- Author: Chris M. Webb
Today our Staff Research Associate, Maren Mochizuki, will share with us a glimpse inside a recent day as our office works to better understand the growth patterns of the yellow nutsedge.
Yellow nutsedge is a difficult weed to control because the plant produces new shoots via underground stems called tubers (similar to a potato); a few plants can turn quickly into an infestation! Costly and labor-intensive hand weeding has been the only means of management because current herbicides are not effective.
Strawberry bed with yellow nutsedge
To understand the underground growth of this weed, we (Oleg Daugovish, Ventura County UCCE Farm Advisor; Emmanuel Gonzalez, Ventura County UCCE Lab Assistant; and Maren Mochizuki, Ventura County UCCE Staff Research Associate) sliced a cross section of an infested strawberry bed. We were hoping to answer the following questions: How deep are the tubers? About how many tubers are produced from each shoot?
After cutting the cross section and pushing it onto a bed of nails to hold it, we were able to lift it onto the truck tailgate and drive it to a water source to wash a few cubic feet of soil from the nutsedge underground stem/root system. We were surprised to find that the tubers were not as deep as we expected (no deeper than 8 inches) and we counted several hundred tubers from our cross section, or about 3 per plant.
Yellow nutsedge tubers
The research team has another multi-year study using mechanical barriers such as layering plastic mulch, then paper, and another layer of plastic prevents germination of yellow nutsedge in strawberry beds as they continue to develop ways to handle this problematic weed. The mechanical barrier study will be featured in tomorrow’s blog posting./span>
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Agritourism has been gaining momentum as a way to increase revenue on farms and ranches. It is anticipated that agritourism will continue to grow as people continue to search for ways to connect with nature and learn more about our food systems.
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources Division (UC ANR) has some great resources to help navigate the process – and two of the three are free!
Read below for a description of the free publications:
Agritourism can be a great boon to the California grower, but you have to be aware of your legal responsibilities, get your permits, and follow the rules regarding land use, zoning, public health, and other areas. This gives you a brief overview. (8 pages)
This publication gives you a game plan for navigating the maze of permits, plans, and approvals you will need to get in order before you launch a potentially profitable agritourism enterprise on your California farm or ranch. (6 pages)
If after reviewing the free publications you are interested in finding out more, UC ANR has a priced publication, Agritourism and Nature Tourism in California, which provides more in depth information.
The chapters include:
- Evaluating Your Resources: Is Tourism for You?
- Creating Your Business Plan
- Navigating Legal Constraints
- Developing Your Risk-Management Plan
- Forming Your Marketing Strategy
- Resources for Success
- Planning Farm Visits for Children
To find out more about the book, please visit http://anrcatalog.ucdavis.edu/SmallFarms/3484.aspx. By clicking on the “search in this book link”, provided by Google, you can get a feel if the publication is right for you and your operation before purchasing. The book can also be viewed and studied for free at your local University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) office. To be safe, call first and make sure it is available before driving to the office.
If you decide to purchase this great resource, purchase online and save 10%. Use promotion code PRVEN56 at check out to receive the discount. In addition to saving you money, a portion of the proceeds will benefit local programs!
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura has a new pest, the cherry vinegar fly, Drosophila suzukii. This pest goes after not just cherries, but raspberries, strawberries, blueberries and blackberries. It has been in the Central Valley and along the coast for over a year now and is a serious pest. Background information and an outline for likely management practices can be found on UC ANR's Strawberry and Caneberry blog. Color photos of the pest and damage caused along with lifecycle information can be found here.
Rose Hayden-Smith, our UCCE County Director, learned about the pest from Agricultural Commissioner Henry Gonzalez at a recent Farm Bureau meeting. She told Jim Downer, a Farm Advisor in our office, who grows berries at his home. Jim commented that he had seen a possible suspect on his fruit. Jim submitted the infested blackberry fruit into the County of Ventura Ag Commissioner and his suspicions were confirmed. In addition our Farm Advisors have been hearing reports from raspberry and blueberry growers about the effect of the flies on fruit.
Stay tuned for more information as it becomes available.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
See below for great news recently sent to the Ventura County UCCE office! For anyone who is interested we have copies of California Agriculture going back to 1950 in our library. Feel free to come by and take a look. To avoid disappointment, please call first to make sure the library is not being used for a meeting.
Sixty-three years of California Agriculture journal now online
This week, California Agriculture capped off a two-year effort with a keystroke, posting the full text of 63 years -- close to 6,000 articles -- to the World Wide Web. This rich store of peer-reviewed science dating back to 1946 is now freely accessible and searchable at the journal's redesigned Web site: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org/.
The previous California Agriculture Web site included articles back to 2000. Until now, however, most of the journal's long history of research has been in the shadows, accessible only as bound volumes in the stacks of a few UC libraries and others scattered around the world.
"This highly valuable research is now widely available online for the benefit of authors, readers and scientists worldwide," said Janet White, executive editor of California Agriculture journal. "Our old, well-worn hard copies have been transformed into high-quality, reusable XML-based content and full-text PDFs, with the highest levels of data integrity and readability."
Published by the University of California, California Agriculture began as a four-page broadsheet in December 1946. Today both print and Web versions are known for presenting new, peer-reviewed research in a meaningful context with technical terms defined -- making it accessible to a diverse audience of people who can use it, taking the final step in the research and delivery process.
California Agriculture is one of the oldest, continuously published, land-grant university research publications in the country, with one of the largest circulations among journals of its kind. Print subscribers include 17,000 growers, faculty members, environmental and health professionals, government researchers, public officials and others.
The California Agriculture archive includes landmark research that knits together our understanding of food and fiber production, forestry, fisheries, human health and nutrition, and how those endeavors have interacted with the natural environment and its ecosystems at every scale.
Aptara of Falls Church, Va., was hired to process over 550 back-dated journal issues, using the University's custom editorial specifications, converting them into XML files with cross-referencing for immediate posting online. The Web site redevelopment team included Janet White, Andrea Laue, Michael Talman, Davis Krauter, Karl Krist, Dave Krause and Janet Byron.
California Agriculture is still fine-tuning the Web site, and welcomes comments and feedback. Please take the online survey on the home page, or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org .
California Agriculture is the University of Californias peer-reviewed journal of research in agricultural, human and natural resources. For a free subscription, go to: http://californiaagriculture.ucanr.org write to email@example.com or call (510) 642-2431 x33.
EDITORS: To request a hard copy of the journal, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more ANR news, visit
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura County University of California Cooperative Extension’s (UCCE) Ben Faber is one of 62 people evaluating proposals for the United States Dep artment of Agriculture’s (USDA) "Farmers Market Promotion Program" (FMPP). This exciting program is implemented through a competitive grants process through the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service.
Approximately $5 million is allocated for FMPP for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 and $10 million for Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012. The maximum amount awarded for any one proposal cannot exceed $100,000.
The grants, authorized by the FMPP, are targeted to help improve and expand domestic farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agri-tourism activities, and other direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities. More specifically the program is designed to help farmers markets promote and improve their services through grower/consumer education, advertising and supply purchases.
Entities eligible to apply include agricultural cooperatives, producer networks, producer associations, local governments, nonprofit corporations, public benefit corporations, economic development corporations, regional farmers market authorities and Tribal governments.
Follow this link to find additional information about the program, including projects funded in earlier years at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/fmpp.
Related information, including marketing resources, can be found at the University of California’s Small Farm Center at http://www.sfc.ucdavis.edu/default.asp.