Spotlight on SWEEP in Citrus
Shulamit Shroder, UCCE climate smart agriculture specialist - Kern County
In 2014, Bruce Kelsey in Kern County received a grant through the California Department of Food and Agriculture's State Water Efficiency and Enhancement Program (SWEEP). He used the funds to set up 8-foot-wide plastic weed mats underneath his mature organic citrus trees. He also decreased his electrical consumption by about 30% and installed soil moisture sensors, a water flow meter, and a pressure-sustaining device.
Labor: The installation of the weed mat was a labor-intensive process, but it ended up paying off in the long term. It diminished weed populations so that he no longer has to weed under his citrus trees. Now he only mows with a small mower in the lanes between his trees.
Water usage: His overall water usage decreased by about 10%. The weed mat decreased evaporation and weed pressure while the other devices allowed him to better manage and schedule his irrigation.
Pests: Bruce experienced an increase in earwigs in the weed mat orchard. The plastic covering provided the perfect humid environment for the insects.
Organic certification: The weed mats will eventually start to disintegrate, which could contaminate his soil. To maintain his organic certification, he will have to rip them up once they start to break down. Smaller, younger trees do not protect the plastic from the sun, which quickly destroys the plastic. For this reason, he recommended against using weed mat in immature orchards.
Figure 1. Weed mat in place.
Snails and Slugs (May 22, 2019 from 3-4pm)
Presenters: (!) Dr. Cheryl Wilen (UC IPM), (2) Dr. Rory Mc Donnell and (3) Dr. Dee Denver (Oregon State University), (4) Dr. Adler Dillman and (5) Dr. Irma De Ley (UC Riverside). The webinar will cover an overview of snail and slug biology, damage and management with emphasis on brown snail and Italian white snail, and current research on slug biocontrol using nematodes. One DPR CE unit (other) and one CCA CE unit (IPM) are approved.
And What Else Are the
UC Ag Experts
|UC Ag Experts Talk: Snails and slugs||5/22/2019|
|Uc Ag Experts Talk: Management of Weeds in Citrus Orchards||6/19/2019|
|UC Ag Experts Talk: Citrus Dry Root Rot||7/24/2019|
What is involved in the webinars?
A series of 1 hour webinars, designed for growers and Pest Control Advisors, will highlight various pest management and horticultural topics for citrus and avocados. During each session, a UC Expert on the subject will make a presentation and entertain write-in questions via chat during and/or after the presentation. As we develop this program, we may expand to other crops.
Topics: pests and diseases of citrus, avocado and other crops
And Next up is:
Management of Weeds in Citrus Orchards (June 19, 2019 from 3-4pm)
Dr. Travis Bean, assistant weed science specialist in UCCE, will discuss the importance of weed management in citrus, tree age and variety considerations, scouting and weed identification, cultural and mechanical practices, and pre- and post-emergence herbicides. One DPR CE unit (other) and one CCA CE unit (IPM) are pending.
Register in advance for the webinars by clicking on the event links above.
Are there Continuing Education units?
When the subject discusses pest or disease management, continuing education units will be requested from DPR (1 unit per session). Participants will pre-register, participate in the webinar and be awarded the unit. The sessions will be recorded and hosted on this web site for future study. However, continuing education units will be awarded only to the participants who attend the live version of the webinar.
Who is involved?
This webinar series is brought to you by Ben Faber (UC ANR Ventura Advisor) and Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell (Depart of Entomology UC Riverside Extension Specialist) with the technical support of Petr Kosina (UC IPM Contect Development Supervisor) and Cheryl Reynolds (UC IPM Interactive Learning Developer).
Here's an example of the kind of information that can be both exciting and disappointing - forecasts of the future of the citrus and avocado industries and many other fruit and nut crops. The latest forecasts are available form the USDA - Economic Research Service:
Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Imports play a significant role in meeting the U.S. demand for avocados. Since the mid-1990s, imports of avocados have grown sharply as per capita consumption has grown, representing 87 percent of domestic use in the 2017/18 marketing year. USDA forecasts that imports will make up an even larger share of supply in 2018/19, mainly because California's crop is expected to be smaller than in recent years. Contributing factors to this reduced crop include record-breaking heatwaves in July 2018 followed by record-breaking wildfires, as well as recent rains and cold weather, and the general alternate-year-bearing nature of avocado trees (whereby a large crop one year is followed by a smaller crop the next year). Because over 80 percent of all U.S.-produced avocados each year are from California, California's low harvest in 2018/19 should boost U.S. demand for imported avocados (especially from Mexico) even higher than it has been in recent years. If USDA's forecast is realized, imports in 2018/19 will represent 93 percent of the domestic avocado supply. This chart appears in the ERS Fruit and Tree Nuts Outlook newsletter, released in March 2019.
Fruit & Tree Nuts
Provides current intelligence and forecasts the effects of changing conditions in the U.S. fruit and tree nuts sector. Topics include production, consumption, shipments, trade, prices received, and more.
Can the past foretell the future?/h3>/h2>
Water Quality Impacts on California Avocado –
A Collaborative Approach
Sat Darshan S. Khalsa1 and Ben Faber2
1Department of Plant Sciences, UC Davis
2Cooperative Extension Ventura County, UCANR
Avocado consumption continues to grow both in the U.S. and around the globe. Greater demand creates an opportunity for growers to supply an expanding market with quality California fruit. More intensive production increases the need for attention to tree health, crop protection and irrigation practices. Many avocado root rot diseases are related to how growers manage water, and given the salt sensitivity of avocado and limited selection of salt-resistant rootstocks, water quality is an inherent driver of avocado productivity and quality.
In the California avocado-growing regions of the Central and South coast, water quality can be highly variable. Groves can rely on a combination of surface and groundwater yet, water high in total dissolved solids, pH and salts such as sodium and chloride, can be common place. Furthermore, water quality properties are subject to change as California faces more weather extremes and shifting water demand. As a result, avocado growers need to continue to be conscientious of how local and regional water quality conditions impact their groves.
A comprehensive understanding of how water quality impacts avocado tree health and fruit quality is still limited. The consensus is irrigation with poor quality water reduces crop productivity yet, the extent to which crop loss is linked to water quality and specific practices to mitigate the risk is not entirely clear. The clonal rootstocks ‘Dusa', ‘Toro Canyon' and ‘Duke 7' have some salt tolerance, but are still sensitive to salts. Even less information is available on the potential impacts of water quality on fruit quality, including both nutritional value and postharvest storage.
A collaborative approach to problem-solving creates an opportunity for growers to participate in research and to generate regional and site specific solutions. The phases of this project include 1) identify the range of water quality conditions in California avocado-growing regions; 2) build a network of ‘focus sites' identified by grower participants using specific grove characteristics and; 3) monitor field indicators to quantify impacts of water quality on tree health and fruit quality. Results will be shared in aggregate to maintain the privacy of participants and also, allow growers to compare their focus site with a wider population.
If you are interested in learning more about this collaborative water quality project, please contact Dr. Khalsa at email@example.com or sign up for a follow-up conversation using this webform (http://madmimi.com/signups/fbeac7dee8264fac90ab8a9b6f0c65ff/join).
Sat Darshan Khalsa is an Assistant Project Scientist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis (http://www.plantsciences.ucdavis.edu/people/sat-darshan-khalsa) and Ben Faber is the UCANR Soils/Water/Subtropical Crops Advisor for Ventura and Santa Barbara Counties (http://ceventura.ucanr.edu/Staff/?facultyid=638).
Photo: These aren't avocados.
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.