2014 New Call for Positions
2014 URS Call for Positions
This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2014 cycle.
023 Area IPM Advisor, Weed Science at KARE
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
Proposed Area of Coverage
San Joaquin Valley and surrounding counties
- Lucia Varela - Main Contact
- Weed Science IPM Advisor (docx), uploaded 04/23/2014 by Lucia Varela
Weeds are often the class of pest against which most pest management expense and effort is aimed. UCCE and UC IPM currently have a lack of academic presence with regards to applied weed management. This Advisor would round out the small cadre of IPM (weed science) Advisors currently serving northern CA ag systems and southern CA horticultural systems.
Weed control is an important part of the production systems in California agriculture. Lack of proper weed control can contribute to weather a grower is growing an economical commodity or not. Weed resistance to existing herbicides are only strengthening the need for this position. I strongly urge you to fill this position.
UC Cooperative Extension’s role providing information to natural resource managers has become even more critical with the loss of state and federal agency positions. Integrated Pest Management is an effective strategy but requires educating land managers on how to apply it. This position will increase the effectiveness of weed management in the San Joaquin Valley, benefiting both agricultural producers and land managers in non-crop areas. The California Invasive Plant Council works with land managers throughout California and relies on materials and expertise provided by UCCE advisors.
The Central San Joaquin Valley is a critical location for a weed scientist. The diversity of tree, vine, vegetable and agronomic crops allow the person in this position to have a very active program and make a significant impact. There are no shortages of challenges - but the one that is being ignored most is the impact of the labor shortages on weed management. Management of weeds with less labor will be the slow burning challenge that weed scientists must address.
The California Tree Nut Research & Extension Planning Group, representing almond, walnut and pistachio growers, supports the proposed 023 Area IPM Advisor, Weed Science position to be located at KARE. Dr. Brad Hanson, Cooperative Extension Weed Specialist UCD is currently covering all three of our crops statewide. While he is doing an excellent job, he is stretched thin and expertise is needed in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Weeds siphon nutrients and water from crop use and create less efficient and sustainable production systems. The water losses due to weeds and the impact of fertilizer inefficiencies impact ground water quality and water availability. The impact of climate change and less predictable precipitation impacts the use of water activated pre-emergent herbicides. Increased reliance on a limited number of other herbicides has led to herbicide resistance, a serious issue, and management programs need to be developed. This proposed position would not benefit tree nuts alone but would be a benefit to all commodities and improve the sustainability of our agriculturally based communities.
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