- Author: Ryan Puckett
More than 50 attendees of the CDFA Fertilizer Research and Education Program/Western Plant Health Nutrient Management Conference in Visalia visited Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center on Oct. 25. The three-hour farm tour featured spectacular fall weather and informative talks by Kearney researchers and post-docs, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors and specialists, and U.S. Department of Agriculture collaborators. In addition to receiving three hours of continuing education credits, the tram riders soaked in the abundance of diverse crops and research at the station.
Chad Anders, a crop consultant with Dellavalle Lab in Fresno, appreciated the information presented by Brent Holtz, UCCE farm advisor and director for San Joaquin County, saying, “Whole orchard recycling, I have clients that are pondering whether or not to get into that.”
With good humor, Holtz engaged the audience with the design of the experiment and the resulting practical data: that orchard recycling (shredding and incorporating the old orchard into the soil prior to planting new orchards rather than burning or hauling away the wood) can save growers water and enable better use of nitrogen.
Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UC Cooperative Extension small farms advisor for Fresno County, discussed her team's moringa and lemongrass projects and how they are helping local growers and then answered a flurry of questions from her captive audience. “I learned about a new plant that I didn't know existed,” said Breanna Saint Pierre with the State Water Board. “Moringa is a very interesting crop.”
Agricultural entrepreneur Nick Cizek, who runs an automated performance testing business, was impressed by the talk on insect pests of the hemp crop given by Kadie Britt, post-doc researcher with Houston Wilson's entomology lab at Kearney. “That was cool to see research on a crop that has been generating so much buzz,” he said. With a Ph.D. in physics, Cizek was also attuned to the talks given by Daniele Zaccaria, UCCE water management specialist, on cover cropping in pistachio orchards, especially when terms and abbreviations such as “albedo,” “PAR” and “NIR” were sprinkled into the conversation.
Khaled Bali, interim KARE director and UCCE specialist, and Rachel Shellabarger, California Institute for Water Resources academic coordinator, described their FREP-funded project to improve nitrogen and irrigation management through on-farm consultations, demonstrations and training.
UCCE specialist Jackie Atim and UCCE specialist emeritus Bob Hutmacher described the sorghum research at Kearney and implications for drought-impacted farming. Adjacent to the sorghum plot, which had recently been sampled for biomass and chopped, the tour perused an unfamiliar kiwi orchard and an extremely rare tea planting, which is being evaluated by UC Davis chemistry professor Jacquelyn Gervay-Hague.
USDA-ARS agronomist Sultan Begna discussed plans for his trial that seeks to demonstrate the economic potential of intercropping alfalfa in young almond orchards at Kearney. This project is an example of several ongoing collaborations between Kearney academics and USDA-ARS scientists.
When our tour group stumbled upon UCCE specialist Peter Larbi astride his new tractor preparing for his air blast sprayer calibration training at Kearney on Nov. 4 and 18, he was gracious enough to inform the group about his research.
Other topics covered on the tour by Kearney research staff included groundwater recharge in alfalfa by Bali and project scientist Moneim Mohammed, Solbrio grapes and Sunpreme raisins by UCCE specialist Matthew Fidelibus, cover crops in pistachio orchards as a means to reduce navel orangeworm emergence from mummies on the orchard floor by UCCE specialist Houston Wilson, solar powered treatment of brackish water by UCCE specialist Daniele Zaccaria and staff research associate Luke Paloutzian, and the effects of soil bio-stimulants to reduce water stress in almonds was discussed by UCCE specialist Giulia Marino.
The attendees asked thoughtful questions, including many about crop water usage. The speakers made a lovely drive through Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center a unique and diverse educational experience.
- Author: Petr Kosina
To raise awareness of pesticide safety practices, February is celebrated as National Safety Education Month. This year the University of California Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program offers help to refresh your knowledge about safe and effective pesticide use. Two frequently sought-after online courses focused on proper pesticide use to avoid illegal residues and proper selection, use, and removal of personal protective equipment are offered for free during the month of February. Use code safety100 at checkout to get your continuing education units (CEU) for free.
Pesticides are among the most regulated chemicals in the country. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulates the use of pesticides. All pesticides must be registered with the EPA, and the agency requires a battery of scientific tests to determine the potential risk to humans and the environment.
Best practices for using pesticides safely start with reading the label before each pesticide application. How will reading the label help you? Pesticide labels answer most of the basic questions you need to know about the product, its safe application and handling. Always make applications in strict accordance with all label instructions. Following label instructions will ensure safe, effective, and cost-effective use of the pesticide. Apart from the label, it is important to know what your state regulations are because some state regulations that also have to be observed are not written into the label. Note that not all pesticides approved by the EPA and available for purchase in the United States can be used in California. California is one of the few states that have more strict pesticide regulations for certain pesticides than what is required by the EPA. Even if you have used a given pesticide in the past, make sure you have an up-to-date label, as EPA may occasionally change labels. To learn more about pesticide labels and how to extract information relevant to the specific setting and situation in order to apply pesticides safely, enroll in the online course Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues. Pest management professionals will earn 2.0 hours of Laws & Regs CEUs.
Visit the UC IPM website to see all 22 online courses that are available for continuing education credit.
The 2021 Field Day for Nematode Management in Walnuts and Almonds will be held Nov 30, 2021 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm.
When: November 30, 2021 from 12:00pm to 4:00pm
Where: Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
9240 S Riverbend Ave
Parlier, CA 93648
The field day is for field research representatives, farm advisors, PCAs, growers, consultants, and anyone else interested rootstock development, pre-plant treatments, post-plant treatments ...
- Author: Petr Kosina
A brand-new online course on Diagnosing Herbicide Injury focusing on how an herbicide injury situation can arise, what information can help diagnose symptoms during field investigations, and what tools are available to you, is now available from the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management program (UC IPM).
When unexplained damage is noticed on a crop or other non-weed plant, herbicides are often a primary suspect. That is no surprise because herbicides are very powerful and effective tools used to control weedy plants in a wide variety of locations. However, symptoms of many other plant stresses, such as diseases and nutrient deficiencies or toxicities, can closely resemble the injury symptoms caused by herbicides. Economic implications of herbicide damage can vary–in some cases visible injury may have very little direct economic effect while in others, even slight herbicide symptoms can affect the marketability of affected plants. In addition, the presence of an unregistered herbicide on non-target crops can result in illegal residues which could have both safety and legal consequences.
The new online course was developed by Dr. Brad Hanson and Dr. Kassim Al-Khatib from the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, and UC IPM instructional designers. If you are a grower, pest control adviser, or pesticide applicator, then this course is a great opportunity to learn about how to approach crop injury investigation when herbicide is suspected cause. You will learn how herbicides injure plants, how long herbicide symptoms may last and factors that may influence the time that herbicide injury symptoms are visible, possible scenarios of herbicide exposure based on uniform and variable injury patterns observed in the field, how to prepare samples for the laboratory analysis and more.
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 $30, but we are offering a reduced price of $15 through October 31, 2021. Diagnosing Herbicide Injury course has been approved by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) for 1.5 continuing education units (CEU) of Other, Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) for 1.5 units (IPM), and the Arizona Department of Agriculture for 1.0 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 strongly suggests returning renewal packets back to them by October so that your license or certificate can be renewed before it expires. Many of our courses are accredited by DPR for continuing education hours and also 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.
- Author: 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, UC Statewide IPM Program