- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ever wanted or needed to know more about a pest? This is a common request at the Ventura County UCCE office.
The University of California has a wonderful website devoted to IPM (integrated pest management). The site is quite diverse. It has information about:
- the home, which includes pests of structures, people and pets.
- gardens and landscapes, where viewers can search by plant or by common pests, including plant diseases and weeds. Common management methods are also a part of this section.
- whether pesticide use is appropriate, how pesticide use relates to water quality, and other pesticide guidelines and suggestions.
- identification of pests and natural enemies with the aid of photo galleries.
- quick tips, available in PDF format, in English and Spanish.
These subjects and much more can be found here.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Monique Myers, Ventura County UCCE’s Costal Community Development Advisor has some great information to help us conserve water and reduce the flow of pollutants all at the same time!
Myers writes this on our website, “Water is a valuable resource in Southern California. It is important that we capture rainwater and allow it to soak into the ground where it can water plants and replenish groundwater supplies. Rain that falls on hard surfaces, such as buildings and asphalt, picks up pollutants as it flows. This 'stormwater' is then directed to storm drains and ultimately ends up polluting our streams and oceans."
Individuals can help conserve water and prevent polluted stormwater runoff through wise gardening and land-use practices. Our website provides some useful tips for Southern California residents.
Some of the suggestions are for large projects, and while you might not be in a position to tackle those changes now, the information may be useful to you in the future or may be of benefit for a friend or neighbor. Many of the other ideas, such as composting and natural planting, can be incorporated easily as time and resources allow.
Please follow this link http://www-csgc.ucsd.edu/BOOKSTORE/greensheets.html to see them.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
California faces many complex challenges in the future. California must address these challenges to ensure a high quality of life, a healthy environment, and economic success for future generations.
The University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resource ( UC ANR), a statewide network of UC researchers and educators dedicated to the creation, development, and application of knowledge in agricultural, natural, and human resources, recently released a Strategic Vision recognizing that California’s future depends on
- sustainable, nutritious, and safe food;
- clean, healthy, and sustainable places to live, work, and grow;
- resilient, biologically diverse, and healthy ecosystems;
- clean, secure, and sufficient supplies of water;
- cleaner and more secure energy;
- educated and engaged people; leaders prepared for and capable of making strategic decisions;
- innovative solutions and informed choices;
- economic opportunity and jobs.
The Strategic Vision identifies nine strategic initiatives as a start to address the challenges that face Californians. The following multidisciplinary, integrated initiatives represent the best opportunities for ANR’s considerable infrastructure and talent to seek new resources and new partnerships within and outside UC to find solutions for California.
The conceptual initiatives are:
1. Improve Water Quality, Quantity, and Security. Water is the life blood of California’s economy. As such, water supply and quality for agricultural, urban, and environmental systems is a critical issue facing the state over the next 20 years and beyond.
2. Enhance Competitive, Sustainable Food Systems. California agricultural competitiveness will depend upon adopting new scientific and technological innovations derived from new knowledge in agriculture and nutrition.
3. Increase Science Literacy in Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Nutrition. California is undergoing a remarkable social transformation driven by two forces that have shaped the state throughout history: dramatic demographic changes in the number, age, and diversity of the population and the impact of science and technology. Education will be a key contributor to the successful outcome of this transformation, providing the principal means of making informed decisions about complex issues.
4. Sustainable Natural Ecosystems. Population growth, coupled with climate and land use changes, are the most important issues that will affect California’s natural resources. Future urban and suburban growth is projected to shift more toward rangelands and forests.
5. Enhance the Health of Californians and California’s Agricultural Economy.
Improving the health of Californians, enhancing their quality of life, and reducing health care costs are critical to the future of California.
6. Healthy Families and Communities. The major challenge for our families, schools, and communities is to promote positive development of children, youth, and adults.
7. Ensure Safe and Secure Food Supplies. Food-borne illnesses affect one in four Americans annually, with higher rates in California. Food-borne illnesses place a burden on our health care system and reduce the productivity of our workforce. Food insecurity, which currently affects one in ten California households, places additional burdens on our health care system as poor nutrition is directly related to numerous human diseases and increased health care costs.
8. Manage Endemic and Invasive Pests and Diseases. Increases in the number and kinds of pests and diseases may negatively impact California agriculture, natural resources productivity, and ecosystem functions, affecting Californians’ quality of life.
9. Improve Energy Security and Green Technologies. California faces diminishing and more costly supplies of energy, which can be addressed in part by California’s vast agricultural and natural resource base.
The Ventura County UCCE office is already working on several of these initiatives that are within our area of expertise. Throughout the state, many other dedicated scientists, researchers, and program representatives are also working hard today for the future.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
To protect water resources and comply with increasing regulation, greenhouse managers are wise to make changes to prevent pollutants, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and container media from ending up in surface and ground waters. One way to do this is to use vegetated buffers.
Vegetated buffers are areas or strips of land maintained in permanent vegetation to prevent erosion and improve water quality by trapping and treating contaminants. Vegetative buffers can also provide many other benefits such as increasing beneficial insects for biological control of crop pests and protecting streambanks. In addition, they can be used for green waste and secondary crop production.
Some examples include vegetated buffers are bioswales, vegetated filter strips, and constructed wetlands.
- A vegetated bioswale is a stormwater conveyance system that channels stormwater. This type of buffer system improves water quality by reducing flow velocity and increasing sedimentation, filtering pollutants, and allowing infiltration into the underlying soils.
- A filter strip is a band of vegetation that can be used between a greenhouse and a waterbody. The purpose of the filter strip is to slow runoff from the production area and trap sediment, fertilizers, and pesticides before they reach surface water.
- A constructed wetland is an artificial marsh or swamp for treating wastewater, controlling flood waters, and reducing erosion. In greenhouse production, they can be built to further remove pollutants in the effluent from a retention basin.
Although there are different types of vegetative buffer systems, most work in a similar manner. Runoff containing soluble nutrients and pesticides, and sediments with adsorbed pesticides, enters the buffer. Vegetation in the buffer slow surface flow and sediments drop out. Some water infiltrates into the root zone and subsoil, while the remainder becomes lateral subsurface flow. When the roots of buffer plants grow to sufficient depth, they intercept infiltrated water, taking up the soluble nutrients and pesticides. Pesticides adsorbed to soil particles become trapped in the root zone, and high soil organic matter provides conditions for denitrification and pesticide degradation.
Things to consider before constructing a vegetative buffer.
When planning and designing a vegetative buffer, it is best to consult a licensed engineer or the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). Buffers need to be designed and constructed to comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Plant species that are used in buffers should be selected based on their adaptability and tolerance to site conditions. Check local information sources, such as the NRCS and Cooperative Extension, before making selections. Some points to consider are: cost, growth rate, potential of plant invasiveness if not using native plant species, and the ability to use the buffers for producing secondary crops. Growers who are interested in developing techniques to produce secondary crops in vegetative treatment systems should contact Cooperative Extension and the NRCS for guidance.
Planting should be timed so buffers are established prior to expected runoff. Maintenance of vegetative buffers is necessary to sustain buffer function and effectiveness.
The information above was extracted from a larger document, written by Ventura County Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Julie Newman. Please contact us if you would like to read the original document in its entirety.
- Author: Chris M. Webb
Ventura County University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) is here to extend science-based research to people in our community. We do this in a variety of ways, one of which is newsletters.
Landscape Notes is written for people working in the commercial landscape industry. The last issue is all about establishing landscape trees. It is full of fabulous, practical information that will help establish healthy trees.
Clover Lines is a newsletter published for 4-H members and leaders in Ventura County. It contains events, activities, and opportunities for youth aged 5-19.
Topics in Subtropics is a combined effort by University of California Cooperative Extension Farm Advisors from many counties in the state. It emphasizes citrus and avocado, but also discusses the minor subtropicals. The last issue covered:
- Avocado Research in Ventura County
- Laurel Wilt Disease Conference and Tour in Florida and Georgia
- Managing Insecticide Resistance will be Key to the Future of Effective Citrus Pest Management
- Smart Sprayers Make Sense
Farm Water Quality News delivers the latest news on integrating environmental quality with crop production practices. The last issue covered:
- Regulatory Update
- Industry Update
- Technical Tips
- Research Update
UC Cooperative Extension Report is our department newsletter. This newsletter includes upcoming events, highlight summaries of research and outreach activities, interesting facts and more.
Santa Clara River Watershed Times covers topics vital to anyone who lives, works, and recreates in the Santa Clara River watershed, the largest river system in Southern California. An amazing amount of information is extended in this newsletter covering a wide range of issues, opportunities, regulations, and accomplishments in an easy to read format with great photos. Links for more information are scattered throughout.
Our newsletters can be found by clicking this link. Once there, you can read current and back issues. You can also sign up for email notification to let you know when a new issue has been posted.