Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education
University of California
Subtropical Fruit Crops Research & Education

Posts Tagged: UCCE


Dr. Gary Bender, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) Farm Advisor Emeritus, is the lead instructor for a six-week course entitled “Avocado Production for New Growers.” Co-instructor, Sonia Rios, current subtropical Farm Advisor, Riverside/San Diego Counties will also be teaching in the course. The course is designed for new avocado growers, as well as those interested in learning more about avocado production best practices and meeting fellow growers.

The six-week course consists of six, two-hour sessions and will be held in Fallbrook, CA this year. The fee for the course is $105 and includes two avocado books, an IPM book and a post-harvest handbook. Final dates and the location will be announced soon. The always fills up, so please register A.S.A.P.

Topics include:

  • Introduction to Agriculture in San Diego County, History of Avocado Production in California
  • Botany, Flowering, Varieties, Harvest Dates, Rootstocks 
  • Irrigation Systems, Irrigation Scheduling, Salinity Management
  • Fertilization, Organic Production
  • Weed, Insect and Mite Control, Disease Control
  • Ag Waiver Water School Training (Dr. Loretta Bates)
  • Canopy Management, Tree Spacing, Frost Management
  • Field trip to High Density Trial grove and a commercial grove

For more information, contact Erin Thompson at 858.822.7919 or

Posted on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 8:53 AM

Poison Prevention Now and Forever

UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning is the number one cause of injury-related death in the United States, and 1073 people in California were poisoned by pesticides in 2014 alone. Each year since 1962, National Poison Prevention Week has taken place during the third week of March, to raise awareness about avoiding these tragedies. No one wants their workers or family members to experience illness or death from pesticide exposure, so the UC IPM Pesticide Safety Education Program (PSEP) would like to bring special attention to preventing pesticide poisoning this week. The program also published a new edition of The Safe and Effective Use of Pesticidesin 2016, which contains a wealth of pesticide safety and hazard prevention information for people who work with pesticides.

Both agricultural and household pesticides can poison people if they are not properly handled. In agriculture, poisoning most often results from pesticide mixing and loading, and the most harm occurs due to spills, splashes and equipment failure. In the home, many pesticide poisoning incidents involve children swallowing pesticides, including garden products, disinfectant cleaners, or other chemicals used to control pests.

One of the most important things you can do to prevent pesticide poisoning is to follow the instructions on the pesticide label. Labels address critical information about how to use a pesticide safely, including the kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) you should wear to prevent overexposure, how much of the product to apply, the minimum time you must wait to enter the area after applying the pesticide (the restricted entry interval), and the minimum time that must pass between application and harvest (preharvest interval).

Labels also include important signal words such as “Danger,” “Warning,” or “Caution” that indicate how acutely toxic the chemical is to humans, as well as directions to avoid pesticide contamination of sensitive areas such as schools and hospitals. These instructions are meant to protect anyone who is at risk of being exposed to hazardous pesticide residues. It is essential to thoroughly read and understand the pesticide label before working with the pesticide, and to carefully comply with label instructions throughout the process. The UC IPM guide to Understanding Pesticide Labels for Making Proper Applications can help you do this, and is available in both English and Spanish.

If you apply pesticides in or around your home, be sure to store them properly and keep them out of the reach of children. Keep in mind that even mothballs may look like candy to very young children. It is illegal and unsafe to store pesticides in food or drink containers, which can easily fool people into consuming them and being poisoned. According to the California Department of Pesticide Regulation, these mistakes caused 62 incidents of child poisoning from pesticide ingestion in California in 2014, and 47 of those cases involved children under six years of age. 

To learn more about poisoning and how to prevent it, consider visiting the following resources:

Center for Disease Control and Prevention Leading Causes of Death Reports

California Poison Control

National Poison Prevention Week website

National Pesticide Information Center

UC IPM online course: Proper Pesticide Use to Avoid Illegal Residues

Pestcide safety
Pestcide safety

pesticide help
pesticide help

Posted on Monday, April 3, 2017 at 8:16 AM
  • Author: Stephanie Parreira
Tags: agricultural (1), field workers (1), IPM (16), PCA (2), PCO (1), pesticide applicators (2), poisoning (2), safety (4), UCCE (6)

Carfentrazone-ethyl (Shark®) use in Avocados

Shark (carfentrazone) has been currently labeled for use in California avocados.   It's widely used in many tree and vine crops.  It's a Protoporphyrinogen oxidase (PPO) inhibitor. PPO is an enzyme in the chloroplast cell that oxidizes protoporphyrinogen IX (PPGIX) to produce protoporphyrin IX (PPIX).  PPIX is important because it is a precursor molecule for both chlorophyll (needed for photosynthesis) and heme (needed for electron transfer chains). Inhibitors of the oxidase enzyme, however, do more than merely block the production of chlorophyll and heme. The inhibition of PPO by inhibitors also results in forming highly reactive molecules that attack and destroy lipids and protein membranes. When a lipid membrane is destroyed, cell becomes leaky and cell organelles dry and disintegrate rapidly.

PPO Inhibitors have limited translocation in plants and sometimes are referred to as contact herbicides. PPO Inhibitors injure mostly broadleaf plants; however, certain PPO Inhibitors have some activity on grasses. PPO Inhibitors usually burn plant tissues within hours or days of exposure. PPO Inhibitors used in the United States belong to eight different chemistries. It is used in the same niche that Treevix, Venue, and the post rates of Goal are used although registrations vary among those of course (only Goal from that list is registered on avocado).

Carfentrazone is a broadleaf-only herbicide and is interesting in that it has a fairly narrow weed spectrum; it has some species that it is really good on, but misses some other broadleaves almost completely.  For example, it is excellent on bedstraw, but pretty weak on fleabane and marestail.  It can provide good an inexpensive top-burn of perennial weeds like field bindweed, but will not kill it.   Take a look at the label and, if the grower's weed spectrum aligns with some of the labeled weeds, it's worth checking out.  Just be aware that it is grass-only and doesn't get all broadleaves equally.

Injury symptoms can occur within 1 to 2 hours after exposure, appearing first as water-soaked foliage, which is followed by browning (necrosis) of the tissue. Symptoms will appear most quickly with bright, sunny conditions at application. Drift injury will appear as speckling on leaf tissue. The necrotic spots are sometimes surrounded by a reddish colored ring. Injury from soil applications or residues appears as a mottled chlorosis and necrosis.


 Fig. 1. Phytotoxicity of Shark herbicide on non-target leaf (above)

Phytotoxicity of Shark herbicide on non-target leaf. Since the droplets landing on the

Mixing the formulation depends on the growers sprayer calibration.  If applying 20 gal of water per acre, that would be 5 acres per 100 gal mix and would need 10 fl oz product.

For a “spot treatment”, there is a table on the Shark EW label with mix amounts “based on 1 gal of water evenly covering 1000 square feet”.  Take a look at Table 4 on this label: 



Posted on Thursday, March 23, 2017 at 6:20 AM
Tags: avocados (6), herbicides (18), phytoxciity (1), ucce (6)

Tree & Vine Field Day on Crop Management and Salinity: Grapes, Avocado & Passion Fruit, a Potential New Crop

Presented by UC Cooperative Extension & USDA-ARS, US Salinity Lab

When: December 15, 2016

Where: USDA-ARS U.S. Salinity Laboratory - Loctated on UCR Campus 450 W. Big Springs Road, Riverside, CA 92507

Time: Registration, light breakfast & coffee will be served at 8:00 AM, program from 8:30 – Noon


 Cost: FREE Please register at :

Moderator: Sonia Rios, Subtropical Horticulture Farm Advisor, UCCE Riverside & San Diego Co.


8:30 AM – Welcome, Donald Suarez, U.S. Salinity Laboratory, Director

8:35 AM – “Management of avocado production in southern California” - Peggy Mauk Ph.D., Dir. of Agricultural

Operations/Subtropical Horticulture CE Specialist- UCR

9:05 AM – “Avocado salinity management: Response of different rootstocks”- Donald Suarez Ph.D., USDA-ARS Salinity Laboratory Director

9:25 AM - “Grape Management in southern California -  Carmen Gispert Ph. D. Area Viticulture Advisor, UCCE Riverside

9:55 AM – “Wine Grape production under saline conditions” - Donald Suarez Ph.D. USDA-ARS Salinity Laboratory Director.

10:10 AM - Break- light refreshments & snacks

10:30 – Noon - “Introducing Passion Fruit as a New Crop to Southern California- Cultural aspects and salinity effects” & Field Tour - Jorge Ferreira, Ph.D., Research Plant Physiologist, USDA-ARS, US Salinity Lab.

For more information, please Contact: Sonia Rios, UCCE Subtropical Farm Advisor:


Donald Suarez, USDA Salinity Laboratory Director:, 951-369-4815

Posted on Thursday, December 8, 2016 at 6:09 AM
Tags: avocados (6), Field day (5), grapes (2), passion fruit (2), salinity (13), UC Riverside (2), UCCE (6), USDA - ARS (1)

New Subtropical Tree Crops Advisor for Riverside and San Diego


Rios completed an M.S. in Plant Science with an emphasis in Weed Science from California State University, Fresno, a B.S. in Plant Science from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona



Prior to accepting her advisor position, Rios served as a staff research associate in UCCE Tulare County where she assisted advisors in all phases of applied agricultural research (field and greenhouse research on cereal crops, cotton and weed management). She was involved in approximately 30 – 40 research projects that included research testing in herbicide resistance, variety evaluations, and pest management including evaluating new herbicides and insecticides. Rios has conducted and reported agronomy research experiments through data collection that is statistically analyzed, translated and disseminated to clientele; maintained research plots; prepared educational materials for research reports and University publications that would benefit California growers, industry clientele; assisted regulatory agencies with science-based information; conducted radio interviews; and she was a regular speaker at the Tulare County Pesticide Safety meetings. In addition to working with UC, she was also her main professors' student research assistant that would help with trials on campus, assist undergraduates with their research projects and spent time in the classroom teaching.


Rios had also worked with the United States Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) inspecting airplanes for Japanese beetle as an Agriculture Aide I. She also worked with the United States Department of Food and Agriculture (USDA) Forest Service as a Forestry Technician.


Rios will be working in education and applied research program in tree crops production and marketing in Riverside and San Diego Counties.   Primary target crops are citrus, avocados and dates, but also include other subtropical and deciduous fruit and nut crops, such as pomegranates, figs, mangos and walnuts.


She will facilitate interactions and information exchange among campus based academic, Cooperative Extension advisors and community stakeholders. Focus is expected on increasing productivity and efficiency of commercial tree crops operations, thus maximizing the return on invested capital, and at the same time, providing consumers with a high quality, safe and reasonably-priced product. The advisor will address emerging production issues in subtropical fruit crops including: horticulture, entomology, plant pathology, integrated pest management, plant nutrition and variety testing.  She will be working closely with the subtropical horticulture industries, local growers and members of the subtropical horticulture and nuts and fruits workgroup to identify research areas of highest priority. Her contact information is as follows:


Cooperative Extension Riverside County 21150 Box Springs Road, Suite 202 Moreno Valley, CA 92557-8718

Phone#: 951-683-6491

Email Address:



Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2014 at 6:32 AM
  • Author: Sonia Rios
Tags: advisor (1), avocado (280), citrus (323), dates (2), UCCE (6)

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