- Author: Jeffrey P Mitchell
- Author: Tom Willey, Madera County organic farmer
- Author: Paul Muller, Guinda organic farmer
Though humans thrived here for millennia without planting seeds or herding animals, the phenomenal success of California's short-lived agricultural experiment is staggering on a planetary scale, and represents barely over a century of building the highly productive food systems that benefit us all today. The farmers who manage the fields, orchards and vineyards of our Golden State contribute greatly to the common good by providing abundant food from an astonishing variety of crops.
Yet, present and looming challenges of water supply, climate change, air quality and the long-term fertility and sustainability of California's agricultural soils threaten continued productivity. Such challenges compel farmers, researchers and the...
In addition to anchorage, a key role of roots is the uptake of water and nutrients. Although roots are responsible for water uptake, roots do not function well when exposed to too much water and will stop growing and eventually die in stagnant and/or saturated soil conditions. We consider how a better understanding of root biology can inform best irrigation practices.
When do roots grow?
There is a false understanding in walnut production that there is a flush of root growth in both spring and fall. In fact, there's even a figure in the 1996 UC Walnut Production Manual that shows these two flushes of root growth where the fall peak is larger than the spring peak. Recent work in the Chandler variety by Bruce...
"The enemy of my enemy is my friend" holds true in entomology as well!
The activity of natural enemies of pests (beneficial insects) is a key component of Integrated Pest Management in alfalfa to prevent pest resurgence and secondary pest outbreaks.
This is especially true for blue alfalfa aphid (BAA), a challenging pest in alfalfa (see companion article on managing BAA). Although BAA is frequently the most damaging and troublesome aphid to control, spotted alfalfa aphid, pea aphid, and cowpea aphid can also be problematic.
In alfalfa, aphids have many natural enemies. Some, like lady beetles, syrphid flies, and...
- Author: Siavash Taravati
Western drywood termites (Incisitermes minor, Figure 1) are important pests of structural wood in California, causing millions of dollars in damage annually. These termites are very cryptic, hidden in their galleries within wood members (pieces of wood), and only emerge during swarming. As a result, wood damage usually goes unnoticed for a long time.
UC IPM Control options are generally categorized as either whole-structure treatment (heat-treatment and fumigation) or local treatments (insecticide injection into the wood, high-power microwaves, electrocution, and other techniques). Despite the high efficacy of fumigation, there has been increasing interest by property owners to use local treatments for eradicating drywood...
- Author: Larry Forero
- Author: Sheila Barry
- Author: Josh Davy
- Author: Gabriele Maier
The COVID-19 pandemic has much of the California population staying home in an effort to reduce the spread of the virus. Across the state, many grocery stores have had shelves emptied of food and other day-to-day necessities as people have stockpiled these essentials. Bob Moller, a rancher in Shasta County, recalled this was similar to the grocery stores in 1945, when noted items were out of stock or customers were limited to the number of items they were allowed to purchase. For ranchers like Moller, whose cattle depend on him for food and care, working from home isn't an option, but there are steps they can take to reduce the risk.
Agriculture workers are considered...