If you hang around an orchard long enough something unusual will show up, especially when seasons change and there's more rain than usual and it's cold, but not so cold that it freezes and it's prolonged. So out of San Diego comes a request for an identification of a brown bump on avocado stems. It's a brown aphid. Is it something of concern? Likely not. Over the years there have been reports of several aphids on avocado. Check out Walter Ebeling's "Subtropical Fruit Pests" at Avocadosource.com:
These things come and go, and they don't do any damage because once the biocontrol bugs get going, they are fresh meat for them.
- Author: Pamela Kan-Rice
California growers can download a new series of publications summarizing efficient nitrogen management practices from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. The publications are designed to assist growers in complying with state regulations for tracking and reporting nitrogen fertilizer applied to crops, in an effort to prevent nitrogen from leaching into groundwater.
The science-based publications are associated with a series of trainings for growers and Certified Crop Advisers to develop efficient nitrogen management practices, an effort coordinated by UC ANR's California Institute for Water Resources.
“Our role is to provide farmers, agricultural consultants and policymakers the best science possible for making decisions on managing and protecting California groundwater,” said Doug Parker, director of the water institute.
The free publications, created from training materials, lessons learned from the training sessions and from additional UC research, can be downloaded at http://ucanr.edu/nmgmtpublications.
The following publications are now available for download:
· Principles of Nitrogen Cycling and Management
· Irrigation and Nitrogen Management
· Nitrogen Management for Nut Crops
· Nitrogen Management for Deciduous Fruit and Grapes
· Nitrogen Management for Citrus and Avocado
· Nitrogen Management for Cool-Season Vegetables
· Nitrogen Management for Strawberry Production
· Nitrogen Management for Processing Tomato
· Nitrogen Management for Corn on California Dairies
The publications were authored by Parker of California Institute for Water Resources; Patrick Brown, professor in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences; Allan Fulton, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Tehama County; Tim Hartz, UC Cooperative Extension specialist emeritus, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences; Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Fresno County; Daniel Geisseler, UC Cooperative Extension specialist, UC Davis Department of Land, Air & Water Resources; Michael Cahn, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; Richard Smith, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties; Marsha Campbell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor emeritus, Stanislaus County; Sat Darshan Khalsa, UC Davis project scientist; and Saiful Muhammad, UC Davis graduate student.
“Based on course evaluations, the percentage of participants with good-to-complete understanding of nitrogen management increased after the training,” Parker said. “In addition, the participants found the presenters very knowledgeable and informative. Most importantly, the majority of participants felt they were better prepared to address nitrogen mitigation regulatory requirements after the training.”
The nitrogen management training curriculum was developed by a group of UC ANR faculty, specialists and advisors. The first day focuses on the nitrogen cycle in crop production systems, nitrogen sources, irrigation and nitrogen management, and nitrogen budgeting. The second morning covers annual and permanent crops and nitrogen planning practices.
For more information on the nitrogen management training materials, visit http://ciwr.ucanr.edu/NitrogenManagement.
The Nitrogen Management Training and Certification Program is a joint effort between the California Department of Food and Agriculture, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources, California Association of Pest Control Advisers' Certified Crop Adviser Program and the Regional Water Boards.
Map Photo: Nitrogen Management Areas of Ventura County
UC Ag Experts Talk:
Managing Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds in Orchard Crops
Description: One hour webinar about glyphosate-resistant weed management in orchards, delivered by Dr. Brad Hanson. One CEU (other) from the DPR is approved.
Time: Apr 24, 2019 3:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Recorded version will be published on UC IPM YouTube channel about a week after the webinar.
The link to register is https://ucanr.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_96wd2GBMQl2Ou4i4oSwTTg
More information about the webinar series UC Ag Experts talk: https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucexpertstalk/
Plants lose water through their leaves and it's called transpiration. People lose water off their skin and it's called evaporation or sweating. When a plant stops losing water and when people cant produce enough sweat to cool off, both overheat. The weather influences that drive this water loss - water that needs to be replaced or the bodies begin to go into heat stress - are the amount of light (day length, cloud cover), relative humidity (it dries faster when air is dry and slower when humid - think desert versus Florida), and windy (more wind, more drying). Temperature is important, but not as much as these other drivers. Think freeze-drying - a very successful process for removing water from food. Often humans respond more to temperature than these other factors and figure, when it's cool. it's not necessary to water their plants, themselves or their workers.
Heat stress is more complicated than this, of course, but below are some helpful guidelines to follow to avoid heat stress:
Cal/OSHA HEAT ADVISORY
When employees work in hot conditions, employers must take special precautions in order to prevent heat illness. Heat illness can progress to heat stroke and be fatal, especially when emergency treatment is delayed. An effective approach to heat illness is vital to protecting the lives of California workers.
California law requires employers to identify and evaluate workplace hazards and take the steps necessary to address them. The risk of heat illness can be significantly reduced by consistently following just a few simple steps. Employers of outdoor workers at temporary work locations must be particularly alert and also plan for providing first aid and emergency medical services should they become necessary. All workers should be accounted for during and at the end of the work shift. Heat illness results from a combination of factors including environmental temperature and humidity, direct radiant heat from the sun or other sources, air speed, and workload. Personal factors, such as age, weight, level of fitness, medical condition, use of medications and alcohol, and acclimatization effect how well the body deals with excess heat.
Heat Illness Risk Reduction
1. Recognize the Hazard. There is no absolute cut-off below which work in heat is not a risk. With heavy work at high relative humidity or if workers are wearing protective clothing, even work at 70oF can present a risk. In the relative humidity levels often found in hot areas of California (20 to 40 percent) employers need to take some actions to effectively reduce heat illness risk when temperatures approach 80 F. At temperatures above 90 F, especially with heavy work, heat risk reduction needs to be a major concern.
2. Water. There must be an adequate supply of clean, cool, potable water. Employees who are working in the heat need to drink 3-4 glasses of water per hour, including at the start of the shift, in order to replace the water lost to sweat. For an eight-hour day this means employers must provide two or more gallons per person. Thirst is an unreliable indicator of dehydration. Employees often need ongoing encouragement to consume adequate fluids, especially when the workload or process does not encourage breaks.
3. Shade. The direct heat of the sun can add as much as 15 degrees to the heat index. If possible, work should be performed in the shade. If not, employers where possible, should provide a shaded area for breaks and when employees need relief from the sun. Wide brimmed hats can also decrease the impact of direct heat.
- Acclimatization. People need time for their bodies to adjust to working in heat. This “acclimatization” is particularly important for employees returning to work after (1) a prolonged absence, (2) recent illness, or (3) recently moving from a cool to a hot climate. For heavy work under very hot conditions, a period of 4 to 10 days of progressively increasing work time starting with about 2 hours work per day under the working conditions is recommended. For less severe conditions at least the first 2 or 3 days of work in the heat should be limited to 2 to 4 hours. Monitor employees closely for signs and symptoms of heat illness, particularly when they have not been working in heat for the last few days, and when a heat wave occurs.
- Rest Breaks. Rest breaks are important to reduce internal heat load and provide time for cooling. Heat illness occurs due to a combination of environmental and internal heat that cannot be adequately dissipated. Breaks should be taken in cooler, shaded areas. Rest breaks also provide an opportunity to drink water.
- Prompt Medical Attention. Recognizing the symptoms of heat illness and providing an effective response requires promptly acting on early warning signs. Common early symptoms and signs of heat illness include headache, muscle cramps, and unusual fatigue. However, progression to more serious illness can be rapid and can include unusual behavior, nausea/vomiting, weakness, rapid pulse excessive sweating or hot dry skin, seizures, and fainting or loss of consciousness. Any of these symptoms require immediate attention.
Even the initial symptoms may indicate serious heat exposure. If medical personnel are not immediately available on-site, and you suspect severe heat illness, you must call 911.
Regardless of the worker's protests, no employee with any of the symptoms of possible serious heat illness noted above should be sent home or left unattended without medical assessment and authorization.
7. Training. Supervisors and employees must be trained in the risks of heat illness, and the measures to protect themselves and their co-workers. Training should include:
- Why it is important to prevent heat illness
- Procedures for acclimatization
- The need to drink approximately one quart per hour of water to replace fluids.
- The need to take breaks out of the heat
- How to recognize the symptoms of heat illness
- How to contact emergency services, and how to effectively report the work location to 911.
Photo: Heat Stress to avocado leaves.
Here's a nice little summary of the predicament California citrus finds itself in now - by David Karp by way of the LA Times.
California farmers and scientists race to combat a citrus disease infecting trees
Mar 29, 2019 | 8:25 a.m. | Riverside
The world's most insidious citrus disease invaded Florida in 2005, wreaking havoc on its iconic groves with stunning speed. After just a decade, virtually every citrus tree in the state was dying or infected.
Then in 2012, the disease — Huanglongbing, commonly known as citrus greening — was discovered in California. It showed up first in a Hacienda Heights backyard, on a pummelo branch derived from budwood that had been smuggled from China, where the disease is epidemic.
The next infected tree wasn't found until 2015, and for two years after that only 81 more turned up. In mid-2017, however, a new sampling method and improved detection technology led to the discovery of far more HLB-positive trees in California: 1,135 as of March 11.
Now researchers and farmers are racing to fend off the disease. This month, more than 500 scientists from around the world gathered in Riverside at the sixth International Research Conference on Huanglongbing, meeting in California for the first time. Their findings show that although the disease is spreading rapidly in the Southland and no breakthrough is imminent, a host of new detection methods and strategies could help California avert the kind of disaster that destroyed almost three quarters of Florida's citrus production.
Huanglongbing originated in Asia a century or more ago. It is caused by a bacterium, Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus, transmitted by a tiny insect, the Asian citrus psyllid, which feeds on young citrus leaves. HLB clogs citrus trees' phloem, a vascular tissue that transports sugar from the leaves; this causes the most symptomatic fruit to become small and bitter, and eventually makes trees unproductive or kills them.
Until now California has avoided painful losses from HLB, but that may be changing.
Photo: Deformed HLB fruit