- Contributor: Cheryl Reynolds
We're pleased to announce that a new online course on managing ground squirrels and pocket gophers has been added to UC IPM's growing library of online training courses. This course consists of eight video segments recorded by Dr. Roger Baldwin, a University of California Cooperative Extension Specialist in Human-Wildlife Conflict Resolution. Originally presented in June of 2020 as part of the UC Ag Experts Talk webinar series, the course covers pest identification, types of damage they cause, and the importance of their biology and ecology.
If you are a pest management professional or grower interested in vertebrate pest management, then check out this course! You'll learn about current control strategies such as habitat modification, baiting options, fumigation, and trapping. The course content is free to anyone who wishes to view it. For those requiring a certificate of completion and continuing education units (CEUs), the regular cost is $20, but we are offering a reduced price of $10 through October 31, 2021. To receive the discount, enter the code SquirrelGopher50 in the voucher box when making the payment.Managing Ground Squirrels and Pocket Gophers has been approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) for 1 CEU in the Other category and also by Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) for 0.5 unit of IPM credit.
If you are a DPR license or certificate holder with a last name beginning with letters M through Z, then this will be your year to renew. Now is a good time to check out the other UC IPM online training courses offered. All are 50% off the regular price through October 31st. DPR will be sending out renewal packets in August and strongly suggests returning them by October so that your license or certificate can be renewed before it expires.
UC IPM not only offers courses accredited by DPR, but many courses are also approved by the California Structural Pest Control Board (SPCB), Certified Crop Advisor (CCA), the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture (WCISA), and the Arizona Department of Agriculture.
Cheryl Reynolds is a Writer / Interactive Learning Developer for the UC ANR Statewide IPM Program
- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller
Last month, the Thelma Hansen Fund hosted a three-day series to inform about climate change and the science behind it. In an effort to raise awareness of current and predicted impacts on Southern California, the impressive line up of UC speakers focused on the environment, agriculture, and disasters such as drought and fire.
If you missed the series or want to watch again, here is a brief overview and links to the recordings:
Climate change in California: A drier or wetter future—or…both?,
Dr. Daniel Swain, UCLA
Climate change has arrived in California, and scientific evidence linking the increasing severity of the region's recent droughts and wildfire seasons grows stronger with each passing year. But our warmer future may yet hold some surprises—and that includes the prospect of increasing "precipitation whiplash" that will increase the risk of both severe drought and extreme flood events.
UC Climate Stewards: Fostering resilience in California communities and ecosystems,
Sara-Mae Nelson, UC Climate Stewards Academic Coordinator
Climate Change Trends and Impacts on Agriculture in California and Ventura,
Dr. Tapan Pathak, UC Merced
Current and future trends in climate including temperature, precipitation, snowpack, extreme heat, frost risks etc. and how these trends could potentially impact agriculture in California and regionally in and around Ventura.
Heat, Wind, Freeze, Wind, Repeat, Dr. Ben Faber, UCCE-Ventura County
What is going on with the weather and what is the impact on farming? Coastal farming has enjoyed a fairly constant environment over the years, disrupted by the occasional freeze and the regular occurrence of devastating Santa Ana winds. Now, thrown into this pattern, are devastating heat waves which affect cropping patterns and cause significant crop damage and loss. What are these changes and consequences?
Overview of the Healthy Soils Program, Nicki Anderson, UCCE—Ventura County
What is the Healthy Soils Program and what has it accomplished so far? A look on how this program plans to continue working for California farms and farmers.
How can we address the growing wildland-urban interface problem in California?
Dr. Max Moritz, UCSB
With increasing area burned and homes lost in California, we must somehow adapt to, and coexist with, wildfire in the coming decades. A review of what we've learned about incorporating human development into future projections of wildfire and mitigation of losses, particularly as they relate to stronger land use and urban planning.
Fire and rangelands: impacts to Ventura County livestock agriculture,
Matthew Shapero—UCCE Ventura County
While the hills that surround our urban centers in Ventura County might appear from a distance as wild and uncultivated, many of them are in fact working cattle ranches. These are the lands that are most directly impacted by Ventura County's frequent wildfires. What is the history of wildfire in the county, what are the impacts to livestock agriculture, and how we plan to mitigate impacts in the future?
SAFER, Sustainable And FIRE Resistant Homes and Landscapes, Dr. Sabrina Drill—UCCE Ventura County
Creating safer landscapes in fire-prone areas starts at the home. How do you increase the likelihood of homes surviving fire at the structure and near-home landscaping scale.
- Author: Rose Marie Hayden-Smith
Nearly two tons of fruit and vegetables grown at UC's Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center (HAREC) in Santa Paula have been donated to Food Forward and the Ventura Unified School District (VUSD), destined for children and families.
Some of the vegetables – planted by volunteers and farm staff - became available when UC HAREC's farm field trips were canceled due to COVID-19. Other vegetables were harvested from the student farm located at HAREC, a partnership with VUSD and the city of Ventura. Kale and lettuce at the student farm were planted by youth from DATA and Montalvo schools.
Every fall and spring, volunteers from the UC Master Gardener program propagate seedlings for schools, bundling them into variety packs of vegetables and herbs, which are given to schools with gardens. Because of COVID-19, plants were given to schools for direct distribution to families. Ventura Unified School District staff partnering in this effort include Kara Muniz, Director of Food and Nutrition Services; Ashely Parrish Decker, Nutrition Educator, who runs the Student Farm; and Alise Echles, RDN.
Additional fruit and vegetables were harvested from HAREC's citrus demonstration area, the site's educational gardens and the farm grounds.
UCCE's education program manager Susana Bruzzone-Miller said, “We are saddened that spring field trip season is cancelled and miss the sound of children delighting in harvesting, sometimes for the very first time. But, it warms my heart that our field trip garden can help feed so many families in need.”
John Antongiovanni, farm manager, worked with the farm staff to organize the harvest. He said, “Working together during this difficult time is very rewarding.”
Food Forward is a gleaning organization that helps residents turn the surplus produce grown on their property into a nutritious food source for local communities. Rick Nahmias, founder and executive director, indicated that the Food Forward Backyard Harvest team remains active, and may be reached via phone at 805.630.2728 or email.
- Guest Blogger: Eleanor Israeli-CSU Channel Island Student
Lastly, maintenance! It's important to be consistent with your garden, a little love will go a long way. Make sure you check your garden at least once a day because some crops need more water than others, especially on a hot day. Remember what plants need to grow: seeds, soil, water, sun, air, and just a little bit of love.
- Author: Susana C. Bruzzone-Miller
Why is water important?
Where does water go when you flush it down the toilet?
What can you do to conserve water?
We end the week with a very important topic-water! How much clean water do we have on earth to share with humans, animals, agriculture...? How do plants use water? How is water transported to our homes and how much is wasted by leaky pipes? Fun activities touch on these questions and much more....