- (Public Value) UCANR: Building climate-resilient communities and ecosystems
Are you interested in learning more about Nitrogen Management?
Are you a Certified Crop Adviser seeking Continuing Education Units and/or
preparing for the new California Nitrogen Specialty Exam?
Has your grower clientele asked you if you are eligible to sign off on a Nitrogen Management Plan?
Registration for the brand new UC Nitrogen Management course is now open at
The UC Nitrogen Course is taught online through a video series delivered by UC Researchers and Extension Specialists. Each module is eligible for Certified Crop Advisor (CCA) continuing education units (CEUs).
The course is open to anyone interested in learning more about N management in California. The curriculum addresses all the learning objectives set forth by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA) for the new California Nitrogen Management Specialty Exam.
The 7-part video series opens next week November 9, 2020
Register at http://ucanr.edu/NitrogenCourse
You may join the course at any time up until December 31, 2020.
Map of Nitrogen Management Areas in Ventura County. The whole state is subject to nitrogen management protocols.
Produce Exposed to Smoke
When assessing the safety of exposed produce, the difficulty is knowing what has been burning. If it is just vegetation smoke then it's probably safe to eat produce after rinsing off the ash (just the same as having a bonfire in your garden), although it might still taste/smell smoky.
If the air pollution has particulate matter from treated timber, tires, non-food grade oils, or anything plastic or chlorinated that burned it may include a mixture of Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs), dioxins, and metals. Exposure to fire retardant may have also occurred.
An unpublished literature review on the health impacts of PAHs from traffic-related air pollution on lettuce grown in urban agriculture found that:
- Some PAHs can be absorbed into plant tissue, and so cannot be simply washed off.
- The health risk from eating these PAHs is a small proportion of the health impact from breathing them, and it is far below the EPA's level of concern for lifetime cancer risk.
- It is possible that the health benefit of eating the vitamins and nutrients in green leafy vegetables might outweigh that negligible negative impact.
- There is not enough research available on the cumulative impacts of air pollution on produce to make any solid conclusions about the health impacts.
Produce Safety after Urban Wildfire study conducted following Oct 2017 fires in Sonoma County.
Fires & Food Safety flyer by USDA FSIS, 2/2013.
Food Safety after Fire by USDA FSIS, 8/2013.
Some technical guidance tip sheets and power points that may be helpful can be found here:
- Soil Sampling, Risk Mapping & Exposure Prevention - Rob Bennaton
- Contaminants in Soils, Data Collection-Interpreting Test results and Minimizing Exposure by Cornell University
- Testing Laboratories in California
- UCCE Soils in Urban Agriculture
- Best Practices for Produce Safety After A Fire
- Produce Safety After a Fire Tool Kit
California Bay or CA Laurel or Headache Tree or, heaven forbid, Oregon Myrtle is a tree native to the west coast where there is water. In the rainy forests of northern CA and Oregon and the wet creek areas in ravines and canyons of southern CA.
Walking around a barannca the other day along a still wet section of the Ventura River, there was a fruiting bay tree. Fruit that look just like little avocado fruit to which bay is related.
Umbellularia californica is in the Lauraceae along with Persea americana, but sometimes still listed as P. gratissima.
Bay gets its name from the strong bay laurel odor similar to the culinary laurel – Laurus nobilis –, which is not related to avocado. The odor can be so pungent, that taking strong whiffs of it could bring on a headache, hence the alternative name. The tree can attain a 30 feet height as a single trunked tree or be multi-trunked. The wood is gorgeous hard and is notable in the construction of musical instruments. The seeds were roasted and eaten like acorns. There's been a recent craze to eat dried, ground, powdered avocado seeds which has been discouraged by the CA Avocado Commission.
On the north coast, this tree is subject to Sudden Oak Death – Phytophthora ramorum. It is also subject to avocado root rot, just like avocado. It is also the only California native that is subject to Laurel Wilt Disease which is ravaging the laurel forests of the southeast.
CA Laurel in Flower looks a lot like an avocado flower, hence the reason for being in the same family
2020 Climate Action and Agriculture Symposium
Information and documents related to the 2020 Climate Action and Agriculture Symposium Webinar featuring information on current climate trends and agricultural impacts, soil health and updates about related projects in San Diego and neighboring counties.
Featured Organizations and Programs:
- San Diego County Farm Bureau
- Spadra Farm, California State Polytechnic University, Pomona
- CDFA-Healthy Soils Program
- Composting Resources, County of San Diego
- Resilient Roots: Climate Smart Agriculture & Food Systems,
Climate Science Alliance
- Carbon Farming, Resource Conservation District of Greater San Diego County
- Solidarity Farm
- San Diego County Food Vision 2030, San Diego Food Systems Alliance
Technical Reports and Resources:
Compost and Mulch Market Study, County of San Diego (PDF Download,2.1 MB)
by the County of San Diego and Hidden Resources
Mulch Resources from Ben Faber, Ph.D., UCCE Farm Advisor (PDF Download,994 KB)
Questions and comments always come up about the use of mulch in orchards. Mulch has its benefits and drawbacks and they need to recognized in order to manage it. It serves to combat erosion and root rot, but it can also burn. Mulch and wood piled up against tree trunks and near trunks can cause damage to those trunks. A Fillmore grower actually goes through the orchard with a blower to move mulch away from trunks when alerted to fire. On the other hand, irrigated orchards have been shown to be effective at suppressing fire encroaching on homes. And mulches can suppress weeds and reduce water use, but it's possible that importing material for mulch can introduce weeds.
So where to read more about fire? Check out some of the blogs from the past.
Mulch and green waste applied to orchards
- Green Waste, Yard Waste, Whatever You Call It- It has Simple Rules for Use
- A Safer Source of Inexpensive Orchard Mulch
- Avocado planting holes
- Cellulase Production by Various Sources of Mulch
- A Caution on Free "Compost/Mulch"
- A Safer Source of Inexpensive Orchard Mulch
- Mulch, Avocados and the Home Garden
- Mature Compost Does NOT Kill Phytophthora
- Use of Mulch in Organic Orchards Called into Question
Mulch and Landscapes