The USDA has announced it will allow the release of a weevil (Ceratapion basicorne) in the United States to help control yellow starthistle, an invasive weed found in 40 of the lower 48 states, reported Capital Public Radio. The weevils will initially be released in California.
Ceratapion basicorne is native to Eurasia, the same area where yellow starthistle originated. Yellow starthistle is thought to have been introduced into California from Chile during the Gold Rush. The weed readily took hold in California valleys and foothills, thriving in areas where the soil has been disturbed by animals grazing, road construction and wildland firebreaks....
The California Department of Pesticide Regulation has formed a work group to find alternatives to the pesticide chlorpyrifos that will help farmers manage insect pests when a state ban on the chemical goes into effect, reported Kerry Klein on Valley Public Radio.
Klein interviewed David Haviland, UC Cooperative Extension entomology advisor and a member of the work group.
“This is an important topic,” Haviland said. “Chlorpyrifos has had a lot of benefits to...
City of Riverside staff draped a synthetic screen on a steel frame to encompass the 'parent navel' orange tree at the corner of Arlington and Magnolia avenues in Riverside to protect it from Asian citrus psyllids that spread huanglongbing disease, reported Ryan Hagen in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. Huanglongbing (HLB) is a devastating bacterial disease of citrus that is starting to spread rapidly in urban areas of Southern California.
The newly covered tree is valued for its status as an early ancestor of all Washington navel orange trees.
UC Cooperative Extension specialist
Sulfur is a natural element that can be used in strawberries, grapes and other crops to protect fruit from powdery mildew, a fungal disease that results in damaged fruit, reported Eilis O'Neil on Reveal, a podcast produced by the Center for Investigative Reporting and PRX.
Because sulfur is natural, it can be used by organic and conventional farmers alike. And it is inexpensive.
"Farmers use tons of it," O'Neill said. "It's the most used pesticide in California and it's widely used in the rest of the country."
However, it is an irritant. People who accidentally breath it in can have irrigated eyes,...
Children may have a natural tendency to squash bugs, but UC Cooperative Extension entomologist David Haviland encouraged them at the recent "Farm Day in the City" to think about the value of insects they find in their environments, reported Amanda Mason on 23ABC News in Bakersfield.
"Every single insect plays a role, even if it's only purpose is to get eaten by something," Haviland said. "Everything is important."
Haviland spent the day at the Kern County Fairgrounds teaching students about insect life cycles and their role in the ecosystem....