Join the discussion July 23
About this Event
Three part webinar lecture series, staring speakers in industry, government, and the university system; covering the following soil health topics:
soil organic matter – interpreting soil test results – structure & function of plant roots – Mycorrhizae 101 – compost & cover crops – microalgae – biochar – FDA soil health perspectives – conservation tillage – organic production – pesticide effects – soil borne pathogens – ag engineering pest control.
PCA, CCA, and Pest Control continuing education credits requested for AZ, CA, NM, and NV.
More details to come on the CEU process.
Module 1: Defining Soil Health
8:00am - 10:30am
Soil Science PHD Student: UC Davis
Defining Soil Health in the American Southwest
Dr. Joey Blankinship
Soil Science Professor: University of Arizona
Soil Organic Matter in Desert Agriculture
Interpreting Soil Test Results
Dr. Glenn Wright
Extension Horticulturalist: University of Arizona
Structure and Function of Plant Roots
Director of R&D: Mycorrhizal Applications LLC
Module 2: Practices to Improve Soil Health
10:30am - 3:00pm
Dr. David Johnson
Adjunct Professor: New Mexico State University
Composting and Cover Crops
Dr. Kristine Nichols
Research Director: MyLand Company
The Role of Microalgae in Soil Health
Dr. Catherine Brewer
Assistant Professor: New Mexico State University
Biochar Production and Application Methods
Dr. Ataullah Khan
Senior Research Scientist: InnoTech Alberta
Biochar Application Development
Consultant: BioAg Product Strategies
Alternative Soil Amendments for Soil Restoration and Sustainability
Dr. David Ingram
Consumer Safety Officer: FDA-CFSAN Produce Safety Staff
FDA Perspectives on Soil Health
Dr. Michele Jay-Russell
Project Director: UC Davis Western Center for Food Safety
Organic Production Soil Health Considerations
Dr. Jeff Mitchell
Cropping Systems Specialist: UC Davis
Conservation Tillage in Vegetable Cropping Systems
Conservation Education Director, AZ Association of Conservation Districts (AACD)
Funding for Soil Health Programs
Module 3: Soil Pest Control
3:00pm - 6:00pm
Dr. John Palumbo
Extension Entomologist: University of Arizona
Soil Applied Insecticides
Extension Weed Scientist: University of Arizona
Persistence of Herbicides in the Soils of the Low Desert
Dr. Stephanie Slinski
Associate Director: Yuma Center for Excellence in Desert Agriculture
Soil Borne Pathogens
Dr. Channah Rock
Extension Water Quality Specialist: University of Arizona
Water Treatment Effects of Soil Borne Pathogens
Dr. Mark Siemens
Extension Ag Engineer: University of Arizona
Point Injection Systems – Fertilizer/Pesticide Application with Minimal Soil Disturbance
Nitrogen is the nutrient plants require in the largest quantity for better yield and quality. Nitrogen is also an integral constituent of proteins, nucleic acids, chlorophyll, co-enzymes, phytohormones,and secondary metabolites, and its deficiency can negatively affect yield. Nitrogen-deficient plants are stunted, with narrow, small, pale leaves. Excessive N application increases vegetative growth and susceptibility to diseases that infect fruit, kill spurs, and reduce yields in subsequent years. Managing nitrogen is critical to tree health and productivity, and active understanding of how it plays in the general horticulture of the tree is critical.
In response to evidence of nitrate pollution of groundwater in California, the various Regional Water Quality Control Boards have adopted regulatory programs to protect groundwater resources that requires growers to use best nitrogen (N) management practices to reduce nitrate loading. As a help to growers, this publication has been created to optimize N use efficiency in citrus and avocado crops with the outcome of reducing N leaching.
Floyd Zaiger a world famous fruit breeder has just passed. Luther Burbank created such creations as the Russet Burbank Potato, the Shasta daisy and the ‘Santa Rosa” plum. This was all done through traditional breeding practices. Floyd Zaiger carried the breeding process to a more intense level for fruit trees, crossing plums and apricots to get ‘Pluots' and ‘Apriums' and a range of other crosses between species – interspecifics. He worked to create low-chill cherries, such as ‘Minnie Roya', ‘Royal Lee' an ‘Riyal Crimson' that are more adapted to Southern California growing conditions than traditional cherries. He and his company Zaiger Genetics were able to create new varieties by the sheer number of crosses that are done every year, thousands. Part of the success has been the use of moveable containers that allow them to create environments that are more conducive to crosses that would not normally occur because of different flowering times. The Zaiger family continues with the family business and we can expect to see many more new Zaiger fruits, nuts and rootstocks in the future.
New selections currently under development include:
- varieties with low winter chilling requirements,
- dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties,
- dwarfing rootstocks and extremely vigorous semi-dwarfing rootstocks,
- nematode and disease-resistant rootstocks,
- extra-early and extra-late-ripening varieties,
- low acid/high flavor white-fleshed peaches and nectarines,
- low acid/high flavor experimental varieties,
- Asian and European pear hybrids,
- apples, red pears, canning clingstone peaches,
You can read Floyd Zaiger's obituary below:
And we do have UC breeders of all manner of fruits – strawberries, walnuts, pistachios, citrus amongst many other crops. A couple of avocado breeders are Mary Lu Arpaia and Patty Manoslava
Floyd Zaiger, pioneer of modern fruit crosses, gives out samples. The Sacramento Bee
UC-ANR PUBLICATIONS has some helpful guides for protecting, identifying and helping pollinators thrive. Check'em out
Nearly 1600 species of native bees can be found in California's rich ecosystems; this colorful pocket-sized card set will help you identify 24 of the most common bees found in urban gardens and landscapes.
Included for each featured bee are color photographs, a general description of appearance, the distribution and richness, flight season, nesting habits, floral hosts, and how each transports pollen.
$11.25- Through June 30
California is home to over 1600 species of undomesticated bees—most of them native—that populate and pollinate our gardens, fields, and urban green spaces. In this absorbing guidebook, bee and botany experts from UC Berkeley's Urban Bee Lab introduce us to this diverse population, holding a magnifying glass up to the twenty-two most common genera.
$18.00--Through June 30
Bats are important pollinators and you can turn your vineyard, farm, or garden into a wildlife refuge and control pest activity naturally with this handy guide. Although written with vineyard managers in mind, anyone interested in learning about nest boxes will find this guide useful.
Includes patterns for building your own boxes and advice on where to place your boxes for best results.
$11.25- Through June 30
This handbook from Cornell University Press provides step-by-step directions accompanied by more than 100 illustrations for setting up an apiary, handling bees, and working throughout the season to maintain a healthy colony of bees and a generous supply of honey.
This book explains the various colony care options and techniques, noting advantages and disadvantages, so that beekeepers can make the best choices for their own hives.
Reviewed and approved by UC experts for inclusion in our catalog, we're pleased to make this resource available.
There's more about how to create a haven for bees and other pollinators in these
About three-quarters of all flowering plants rely on insects or birds for pollination, and that includes one-third of all crop plants. Learn how to create a landscape that is welcoming for bees and many other pollinators.
Tips on how to make your garden more bee-friendly, whether you have a cottage garden or vegetable garden, or even a drought-tolerant native plant garden.
Learn beekeeping basics as they apply to urban environments as well as how to keep your bees good neighbors. Good for bees, good for beekeepers, and good for neighbors.
UC Riverside has entered into a $2.25 million partnership with Spain-based Eurosemillas S.A., a global leader in the commercialization of agriculture innovations, to help the university bring to market the most promising and advanced avocado scions and rootstocks in its collection.
If successful, these varieties would meet diverse regional growing requirements, exhibit better post-harvest characteristics, increase yields, provide resistance against disease, and expand consumer market diversity.
“Eurosemillas has successfully commercialized citrus varieties developed at UC Riverside in the past. They have the global network and expertise to do the same with the next generation of avocados,” said Brian Suh, director of technology commercialization in the Office of Technology Partnerships at UC Riverside, who worked with a team on this initiative for the past four years.
Eurosemillas will obtain access to a small subset of the overall university avocado variety and rootstock collection for evaluation and testing on various continents to see if they perform as well as they do in California. At the same time, they will forge partnerships for commercialization that could lead to global market penetration of some of these selections.
“After 31 years of working with UC on many other crops, we are delighted to partner with UCR again in a new product like avocado,” said Javier Cano Pecci, Chief Executive and Development Officer of Eurosemillas. “The avocado market is growing and is currently dominated by the Hass variety. This is a great opportunity for growers, marketers, retailers, and consumers to have options and diversify to include better avocado varieties and rootstocks adapted to their regions.”
UC Riverside's 70-year old avocado breeding programs house one of the most elite germplasm collections of scion and rootstock breeding material in the world. The University of California has partnered with California avocado growers since the inception of the industry a century ago and has had several plant breeders developing new varieties and rootstocks for the industry.
Bob Bergh headed the variety improvement program for nearly 40 years, which released among other varieties, the ‘Lamb Hass' and ‘GEM.' This program is under the leadership of Mary Lu Arpaia, an extension horticulturist. The goal of the variety breeding program is to develop trees with high eating and market quality while increasing yield efficiency.
Arpaia said for the California industry to remain viable, growers must have new varieties that yield more than Hass, are more tolerant to environmental stress, and can be produced reliably under high-density planting systems.
“I am delighted by this partnership with Eurosemillas since it will help UC take this vision for the future toward reality,” Arpaia said.
The variety improvement program has four selections being readied for release that can augment the ‘Hass' variety in terms of seasonality and have potential for expanded environmental adaptation within California.
The rootstock breeding program was started in the 1940s by George Zentmyer and is currently directed by Patricia Manosalva, an assistant professor of plant pathology at UCR. The UCR Rootstock Breeding Program is one of the few well-recognized rootstock breeding programs worldwide and has been historically funded by the California industry through the California Avocado Commission. The main goal of the rootstock program is to develop and release the next generation of rootstocks that meet the most pressing needs of growers using traditional breeding complemented with genomic-assisted breeding approaches.
The program is selecting rootstocks that can resist Phytophthora root rot, the most common avocado disease worldwide, as well as salinity, drought, and heat, all of which are expected to become worse as the climate warms. In collaboration with the California Avocado Commission, five UC Riverside advanced rootstocks exhibiting resistance to these major challenges are being evaluated by growers throughout California.
“This partnership with Eurosemillas will allow us to test our five advanced rootstocks in combination with ‘Hass' and local scions in other countries to determine their potential outside California,” Manosalva said.
Peggy Mauk, director of agricultural operations and cooperative extension horticulture specialist, has been active in avocado research and extension for more than two decades. Over the past 25 years, avocado production in California and worldwide has been challenged by declining water quality. Avocado is the most salinity sensitive tree crop and ‘Hass' is very susceptible to damage caused by salts. She initiated a program to find rootstocks tolerant to saline water.
“Our UCR team in partnership with Eurosemillas is focused on finding rootstock/scion combinations that increase salinity tolerance,” Mauk said.
Over the last 30 years, the avocado market has increased 2.5-fold and per capita consumption has quadrupled, generating interest in avocado production in many other countries, Manosalva said. But diseases, climate change, and the worldwide market's dependence on the Hass variety threaten this burgeoning market.
“The funding from Eurosemillas will allow UC Riverside to maintain the plant material and support and complement the current California Avocado Commission funding of the avocado scion and rootstock breeding programs, respectively, which have significant value given their uniqueness,” said Kathryn Uhrich, dean of UC Riverside's College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences.
For more information on this avocado program contact Joyce Patrona: firstname.lastname@example.org