- Author: Wendy Powers
What a week – and it is only Tuesday! I didn't make it to the beach this past weekend and I have no immediate plans to dine in downtown Atlanta anytime soon, but I have remained busy nonetheless. Today is my ‘light' day yet it has gone by quite quickly. At present, I am listening to President Napolitano's Virtual Town Hall. Like other locations, there is discussion about resuming at-work operations and the budget impacts of COVID-19. Suffice it to say there are more questions than answers on both fronts. Similarly, there are many, many conversations going on about reopening our UC ANR offices, reopening the campuses and the uncertainties and risk/benefits of so doing.
Amidst all of the uncertainty, there continues to be so much good news! Yesterday Glenda and I met with Katherine Webb-Martinez to talk a bit about the Federal report that is under development. I shared last week that I had reviewed the report and was humbled by the impacts our program personnel shared. I offered a couple of glimpses of example impacts. The full report will be available in the next month or so; I will share a link as soon as it is posted. In the meantime, here are a couple more impacts that we are sharing this year:
- Effective insecticides for armyworm control were used in more than 40,000 acres of rice in 2019, resulting in armyworm control, avoiding yield losses that can be as high as 20%, and resulting in economic benefits for participating growers. The availability of these insecticides could replace broad spectrum insecticides that are not effective, resulting in environmental benefits and cost savings for growers. (Luis Espino)
- CropManage is now used in 7% of the lettuce acreage in the Salinas Valley, and has resulted in an average of a 30% reduction in nitrogen fertilizer applied to these crops. (Michael Cahn)
- Recommendations from the UC ANR "Managing Drought in a Changing Climate", report have been incorporated in the Governor's 2020 Water Resilience Portfolio. (Ted Grantham)
Thanks to those who reviewed Project Board data to identify the AES projects with significant research accomplishments to highlight, as well as other program highlights they deemed worthy.
- SFS – Neil McRoberts, with assistance from Deanne Meyer
- SNE – David Lile
- EIPD – Jim Farrar and Georgios Vidalakis
- HFC – Martin Smith, Karina Diaz Rios, with coordination by Clare Gupta
- Water – Doug Parker
In addition, Katherine, Jennifer, and Kit spent many hours pulling it all together, checking facts, and creating the story. I can't wait for all of you to have a chance to review the report.
Tomorrow is Advocacy Day. The initial plan was to hold meetings at the State Capitol in person on April 1. The new plan is to conduct meetings with our state Senators, Assemblypersons, and their staff by Zoom. I enjoyed the meetings we held in Sacramento last year. I am even more excited about the meetings this year because we can more readily connect our local UC ANR people with the appropriate representatives. As a result, I am able to be in meetings with Keith, Yana, Janet, Claudia, Katherine, and Anne in addition to some of the program staff from San Bernardino and Riverside Counties. We have great stories to share with the elected officials. Fifteen offices, in total, are scheduled for visits throughout the day! I will report back later in the week how this new approach worked.