestock production and environmental emissions are related, and how our producers are leading the way to a "greener future" for California and U.S. agriculture.
Asian Citrus Psyllid and Huanglongbing - Regulatory Compliance Update and Treatment Protocols
12 to 1 p.m., Feb. 13, in seminar trailer 1
Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomology specialist
Victoria Hornbaker, California Department of Food and Agriculture
An update on regulatory protocols relating to Asian citrus psyllid and HLB quarantines and the proper transportation of bulk citrus to mitigate against the spread of the pest and disease. Speakers will review the University of California recommended treatment options for Asian citrus psyllid in commercial citrus groves and residential citrus trees. Continuing Education units have been requested.
UC VINE will hold a meeting with Dutch agtech professionals during World Ag Expo
The California and Dutch AgFoodTech innovation partnership is reuniting in California during the show to share their action plan and scope the projects. Contact Gabe Youtsey, UC ANR chief innovation officer, to request an invitation to the presentation and networking luncheon on Feb. 12 at the UC Cooperative Extension office across the street from the International Agri-Center in Tulare.
On Feb. 19, San Joaquin Valley grape growers are invited to discuss the latest UC research on mechanical pruning, trunk disease and rootstocks with UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists in Fresno. Growers will also get to observe a field demonstration of grapevines being mechanically pruned.
“We have been hearing from California grape growers that they are having a hard time finding enough workers to maintain their vineyards and increasing labor cost starts challenging grape-farming economic sustainability so we are studying the use of machines to reduce the number of people needed to perform tasks such as pruning,” said George Zhuang, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for Fresno County.
Gabriel Torres, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for Tulare and Kings counties, will discuss plant diseases that may result from trunk injuries and pruning wounds from the machinery.
Karl Lund, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture advisor for Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties, will discuss how to select rootstock for a vineyard that will be mechanically managed.
“Because the canopy architecture and yield characteristics from mechanically pruned vines are much different from hand-pruned vines, the water and fertilizer requirements of mechanically pruned vines can be quite different,” Zhuang said. “Therefore, performance of different rootstocks under mechanical pruning system is critical to achieve both yield and fruit quality targets of grape production in the San Joaquin Valley.”
Kaan Kurtural, UC Cooperative Extension viticulture specialist in the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology, will go over the basic principles of mechanical pruning of wine grape vines.
From 8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., UC Cooperative Extension advisors and specialists will meet with growers in a Golden State Vintners vineyard at 7409 W Central Ave in Fresno.
“We will discuss current grape issues and the future of viticulture in the valley,” Zhuang said.
The meeting, which is being co-hosted by UC Cooperative Extension and San Joaquin Valley Winegrowers Association, is free. For more information, contact Zhuang at firstname.lastname@example.org or (559) 241-7506.
Beginning farmers are invited to attend a series of workshops to learn how to raise pastured and free-range poultry from UC Cooperative Extension specialists, poultry farmers and other experts. The first five workshops are three-hour long evening courses (4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. PST) in January and February 2019. In addition to typical in-person workshops, the training will be available as online webinars to accommodate people nationwide who are unable travel to Davis.
“These workshops are designed for farmers who are interested in learning about all aspects of commercial pastured/free range poultry including diseases, husbandry, pasture management, marketing and welfare,” said Maurice Pitesky, UC Cooperative Extension poultry specialist in the School of Veterinary Medicine at UC Davis. “We are incorporating roundtable discussions with farmers so we can discuss challenges and opportunities for free-range and pastured farmers.”
The workshops cost $15 per day for in-person workshops and $5 per day for the webinars. For participants who register for all five in-person workshops, the fee is discounted to $60.
Each of the three-hour workshops cover a different aspect of beginning pastured and free-range poultry farming and include talks from various experts. Light refreshments will be provided for participants attending at the UC Davis campus.
If you are unable to join in person, consider signing up for the webinar version of the course for $5 per day. You will be provided a link to join and participate in real time via Zoom video conference.
For more information and to register for the workshops, visit http://ucanr.edu/beginpoultryfarmworkshop2019.
The training is supported by the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine Extension's USDA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program grant.