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UCCE researcher studies urban coyotes

Some people believe shouting, waving arms and flashing lights will keep coyotes at bay, but UC Cooperative Extenison wildlife-human interaction advisor Niamh Quinn isn't so sure, reported Louis Sahagun in the Los Angeles Times. Like any scientist, she is now conducting a research project to understand whether such hazing deters the wild animals from making their homes in urban areas.

"There is no scientific evidence that hazing alters the behavior of urban coyotes," Quinn said."Yet, it is being pitched as a good option for coyote management."

Quinn is trapping coyotes, sedating them, attaching radio collars, tagging their ears and tracking their movements to understand whether the techniques recommended by some cities and animal rights groups are effective.

“We want to figure out when, where and for how long it actually works, or if it even works at all,” she said. “For the sake of our communities, and coyotes, too.”

UC Cooperative Extension human-wildlife interaction advisor Niamh Quinn is conducting research to help Southern California communities manage the growing coyote population.
Posted on Monday, December 2, 2019 at 4:28 PM
Tags: coyotes (8), Niamh Quinn (9)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

ANR in the news November 16-30

OPINION: Environmental education for kids: It's only natural

(Chico E-R) Laura Lukes, Nov. 29

If you have school-age children, you may have noticed that something new is infusing science education in California classrooms.

...All of these new directives are intended to be fundamental components of K-12 science education. The UC Master Gardeners of Butte County share these goals. To encourage you to go out and explore nature with your children, we will occasionally be proposing activities and projects focusing on our local natural environment, beginning today with an activity for this time of year as the seasons change.


Don't Feed Wild Turkeys In California. And No, City Residents, You Can't Shoot Them.

(CapRadio) Ezra David Romero, Nov. 27

…"In some instances, they've been known to roost on cars and can scratch paint,” said Elaine Lander, an Urban & Community Integrated Pest Management Educator with the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources. 

Lander recently wrote a blog post about how to manage turkeys as a homeowner in an urban setting. She says the best way to avoid turkeys is simple: Don't feed them, especially since it's illegal to feed wildlife in California. 

"The larger adults can be upwards of 20 pounds,” said Landers. “Their urban populations are growing and so we're trying to let folks know what they can do if they encounter wild turkeys. "  

Lander recommends removing bird feeders that attract the hens, having a dog and installing motion-detecting sprinklers to scare turkeys off.


California's working landscape makes $333-billion impact on state economy

(Fox and Hounds Daily) Nadine Ono, Nov. 26

California's “working landscape” represents the sixth largest economic sector in the state, outpacing the healthcare, real estate and construction industries. That's according to a recent report issued by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).

“That's going surprise an awful lot of people, because too many folks here in California just really take our working landscapes for granted,” said ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston, speaking at the California Economic Summit in Fresno earlier this month. Besides traditional agriculture, working landscapes includes fishing, forestry, mining, outdoor recreation and renewable energy.


Petaluma slaughterhouse change leaves local ranchers adrift

(Petaluma Argus-Courier) Matt Brown, Nov. 25

…The Farm Bureau and the University of California Cooperative Extension this past week held a workshop for local ranchers on whole-beef animal sales for custom processing, including a working lunch to “discuss strategies for developing more local USDA-inspected facilities for livestock, poultry and rabbit processing.”

“If we want to continue to enjoy our locally raised products, we need to find other options,” Tesconi said.


Calaveras and Tuolumne County 4-H donors can double their gifts on Dec. 3

(Pine Tree) Nov. 25

On GivingTuesday, California 4-H supporters will have an opportunity to double their impact with a gift in support of 4-H youth in ​Calaveras and Tuolumne counties. “4-H is the number one youth leadership program in the country, and we consistently hear from 4-H alumni that they attribute their college and career successes to the skillsets they learned in 4-H,” said Rosemary Giannini, 4-H community educator for Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.


To Protect California Landscapes (including farms) They Must be Valued

(Cal Ag Today Jeannette Warnert, Nov. 25

…"We need to put a value to ecosystem services, from an economic standpoint, that incentivizes people who own and manage these landscapes so they can continue to manage them for everyone's benefit," said Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension rangeland advisor in Sonoma County.


California Tree Crops: Postharvest Irrigation in a Dry Autumn?

(AgFax) Luke Milliron, Nov. 25

Almond, prune, and walnut harvests are behind us, what postharvest irrigation(s) have you put on your orchard? Rainfall has been absent in October and November (as of this writing). Despite this lack of rainfall, our tree crops continue to lose water.

It is important to consider irrigation of perennial tree crops leading up to dormancy to foster carbohydrate storage in the trees and to guard against the occurrence of freezing temperatures in dry orchards putting them at more risk to cold injury.


Despite wildfires, some homeowners resist efforts to cut vegetation 

(SF Chronicle) Kathleen Pender, Nov. 23

… The noncombustible zone should include the 6 inches between the bottom of any siding and the ground, said Steve Quarles, who was the institute's chief wildfire scientist.

Ignitions can happen when flames reach the house, flying embers land on something combustible or radiant heat spreads from a nearby structure fire. Studies have shown that 55% to 90% of buildings ignited during wildland fires were set aflame by flying embers, Quarles said.

…Quarles said home-hardening is as important as vegetation management. “If your neighbor's house 15 feet away ignites, your 5-foot zone may not help unless you have done other things to your house,” he said.

On the flip side, a hardened home could ignite if it's surrounded by fuel, said Yana Valachovic, a forest adviser with UC Cooperative Extension. After the Camp Fire, she saw a modern home in Paradise (Butte County) that had been built to the newest codes, but had “significant damage” because embers landed on combustible plants and mulch. That started fires that broke the first pane of every dual-pane window in the house.

“Our guidance (from the state) is totally silent about what we do outside the front door,” Valachovic said.


Students explore the bounty of Butte County

(Chico Enterprise-Record) Robin Epley, Nov. 22

More than 100 students from Paradise Ridge Elementary School gathered Thursday morning at the Patrick Ranch Museum in Durham to learn about agriculture, farming and local commodities like walnuts and bees.

Each year, the Butte County Cooperative Extension's CalFresh Healthy Living UC Nutrition Education Program, in collaboration with the support group of the Butte County UC Cooperative Extension, hosts a “Student Agricultural Field Day,” during which local students have the opportunity to interact with local producers, researchers and gardeners on acres and acres of the museum's working ranch.


We need the food that we lost' — California's low-income families reeling from blackouts

(CALmatters) Jackie Botts, Nov. 22

…“I know it's very hard for people to have to sacrifice all this food,” said Linda Harris, a food microbiologist at UC Davis.

The consequences of eating spoiled food include vomiting and diarrhea. “If you think that there's a risk, then throwing it away is the safest thing to do,” Harris said.


In The Studio: Farming In The Age Of Climate Change

(KVPR) Kathleen Schock, Nov. 22

The unseasonably warm and dry fall we are experiencing in the San Joaquin Valley is a reminder of the changing climate, here and around the world. In the studio, moderator Kathleen Schock explores how climate change is affecting the region's top industry: agriculture. Her guests are Renata Brillinger who is Executive Director of the California Climate and Agriculture Network, Dr. Tapan Pathak from UC Merced, Ruth Dahlquist-Willard who is an Advisor with the UC Small Farm Program, and grape and raisin farmer Steven Cardoza.


Local growers coming back to farmers markets

(Oroville Mercury Register) Natalie Hanson, Nov. 21

…The UC Master Gardeners of Sonoma County performed a study a couple of years ago after an urban fire, according to Luis Espino, rice farming systems adviser for Butte and Glenn counties and county director of University of California Cooperative Extension, in an email.

With regards to produce exposure to smoke and ash, the study results “confirmed our hypothesis that produce safety was not significantly affected by the fire,” Espino said.

“Our cumulative analysis further suggests that eating trace contaminants on produce does not provide a significant chemical exposure during an urban wildfire event, and the potential cancer risk is outweighed by the cancer risk reduction from the nutritional value of eating produce,” he added. “Unfortunately, there isn't much information about food safety after urban fires. The Butte County Master Gardener program is very interested in the question and they might have more resources to share.”


To protect California ecosystem services, they must be valued

(YubaNet) Nov. 21

The ecosystem services of landscapes in California are essential to the state's future, but many people take them for granted.

In addition to direct economic outputs, working landscapes – farms, rangelands, forests and fisheries, to name a few – sequester carbon, capture water, support wildlife, offer picturesque views and make space for hiking, skiing, boating and other recreational activities.

“We need to put a value to ecosystem services, from an economic standpoint, that incentivizes people who own and manage these landscapes so they can continue to manage them for everyone's benefit,” said Stephanie Larson, UC Cooperative Extension rangeland advisor in Sonoma County.


Symposium teaches on lab-made protein

(TriState Livestock News) Maria Tibbetts, Nov. 21

…One of the most popular presentations was by Dr. Alison Van Eenennaam, a cooperative extension specialist in the field of animal genetics and biotechnology in the department of animal science at the University of California, Davis. She shared some of the technology surrounding cultured meat products and pointed out many of the pitfalls and difficulties that stand in the way of mass production of lab-grown meat. She said she's gone through the process of growing cultured muscle tissue and it's very difficult, time-consuming and expensive. “The process for making cultured meat has technically challenging aspects. It includes manufacturing and purifying culture media and supplements in large quantities, expanding animal cells in a bioreactor, processing the resultant tissue into an edible product, removing and disposing of the spent media, and keeping the bioreactor clean. Each are themselves associated with their own set of costs, inputs and energy demands.”


'Fire is medicine': the tribes burning California forests to save them

(Guardian) Susie Cagle, Nov. 21

…In 2018, the fire ecologist Lenya Quinn-Davidson founded the Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, a firelighting co-op of landowners who manage each others' properties – the first like it in the west. “People really want prescribed fire in their toolbox,” she said. “Their grandpas used it, they've heard of the tribes using it historically. People are really curious and excited about it.”


California's working landscape makes $333-billion impact on state economy

(Cal Economy) Nadine Ono, Nov. 20

California's “working landscape” represents the sixth largest economic sector in the state, outpacing the healthcare, real estate and construction industries. That's according to a recent report issued by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR).

“That's going surprise an awful lot of people, because too many folks here in California just really take our working landscapes for granted,” said ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston, speaking at the California Economic Summit in Fresno earlier this month. Besides traditional agriculture, working landscapes includes fishing, forestry, mining, outdoor recreation and renewable energy.


Roundup: Harvests wind down but orchard work doesn't

(Farm Press) Logan Hawkes, Nov. 20

…In southern and Central Valley regions of California, some sanitation efforts are underway, mostly in almond orchards. Proper sanitation is, of course, a critical step in controlling Navel orangeworm.

Mummy nuts represent a dire threat to nut orchards and most growers are
aware of the risks and are diligent about sanitation as weather and time allows. It's interesting to note, however, that many University of California Cooperative Extension advisors believe many growers fall short in effective sanitation, and this creates considerable problems for not only their own orchards but for orchards in near proximity.


How to attract bug-eating birds to farms

(Morning Ag Clips) Nov. 19

Hedgerows bordering farmland – plantings with native trees, shrubs, bunch grasses and wildflowers – support bug-eating birds, helping with on-farm pest control, according to research by recent UC Davis graduate Sacha Heath and UC Cooperative Extension advisor Rachael Long. The study was published in the October 2019 issue of the online journal Ecosphere.


Sudden oak death cases increasing in Napa County and California

(Napa Valley Register) Howard Yune, Nov. 19

Statewide, 1,732 of 16,227 surveyed trees were found to carry the sudden oak death pathogen, nearly a fifth of the total. Overall, sudden oak death has infected trees in 14 California counties, killing some 50 million oaks and tanoaks, according to the UC Berkeley research center.

… [UCCE specialist Matteo] Garbelotto attributed the resurgence of sudden oak death, in Napa and elsewhere, to the return of vigorous wintertime rainfall after five years of drought.

“What's happening is every time we have a rainy year, sudden oak death spreads farther in the state,” he said last week. “What we detected is result of what happened two years ago when we had a very wet year; that really helped organism spread significantly. Last year, we didn't quite notice because it was drier, but this year it was wet again and all of a sudden, outbreaks became evident throughout the state. In some areas the level of infection is 10 times higher than in 2018.”


Experts warn of surge in sudden oak death infections in Northern California

(Irrigation & Green Industry) Sarah Bunyea, Nov. 18

A University of California, Berkeley scientist says the rate at which trees in Marin County, California, became infected with sudden oak death in 2019 nearly doubled compared to the previous year, according to an article by KPIX 5 News.

… Kerry Wininger of UC Cooperative Extension says you'll see big patches appear at once and tree limbs that have fallen off. Wininger is with the UC team working to measure the problem, and she oversees a yearly survey conducted by volunteer citizen scientists.


UC ANR Symposium Focuses on Climate Change Policy and Environmental Justice

(Sierra Sun Times) Clare Gupta, Nov. 17

On a crisp fall morning at University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources' Elkus Ranch, a group of scholars and practitioners gathered for a daylong public symposium on “Advancing Climate Change Policy and Environmental Justice in California.” Against the sunlit backdrop of rolling golden hills and leaves just turning color, Dr. Leah Stokes of UC Santa Barbara delivered a keynote address on the current crowded landscape of federal-level climate change policy proposals.


Humboldt County Master Food Preservers course begins in 2020

(Times Standard) Nov. 17

Home food preservation is enjoying resurgence in Humboldt County as a result of increased interest in growing and eating local foods and the revival of a do-it-yourself food movement. When food is harvested during the growing period, everyone has opportunities to preserve the abundant fresh and available foods to be enjoyed for months in the future.

Master Food Preservers are trained, dedicated volunteers who help educate the community about food safety and home food preservation using up-to-date and research-based methods for canning, freezing, drying or pickling. If you enjoy preserving food, the local University of California Cooperative Extension office encourages you to become a Master Food Preserver.


Is Florida the Answer to California's Fire Problem?

(Sierra) James Steinbauer, Nov. 16

...For some of these reasons, getting permits for prescribed fire in the West can be prohibitively expensive. In California, an air quality permit can range from under $40 to as high as $1,250. To burn during the fire season—from May through October—you also need a permit from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, or Cal Fire. For a 300-acre burn, Cal Fire might require three fire engines and for as many as 30 people to be on-site. Lenya Quinn-Davidson, an area fire adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension, said that, apart from being maddening to organize, this can add up to thousands of dollars a day.

The biggest hurdle for those who want to burn in California is that firefighters have a near monopoly on prescribed fire, Quinn-Davidson said. “There's a lot of ownership by the fire-suppression community over prescribed fire. It's this culture of, ‘We're the experts; we're the only ones who know how to use it, and we're the only ones who should use it.' But they don't have time to use it because they're too busy fighting fires.”


Hemp farmers seek clarity on federal, state regulation

(AgAlert) Ching Lee, Nov. 16

…Though not “a whole lot of data” is available yet, according to UC Cooperative Extension specialist Bob Hutmacher, some observations have emerged from a couple of small trials conducted this year at UC Davis and the UC West Side Research and Extension Center in Fresno County. The initial studies included an experiment on planting density, comparing different cultivars and a breeding-observation block representing a range of genetics. Researchers also battled corn ear worms on their small plots and were forced to use a pesticide to reduce damage to developing buds.

On the impact of different environmental conditions and plant maturity on raising concentrations of the plant's different compounds, Hutmacher said “there's a little bit of literature out there that would go along with the idea,” but added, “that sort of remains to be seen.” A more dominant factor affecting the THC-CBD profile of the crop is plant cultivar, he said, and growers should look to their seed or transplant provider as the primary source of information when selecting cultivars.


‘Working landscape' adds $333B to state's economy

(Ag Alert) Dave Kranz, Nov. 16

The “working landscape” of California — including agriculture, forestry and other economic sectors tied to natural resources — contributed 1.5 million jobs and $333 billion in sales to the state's economy last year, according to a new report.

The University of California, the California Community Colleges Centers of Excellence and the California Economic Summit released the report last week. Titled “California's Working Landscape: A Key Contributor to the State's Economic Vitality,” the study used 2018 federal data associated with employment, earnings and sales income to estimate the contributions of nine economic sectors. Specifically, the report divided the working landscape into agricultural production, agricultural support, agricultural distribution, agricultural processing, mining, forestry, outdoor recreation, fishing and renewable energy.

There will be an Advanced Manufacturing in Agriculture Regional Workforce Advisory Meeting held from 8:30 a.m. to noon on Friday, Nov. 22, at the Woodland Community & Senior Center that centers around “working landscapes.”

Speaking will be Glenda Humiston, vice president of Agriculture and Natural Resources, for the Office of the President of the University of California.

Humiston will be talking about the finding of “California's Working Landscape” report and the “critical importance of the food and ag cluster, environmental technologies and natural resources to the state and regional economy.”

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 11:23 AM

ANR in the news November 1-15

Are Blackouts Here to Stay? A Look into the Future

(E&E News) Anne C. Mulkern, Nov. 15

…Throughout the United States, between roughly 2000 and 2010, about 75% of homes that burned in wildfires were located in the WUI, said Van Butsic, a land use specialist at the University of California, Berkeley. The rest was mostly in rural areas, with about 2% in cities.

People go back after they lose homes, Butsic said. He surveyed the 28 largest fires in California from about 1975 to 2005, and through aerial photos tracked what was rebuilt. About 90% of destroyed homes were rebuilt within a decade, he found. New homes also filled in large tracts of undeveloped land in formerly burned areas.


Climate Considerations for Processing Tomatoes

(AgNet West) Nov. 15

Research models show that increases in overall temperatures in California will have a direct effect on how some crops are going to be produced in the future.  In one study looking at processing tomato production in the Central Valley, researchers found that changing temperatures will likely have a noticeable impact on the timing of the growing season.

“We looked at the data all the way starting from 1950, into the future by 2030-2040 and see how the time of maturity is changing,” said Tapan Pathak, UC Specialist in Climate Adaptation in Agriculture.  “What we saw is, in general the time from emergence to maturity, the timeframe for processing tomatoes in that region, is going to shrink down almost by two to three weeks.”


What's Growing On: American rose trials test sustainability

(Stockton Record) Marcy Sousa, Nov. 15

Did you know San Joaquin County Master Gardeners have been part of a National Rose Trial since 2018? The trial is part of the American Rose Trials for Sustainability (A.R.T.S.) program that has trial sites across the United States. It was initiated in 2012 by individuals representing multiple rose stakeholder groups, including: industry, the scientific community and public gardens. There are only two Mediterranean climate trial locations and both are in California. The trials at the Fullerton Arboretum started in 2019 and the UC Cooperative Extension office in San Joaquin County began in 2018.

…Our Environmental Horticulture Advisor, Karrie Reid, has been managing and overseeing the trial since 2018. Our roses were planted in unused turf areas that were converted to the trial grounds. One of the selling features of converting the turf sections was the calculated water savings: 3,656 square feet of turf used 103,000 gallons of water, while 60 roses in the same area on drip use 6,175 gallons, a 94 percent savings. Trial sites are covered with a 3-inch layer of wood mulch.


Report: California ag is a major economic driver for the state

(Agri-Pulse West) Brad Hooker, Nov. 13

 A new report by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) adds new dimensions to the “massive economic juggernaut” of the California agricultural industry. The findings reveal that agriculture contributed more than $263 billion to the economy in 2018 through direct sales and employed more than 1.2 million people, while benefiting urban and rural regions alike.

The report examines the entire “working landscape,” which also includes fishing, forestry, mining, outdoor recreation and renewable energy, in addition to agricultural distribution, production, processing and support. Together, the sectors represent $333 billion in sales, 1.5 million jobs and 6.4% of the total California economy, outranking the healthcare, real estate, construction and retail sectors. Agriculture accounted for 85% of the working landscape businesses and 79% of the sales income. According to ANR Vice President Glenda Humiston, the working landscape likely surpasses the finance sector as well.


UCCE Addressing Watergrass Issues in California Rice Fields

(AgNet West) Brian German, Nov. 13

Researchers from UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) are looking closely at the watergrass issues in California rice fields to get a better understanding of the problem.  Watergrass has historically been a fairly common weed species that growers face, however in recent years the issue has been compounded by a number of factors. Several watergrass species have demonstrated resistance to the materials available and it appears that one or two new species may have emerged.

“In the past few years watergrass is becoming more and more of a problem, whether it's the ones that we know that we have or these possible new species,” said Whitney Brim-DeForest, UC Rice Farm Advisor serving Sutter, Yuba, Placer, and Sacramento Counties. “It's just becoming more difficult to control with the herbicides that we have.”


Experts Warn Of Surge In Sudden Oak Death Infections In North Bay

(KPIX) Wilson Walker, Nov. 12

“And then, of course, these limbs that have just fallen off,” said Kerry Wininger of UC Cooperative Extension as he stood beneath a dying tree in Sonoma County's Fairfield Osborn Preserve. “And big patches will come out at once.”

Wininger is with the UC team working to measure the problem, and the numbers are up dramatically. She oversees a yearly survey conducted by volunteer citizen scientists.

…“For Sonoma County in general, Sudden Oak Death numbers look about double where they were last year,” said Wininger. “So it's actually increasing at a rate a little bit faster than we would expect.”


Shelter exercise at the fairgrounds

(Appeal Democrat) Ruby Larson, Nov. 12

Some Glenn County agencies came together at the Glenn County Fairgrounds to participate in a shelter management training exercise last week. 

…Travis said agencies that participated included Health and Human Services, sheriff's office, animal control, UC Cooperative Extension and North Valley Animal Disaster Group.


California's Wildfire Policy Totally Backfired. Native Communities Know How to Fix It.

(Mother Jones) Delilah Friedler, Nov. 11

…“We aren't anywhere near bringing fire back at the scale we need to,” says Lenya Quinn-Davidson, a fire advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension who helped lead that burn. “It's important to push forward with a grassroots model that empowers people to do the work, instead of having bottlenecks with the agency that's in charge.”

The Humboldt County Prescribed Burn Association, which Quinn-Davidson leads, was the first organization of its kind in the West when it started in 2018, and has already inspired similar groups to start up in northern California's Plumas, Nevada, Sonoma, and Mendocino counties. These groups bring landowners and neighbors together to provide the manpower that controlled burns require. Quinn-Davidson says she's hosted 25 lecture and field-based workshops in the past year to increase people's comfort with prescribed fire, and in the past two years, she's led 20 burns on private lands.


Zediker honored as CattleWoman of the year

(Siskiyou Daily News) Nov. 10

Siskiyou County native Jacki Zediker was honored on Saturday, Oct. 26 as the 2019 Siskiyou County CattleWoman of the Year during the annual Cattlemen and CattleWomen's dinner in Yreka.

… Zediker has been the 4-H Youth Development Program Representative with the UC Cooperative Extension in Siskiyou County for more than 20 years, and has served as the regional coordinator for the North State counties in recent years, the CattleWomen said.


Insect entrepreneurs use almond hulls as feed source for bugs 

(Daily Democrat) Ching Lee, Nov. 8

…Maurice Pitesky, a UC Cooperative Extension veterinarian and specialist in poultry health and food-safety epidemiology, conducted an experiment two years ago on pastured layers, feeding up to 20% of the birds' diet with soldier fly larvae “with no change in welfare, egg quality, mortality.” The larvae feed provides methionine, an essential amino acid for poultry, and has “significant potential” to increase poultry production while freeing “more corn and soy calories for humans,” he said, though he warned of two caveats: economics and consistency of manufacturing the feed.


Paradise rebuilds, but fire safety sometimes takes a back seat to economic realities

(LA Times) Laura Newberry, Nov. 8

…“Having this zone right next to a building is pretty important,” said Steve Quarles, a senior scientist with the Institute for Business & Home Safety who studied homes in Paradise after the fire. “No matter what the homeowner does in terms of vegetation management on the property, embers can blow over and ignite that woodpile next to the house.”

For the Record (LA Times) Nov. 12

Camp fire: In the Nov. 8 Section A, an article looking at the changes in Paradise, Calif., since the Camp fire a year earlier misidentified Steve Quarles as a senior scientist with the Institute for Business & Home Safety. Quarles has retired from that post and now serves as a UC Cooperative Extension advisor emeritus.


Sudden oak death rebounds in Sonoma County, spreads in California

(Press Democrat) Guy Kovner, Nov. 8

… Matteo Garbelotto, director of the forest pathology and mycology laboratory at UC Berkeley, said discovery of the two infected tanoaks in Del Norte County was a signature finding of this year's sudden oak death survey, known as the SOD Blitz, organized by his lab since 2008.

“It's a good thing that we detected it because the sooner we know, the more options available to minimize the impact of the disease,” he said.


 The 2050 challenge

(Iowa Farm Bureau) Teresa Bjork, Nov. 8

…Dr. Frank Mitloehner, an air quality extension specialist at the University of California-Davis, said American consumers don't realize that modern agriculture practices have helped increase our food supply while decreasing potential greenhouse gas emissions.

“It's time for us to explain what we do in agriculture in a way that the public understands,” Mitloehner said.


Sudden oak death spreading fast, California's coastal forests facing devastation

(San Francisco Chronicle) Peter Fimrite, Nov. 7

…The rate of trees infected almost doubled in 2019 — from 3.5% to 5.9% — and was 10 times higher in some places compared with the 2018 survey, said Matteo Garbelotto, the director of the UC Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, which tested leaf samples taken by 422 volunteers.

...“There was a significant increase in infection rates over last year, but that's not totally surprising because we had a lot more rainfall,” Garbelotto said. “But it was a surprise to see them all at once. It's telling us we are entering a different phase of the disease, where the organism isn't really establishing itself in new areas, but is showing itself more when weather conditions are favorable.” 


We mapped every wine country fire. They're larger and more destructive than ever

(Los Angeles Times) Priya Krishnakumar, Nov. 7

…Why is this happening? Scientists point to rising temperatures and the effects of Santa Ana and Diablo winds on increasingly dry terrain.

“In a way, climate change is priming the landscape to ignitions,” said Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist at UC Santa Barbara.

…Experts say many of the losses are due to increased development, as more and more homes have been built in areas prone to fire.

“The homes are the fuels,” Moritz said. “We see these burned neighborhoods where there are still shrubs and trees, and it's clear the homes propogated the fire.”


Water users making case in bankruptcy court; Cal Fire says dry canal poses fire hazards

(Chico News & Review) Ashiah Scharaga, Nov. 7

…Gosselin said the county is scheduling another meeting with water users for January. While “we cannot get in the middle and restore water to the Middle Miocene,” he said, it is exploring a project with Del Oro to extend water service on Pentz Road, which would help some of the folks who have been served by the canal. The UC Cooperative Extension is also close to completing an economic study related to the loss of the Miocene on water users, and Gosselin intends to seek grants and other funding for water supply reliability projects.


Farm City Newsday Thursday, 11-07-19

(AgNet West) Danielle Leal

Get the latest agriculture news in today's Farm City Newsday, hosted by Danielle Leal. Today's show is filled with stories covering the current disconnect in state and federal hemp regulations, California's working landscape sector providing significant economic value and details on the Almond Board of California's conference silent auction that benefits FFA students and how you can help. Tune in to the show for these news stories, recipes, features and more.


California working landscapes generate $333 billion in sales and 1.5 million jobs

(News release) Pam Kan-Rice


Power shutoffs leave some farmers feeling ‘helpless'

(Ag Alert) Ching Lee, Nov. 6

… "If they've lost cooler capacity or the ability to wash product, not only are they taking a hit on the expense side, but they have less to sell," Placer County sheep rancher Dan Macon said. "That's kind of a double whammy for a number of folks."

… Wineries also are running into this problem, said Anita Oberholster, an enology specialist for University of California Cooperative Extension. Those operating on generators are running low on fuel and can't get it to their wineries, which need power not only to process fruit but to control temperature during the fermentation process. Because yeast can generate a significant amount of heat during fermentation, an inability to control temperature could affect the quality of the wine, she said.

… "People are making the investments they need to make, but it's stuff that's outside the normal course of business, and I think there'll be some financial impacts from that in terms of this season's profitability," he said.

As a UCCE livestock and natural resources advisor, Macon said the outage has prompted him to start sending a survey to farmers in an effort "to catalog resources that are out there and available for sharing in situations like this," whether it's generators, water-hauling capacity or, in the case of fire, the ability to load livestock quickly and safely.


Spring rains likely caused waterlogging of walnut trees

(Farm Press) Logan Hawkes, Nov. 6

…Luke Milliron, UCCE Farm Advisor in Butte, Glenn, and Tehama Counties and Janine Hasey, UCCE Farm Advisor Emeritus, also addressed the topic in a recent blog post.

“Plant roots need to breathe,” they wrote. “This process of respiration is critical to energy production in roots. Saturated surface soil moisture levels restrict root access to atmospheric oxygen, limiting the energy production of respiration and eventually resulting in root asphyxiation (death).”


California agriculture in 2050 – where we are headed and why

(CDFA blog) Nov. 5

At its monthly meeting today, the California State Board of Food and Agriculture heard a cautiously optimistic appraisal of agriculture's future through 2050 from economist Dr. Daniel Sumner, director of the Agricultural Issues Center at UC Davis. Dr. Sumner believes that net farm income will continue to grow, even though it may experience ups and downs, and that growth specifics will hinge on the management of five key cost factors:


Beckstoffer Vineyards, in Partnership with University of California, Davis and Duarte Nursery, Launches Groundbreaking Clonal and Rootstock Trial Addressing Climate Change and Improved Grape Quality in Cabernet Sauvignon

(Wine Industry Advisor) Nov. 5

Andy Beckstoffer, perhaps the most recognized California grower of wine grapes, announced that Beckstoffer Vineyards, in partnership with University of California, Davis and Duarte Nursery, has launched a groundbreaking trial addressing climate change and improved grape quality for Cabernet Sauvignon at Beckstoffer's Amber Knolls Vineyard in the Red Hills of Lake County.  University of California, Davis called the trial “the mother of Cabernet research trials.”


Study: California's working landscape supports more than 1.5 million jobs

(Fruit Grower News) Nov. 5

California's working landscape and the industries associated with agriculture and natural resources contribute significantly to the state's economy, according to a new study by the California Community Colleges Centers of Excellence for Labor Market ResearchCalifornia Economic Summit and the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources.


UC scientists seek innovative uses of ag waste

 (Farm Press) Chris Brunner, Nov. 5

…Historically these waste materials have been used as a rich source of compost. However, scientists at UC Cooperative Extension are researching innovative uses for this material. 

Dr. Pramod Pandey, a faculty member and Cooperative Extension specialist at the UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, focuses on better ways to manage waste material for both large and small farms. Dr. Pandey researches how to convert the organic matter in manure and other waste materials into a renewable energy source that can be used to power our state.


Shifting Winds in Fire Management

 (Noozhawk) Harrison Tasoff, Nov. 4

…“We are mixing up the problem of forest and fuel management with the problem of wildland-urban interface fires,” said Max Moritz, an adjunct professor at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School of Environmental Management and a statewide Cooperative Extension wildfire specialist.


Early UC hemp research already yielding results

(Farm Press) Jeannette Warnert, Nov. 4

For the first time ever, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) researchers harvested an industrial hemp crop at one of its nine research and extension centers this fall.

“It's an interesting crop,” said UC Cooperative Extension specialist Bob Hutmacher. “There is a tremendous amount of research that can be done to understand its growth and best cultural practices, optimal planting dates either by seed or transplants, irrigation and fertilization management, and, particularly, to address pest and disease management.”


Day of the Dead – More Than a Colorful Sugar Skull, UC ANR Says

(Sierra Sun Times)  Ricardo A. Vela, Nov. 2

 - Many of us in the US have seen or heard something about the Mexican celebration El Dia de Los Muertos (Day of the Dead), whether it's a reference in a horror movie or a community fair where children get their faces painted as colorful skulls. For many, that is the extent of their knowledge of this millenary, radiant and vibrant Mexican celebration.


Early UC Hemp Research Already Yielding Results

(CalAg Today), Nov. 2

For the first time ever, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) researchers harvested an industrial hemp crop at one of its nine research and extension centers this fall.

"It's an interesting crop," said UC Cooperative Extension specialist Bob Hutmacher. "We don't have a lot of experience in UC ANR with hemp at this time. There is a tremendous amount of research that can be done to understand its growth and best cultural practices, optimal planting dates either by seed or transplants, irrigation and fertilization management, and, particularly, to address pest and disease management."


In Woodlake, One Motivated Couple And A Mile-Long Garden Inspire Children And Flowers To Flourish

(KVPR) Alice Daniel, Nov. 1

…And that's the point, right there. It's why two life-long Woodlake residents, Olga and Manuel Jimenez started the garden 16 years. Ago. It's named for the lake next to it. Taking care of the garden builds character, Manuel says. And strong work skills, and relationships. 

… It sits between a lake and a road on land the city bought with a rails to trails grant, so it's far longer than it is wide. Manuel's retired now but he designed it when he was still a UC small farm advisor.


California Fire Danger Continues to Worsen, Experts Say

(Wall St J) Jim Carlton, Nov. 1

…“There's no simple problem and no one simple answer,” said Max Moritz, statewide fire specialist based at the University of California, Santa Barbara.


On the Hunt: Study Seeks Answers on Wildlife Exposure to Lethal Rat Poison

(CSU Fullerton) Nov. 1

…Under the mentorship of Paul Stapp, professor of biological science, and in collaboration with scientist Niamh Quinn, a human-wildlife interactions advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Irvine, Burke is studying how native wildlife is exposed to rodenticides. Burke has been working on the research over the past two years for his thesis project.

…For his project, Burke set up bait stations — tamper-proof black boxes — at 90 sites in Orange County — in the backyards of homeowners who participate in the Master Gardeners of Orange County program, and grow large amounts of fruits and vegetables, which attract animals, including rats.


As fires rage, pressure mounts to train California's next generation of forest stewards

(Edsource) Sydney Johnson, Nov. 1

… Blake Schmidt, a math teacher at Ross Middle School in Marin County, decided to take his students to Forestry Challenge after participating in a free [UC ANR] statewide program for California teachers called the Forestry Institute for Teachers.

Posted on Saturday, November 30, 2019 at 11:01 AM
Tags: Climate Change (47), hemp (1), nutrition (64), Sudden Oak Death (27), wildfire (95), Wildlife (7)

ANR in the news October 16-31

Strategies for Increasing Ranch Income

(AgNetWest) Brian German, Oct. 31

 There are multiple approaches that producers can take to help increase ranch income that ranges from improving traditional avenues of revenue to taking a more unconventional approach to the diversification of income.  A workshop coming up on November 20 in Watsonville is focused on helping producers better understand the value of marketing their products.

“Some of the things that we're going to be talking about in this workshop are really basic things like what is marketing? How can we demystify marketing? What are its functions in your livestock operation and how can marketing benefit your operation?” said Devii Rao, Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor for San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz Counties. “We wanted to start bringing up that conversation and help ranchers share with each other their successes and their challenges.”


Vineyards can help stop fires. They did in the Alexander Valley

(San Francisco Chronicle) Esther Mobley, Oct. 30

…“Vines are green and full of water,” said S. Kaan Kurtural, UC Davis professor of viticulture and oenology. “With the amount of water they can hold in their tissue, they become an oasis in a hot environment.”

Sounds simple enough. But if all it takes to stop a fire is a living plant, then why don't trees do the trick?

“Forests have a lot of underbrush, so there's a lot of fuel for a fire underneath the canopies,” Kurtural said.


Early UC Hemp Research Already Yielding Results

(Canna Product News) Oct. 30

For the first time ever, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) researchers harvested an industrial hemp crop at one of its nine research and extension centers this fall.

“It's an interesting crop,” said UC Cooperative Extension specialist Bob Hutmacher. “We don't have a lot of experience in UC ANR with hemp at this time. There is a tremendous amount of research that can be done to understand its growth and best cultural practices, optimal planting dates either by seed or transplants, irrigation and fertilization management, and, particularly, to address pest and disease management.”


Good Fire

(Devil's Garden Horses blog)

The 80-acre UC Berkeley Forestry Camp in Plumas County serves as a unique opportunity to implement techniques and research related to fire. With wildfires in California growing in intensity over the past few years, many foresters are trying to educate the public about using fire as a tool to reduce fuel loads. Last weekend we had the pleasure of attending a two-day Prescribed Fire on Private Lands workshop, hosted by the UC Cooperative Extension. It was a really educational workshop, especially going in with limited knowledge and exposure to forestry practices.


Are locally owned utilities an alternative to PG&E?

(KCRA) Vicki Gonzalez, Oct. 28

Sacramento is home to a municipality. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is a community-owned, not-for-profit service, with a locally elected board of directors.

“SMUD is one of the best operating municipals in the nation,” said Keith Taylor, with UC Davis Cooperative Extension. “They are very responsive to local consumers, local policy makers, so municipals are also another wonderful alternative we can pull into the conversation.”

Taylor goes a step further. He argues that although electricity co-ops are common in other parts of the country, they are almost nonexistent in California.


Why so many fires when PG&E power was off? Here's what we know

(San Francisco Chronicle) Jason Fagone, Oct. 28

Despite historic power shut-offs that have plunged much of the Bay Area into darkness — a Hail Mary by Pacific Gas and Electric Co. to prevent new wildfires from starting and spreading in hot, dry winds — a spate of new fires have recently kicked up across the region.

Early clues point to malfunctioning power equipment as the cause of some fires, and PG&E is already under investigation in multiple incidents, including the devastating Kincade Fire in Sonoma County. But no one yet knows what sparked the other fires.

“Shutting off the power and expecting ignitions to go away is overly simplistic. It's very naive,” said Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist at UC Santa Barbara's Bren School. “There are many different human causes (of wildfires) in addition to power lines. And the patterns vary up and down the state, and through time.”


Orchard Recycling Getting Closer to Financial Assistance

(AgNet West) Oct. 28

Whole orchard recycling is a pricey practice, but financial assistance is on the way. The California Department of Food and Agriculture is looking to include the method in its Healthy Soils Incentives Program. U.C. Cooperative Extension's Brent Holtz has been researching the practice for over a decade and said the benefits include increased nutrients, water holding capacity, and of course, carbon sequestration.


Electric Utilities Can't Blame Wildfires Solely on Climate, Experts Say

(Scientific American) Daniel Cusick, Oct. 25

…“I find myself wanting to squash statements that this is the ‘new normal,'” said Yana Valachovic, Northern California lead forest adviser for the University of California Cooperative Extension program. “You hear a lot of people promoting that idea, but I find it very defeating. It assumes an external force is operating on us in a way we can't deal with.”

In fact, part of adapting to changing climate conditions in California involves understanding risks from wildfire and then making choices to reduce them. “Unfortunately, we've been very unaware and uninterested in how we can design, construct and maintain our homes,” Valachovic said.


California's Power Shutoffs Might Prevent Wildfires. But Are They Worth the Risks?

(TIME) Tara Law, Oct. 25

… But Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist at UC Santa Barbara, says turning off the power won't prevent every wildfire. As he points out, wildfires can be ignited by anything from campfires to lightning to arson. And if a wildfire starts regardless of an outage, blackouts could make it harder for people in potential danger to get information or call for help. “You can't imagine a worse time to not have power,” Moritz says. Meanwhile, leaving thousands of people without electricity can have its own deadly consequences, especially for people with health issues, the elderly, and other vulnerable groups. And even absent a fire, power outages can present problems of their own — people may miss work, their food or medicine may spoil, and heat becomes a concern without air conditioning.
… But Moritz says that PG&E is running what he calls a “very large-scale experiment” with little evidence to show that reducing the chances of a fire starting one particular way makes people safer overall. For his part, he would like to see more detailed plans from companies like PG&E regarding the outages, as well as evidence that they do in fact prevent fires. Indeed, a fire began in Sonoma County on Thursday in an area where PG&E said it had already cut power. While it's unclear what sparked this new blaze, the company says one of its power transmission towers malfunctioned just minutes before the fire began.

“I think we're missing this larger-scale and longer-term framework for how [shutoffs] fit in to an overall plan,” Moritz says. “Lacking that, it seems like an experiment.”


Potential E-Verify Deal Would Give Legal Status to Farmworkers

(Pew Trusts) Tim Henderson, Oct 24

…There have been numerous attempts since then to balance the needs of farmers, who depend on the labor, and those who want to discourage unauthorized immigration, said Philip Martin, an emeritus professor of agriculture and resource economics at the University of California, Davis.

Growers also would like to get easier temporary guest-worker visas with lower pay and fewer housing requirements, which may be part of the deal, Martin said.

Farmworkers from Mexico are more fearful now than in years past about crossing the border and moving around in the United States because of increased immigration enforcement. In the late 1990s almost 80% of farmworkers in the country illegally migrated from job to job, according to a 2016 University of California, Berkeley, study. That number was down to 6% by 2016.


11 tips to beat grape fungal diseases

(Good Fruit Grower) Leslie Mertz, Oct. 22

Grapes face all kinds of fungal diseases — from mildews, rots and blights to leaf spot and anthracnose. What's a grower to do? Here are 11 tips from Annemiek Schilder, who spent many years as a small fruit pathologist at Michigan State University and now serves as director of the University of California Cooperative Extension in Ventura County.


Sacred Cows

The New Yorker, Frank Mitloehner, Oct. 21

Tad Friend, in his piece on Impossible Foods, a startup that makes imitation meat in the hope of solving climate change, writes, “Every four pounds of beef you eat contributes to as much global warming as flying from New York to London” (“Value Meal,” September 30th). As a professor who studies the environmental impact of livestock production, I was surprised that Friend relied on such a high per-pound emissions rate for beef, since most estimates are much lower. According to a recent paper in Agricultural Systems, the carbon footprint of four pounds of U.S. beef is equivalent to about eighty-eight pounds of carbon dioxide. Per passenger, a flight from New York to London adds roughly 1,980 pounds of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, about twenty times more than the production of four pounds of beef.


Climate change is coming for your Cabernet

(CBS News) Oct. 19

…In Napa Valley, Cabernet is king. It's also where researchers are trying to save it with 11 different projects happening all around the area.

Beckstoffer Vineyards is investing tens of millions of dollars partnering with U.C. Davis for the world's most ambitious Cabernet Sauvignon root stock and clone trial. They're looking for more resilient combinations of Cabernet.

Vineyard manager Clint Nelson and researcher Kaan Kurtural said the area has heated up by nearly two degrees per decade. That may not sound like much, but viticulturists say it's enough to eventually make Cabernet grapes extinct.

"You cannot just say, 'Oh we gotta think about it 20 to 30 years from now.' You have to take action now," Kurtural said.


Sweet excess: How the baby food industry hooks toddlers on sugar, salt and fat

(Washington Post) Laura Reiley, Oct. 17

…Lorrene Ritchie, director of the Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, worries that low-income parents will be more inclined to spend their money on these heavily advertised baby foods, toddler milks and packaged snacks at the expense of healthier options.

“The amount of funding spent to promote healthy foods, which is mostly via federal nutrition education dollars such as WIC and SNAP-Ed, is dwarfed by food marketing which is mostly for unhealthy and ‘treat' foods and beverages,” she said. “I fear we will never make a big dent in diet-related chronic disease until we level this playing field.”


We Got The Snack Receipts For LA Rec And Park's After-School Programs — It's Mostly Junk

(LAist) Alyssa Jeong Perry, Oct. 17

…In 2017, 45% of all 5th graders in L.A. County were considered overweight or obese, according to data collected by the California Department of Education. About 41% of kids statewide were overweight or obese. 

Child nutrition expert Lorrene Ritchie of the Nutrition Policy Institute, a research center connected with the University of California system, said eating junk food at snack time can affect a child's overall health. 

"It's not massive gorging that contributes to obesity," Ritchie said. "It's just the small amount of extra calories every day."


PG&E outage fallout a test for Newsom, agencies

(Farm Press) Tim Hearden, Oct. 16

…But while many Californians were inconvenienced by the blackouts, University of California Cooperative Extension fire scientist Lenya Quinn-Davidson told Time magazine she worries that too much emphasis is being placed on utilities as the cause of fires.

Posted on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 7:21 PM

ANR in the news October 1-15

Why we need to treat wildfire as a public health issue in California

 (The Conversation) Faith Kearns and Max Moritz, Oct 15

… As researchers who have worked extensively on fire in California, we believe it is time to treat fires that affect communities as the public health challenge they have become. This means taking a more robust approach to a host of issues, including focusing on where and how we build, taking the needs of vulnerable populations seriously, and ensuring that solutions are equitable.


As Groundwater Law Plows Forward, Small Farmers Seek More Engagement

(KVPR) Kerry Klein, Oct. 15

… Ruth Dahlquist-Willard argues that more small farmers need to be taking part in such decisions, though as a small farms advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension, she acknowledges those growers can be harder to reach. They tend to have fewer resources than bigger outfits to leave the fields and go to meetings. Many don't speak English, and those who lease land from far-off owners may not see policy mailings. “There's not the social network either, what we might call social capital, where you have other chances to hang out with the people that are making the decisions,” she says. Even five years after SGMA was passed, many small farmers have still never heard of the law.

But that's no reason not to engage, Dahlquist-Willard argues. With their Groundwater Sustainability Plans due to the state at the end of January, most GSAs in the Valley have drafted their plans and posted them to the web for public comment. “Right now is the time when farmers and anyone else who is interested can actually provide input on the plans that are going to be implemented next year,” she says.

In September, Dahlquist-Willard organized a meeting for small farmers and GSA representatives to come together in Fresno. Dennis Hutson attended; Chong Ge Xiong came out to a similar meeting for Asian business owners. “The goal was to connect the farmers with people who are putting the plans together that are going to affect how groundwater is going to be managed in the San Joaquin Valley,” she says.


Her Superb Swimming Didn't Stop With Pregnancy

(Wall St. Journal) Jen Murphy, Oct. 14

Lauren Au Brinkmeyer spent two years training and gained 10 pounds to swim the English Channel. After completing the approximately 21-mile crossing in July 2018 in 11 hours and 54 seconds, she was prepared to hang up her swim cap and start a family in Oakland, Calif., with her husband.

But when registration for the 20 Bridges Swim, a 28.5-mile circumnavigation of Manhattan, opened last November, she applied and earned one of the 67 spots for the July 2019 event. “I couldn't resist the pull of the open water,” she says. When she struggled to become pregnant, she initially blamed her intense training in 50-degree water without a wetsuit. But her doctor told her many women her age have trouble getting pregnant right away.

An associate researcher at the Nutrition Policy Institute at the University of California, Berkeley, Dr. Au Brinkmeyer, 34, shifted her focus back to the water. She set her sights on achieving the triple crown of open-water swimming, a challenge that consists of the English Channel, the 20 Bridges Swim and the Catalina Channel, which runs about 20 miles between Santa Catalina Island and Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif.


Eco-tip: Focus of composting may change from backyard to business

(Ventura County Star) David Goldstein, Oct. 13

…Residents may get some guidance from an upcoming workshop sponsored by Master Gardeners of Ventura County, a project of the UC Cooperative Extension. Meeting from 9-11 a.m. Oct. 26 at The ARC of Ojai, 210 Canada St., it will focus on winter vegetable gardening but also will include soil preparation methods, such as composting. You can register at


California Is Trying to Prevent Fires. No One Expected a Smoking Garbage Truck.

(New York Times) Nicholas Bogel-Burroughs, Oct. 12

…“Some of these things are really quite unbelievable when you hear about them,” said William C. Stewart, a forestry specialist at the University of California, Berkeley. “But they just occur with a certain probability. They just do.”

Mr. Stewart has seen several fires that began when a lawn mower scraped against a rock on a hot day, sending sparks into the dry grass. The Sandalwood fire was the first time he had heard of a garbage truck's load igniting a wildfire, but not much surprises him anymore.

“There's just an endless series of things that people do to create sparks and fires,” Mr. Stewart said. “This time of year, when everything is bone dry, it really is just like kindling.”


Who Are Master Gardeners?

(My Motherlode) Rebecca Miller-Cripps, Oct. 11

You probably know a Master Gardener and may not even know it.  Master Gardeners are your neighbors. We live in your community, and work in your local nurseries and hardware stores.  Master Gardeners love plants and gardening and face the same gardening challenges that you do.  We may be members of the local garden club, rose society, or California Native Plant Society.  Master Gardeners are volunteers trained and certified by the University of California Cooperative Extension in home gardening and horticulture.   We promote the application of useful basic gardening practices.  Our purpose is to teach and extend research-based information to home and community gardeners.


California Fire Map: Track Fires Near Me Today

( Stephanie Dube Dwilson, Oct. 10

…A new interactive fire map is below, provided by Note that this map is only updated up to twice daily, so it may not be not as current as the two interactive maps above.


'People Are Freaking Out.' Thousands of Californians Left Powerless Amid Electricity Cuts to Prevent Wildfires

(TIME) Tara Law, Oct. 10

As hundreds of thousands of Californians grapple with a power shutoff intended to reduce the risk of wildfires, people affected by the outages say that their communities are racked by anxiety and frustration about the disruption — as well as fear that the complications associated with the outages outweigh the intended benefits.

“People are freaking out around here,” says Jeffery Stackhouse, a Livestock and Natural Resource Advisor from Fortuna, Calif who spoke with TIME along with his colleague, Lenya Quinn-Davidson, the area fire advisor with UC Cooperative Extension in Humboldt County, Calif., and director of the Northern California Prescribed Fire Council. They said the outages have fundamentally disrupted life in their community: Schools have closed, some businesses can't run credit cards, people have lined up outside of gas stations to try and get fuel, and cars have been stuck in traffic jams as a result of traffic light outages.

… “If a fire starts because of other causes — which could easily happen under severe conditions — now we have no way to communicate,” Quinn-Davidson says. “Seriously, like, if this power outage happened when the Carr Fire happened — how would you evacuate people? That's completely possible. You could have a power outage and have a fire start from a roadside cigarette. Or arson. Or anything. And then what?” (The Carr Fire was reportedly sparked by a vehicle.)


You've heard of chestnuts roasting on an open fire. The Modesto area also grows them

(Modesto Bee) John Holland, Oct. 9

…Chestnut acreage might be small, but the state has the advantage of an early harvest compared with other growing regions, said Roger Duncan, county director for the University of California Cooperative Extension.

“We would be one of earliest in the world market, so there is some price advantage to it,” he said.


Sudden Oak Death: Detected in Del Norte County, quarantine continues in Curry

(Curry Coastal Pilot) Jeremy C. Ruark, Oct. 9

…Lee: The samples were collected as part of a UC Berkeley-led effort called a SOD blitz. For this effort, the Forest Pathology and Mycology Lab at UCB provides collection materials to samplers throughout the range of sudden oak death in California, then tests the samples that are sent back to them in order to help track the distribution and progress of sudden oak death in California from year to year. For Del Norte County, the SOD blitz is the latest part of an effort to monitor the county for signs of the disease that dates back to 2004. Over the years, this effort has involved University of California Cooperative Extension, UC Davis, UC Berkeley, Cal Fire and the Del Norte County Agriculture Department.


As dangerous fire conditions target California, Weather Service is rethinking its warning system

(Washington Post) Diana Leonard, Oct. 8

…Yana Valachovic, a forest adviser and county director with the UC Cooperative Extension, thinks specific actions taken in the hours and days before a wildfire could help prevent future disasters.

“We need to get more sophisticated in helping the public understand what the vulnerabilities are and how to prepare,” she said.

Her post-fire investigations of neighborhoods destroyed in California's 2017 and 2018 firestorms reveal lessons about both wildfire evacuation and home wildfire protection. For example, knowing when to leave, even without an official evacuation order, is crucial during fast-spreading wildfires. That decision requires close monitoring of (and access to) weather and wildfire information. And for last-minute home preparation, if time allows, she said, residents should target the immediate zone around the home — zero to five feet from outside walls and decks— and clear any materials that could ignite in an ember storm.

“I think education is really important, and the alerts are a very good example of where that education needs to happen,” she said.


Navel Orangeworm Plague Might be Growing Out of Control

(Growing Produce) Christina Herrick, Oct. 8

…“Although this is a proven practice, we still see some growers are not doing this practice, for whatever reason. Sometimes, it is difficult to do mummy sanitation due to the rainfall in the winter, or due to the heavy ground in some orchards. But it is important to plan in advance considering these factors. Sanitation can be done at any time between October and Feb. 1,” Jhalendra Rijal, University of California Cooperative Extension Area Integrated Pest Management Advisor for the Northern San Joaquin Valley, says.


A Cow, a Controversy, and a Dashed Dream of More Humane Farms

(Wired) Megan Molteni, Oct. 8

On the morning of August 7, Alison Van Eenennaam awoke to a tweet from a man she had never met. He had sent her a link to a story written in German, illustrated with a clip-art cow next to an udder-pink biohazard symbol. “Aren't you involved in the hornless cows criticized here by a German NGO?” the man tweeted at Van Eenenaam from nine time zones away. “Can you give us some details on what @US_FDA found?”

Related articles:

Horned bull genetically edited by scientists becomes 'dad' to six hornless calves

Hornless Genome-Edited Bull Passes Trait to Offspring

Scientists Used Gene Editing to Create a Bull Without Horns. It Passed the Trait to its Offspring

Country Life Today: Sir David Attenborough's heartfelt call to arms


West Coast Rodent Academy Set for November 6-8

(PCT Online) Brad Harbison, Oct. 7

The West Coast Rodent Academy (WCRA) will be held at University of California's South Coast Research and Extension Center, Irvine, Calif., November 6-8th.

…The featured speaker is Niamh Quinn, the new University of California Cooperative Extension Human - Wildlife Advisor, based at the South Coast Research and Extension Center in Irvine.


Survey Helps UC Understand Cannabis Production Challenges in State

(Cal Ag Today) Patrick Cavanaugh, Oct. 7

Results from a UC Cooperative Extension survey of registered and unregistered marijuana (cannabis) growers in California will help researchers, policy makers and the public better understand growing practices since cannabis sales, possession and cultivation first became legal for recreational use.

“This survey is a starting point from which UC scientists could build research and extension programs, if possible in the future,” said lead author Houston Wilson, UCCE specialist with UC Riverside. A report on the survey results was published in the July-December 2019 issue of California Agriculture journal, the research publication of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.


California ignores the science as it OKs more homes in wildfire zones, researchers say

(LA Times) Joshua Emerson Smith, Oct. 6

…“The notion that this is all about how we will plan our future developments ignores the 800-pound gorilla of the built environment as it exists on the landscape today,” said Keith Gilless, professor of forest economics at UC Berkeley and chairman of the state's Board of Forestry and Fire Protection.

…“It's really common to see post-fire neighborhoods and there's a lot of the vegetation left,” said Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist with the University of California Cooperative Extension. “You realize, it was embers that started some of the homes on fire, and then the homes themselves generated a bunch of heat and fire that caught the neighboring homes on fire.”


CA Gov. Newsom signs 22 bills for wildfire mitigation

(Daily Cal) Olivia Buccieri, Oct. 4

Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a package of 22 bills for California's wildfire mitigation and preparedness efforts Wednesday, building on the $1 billion allocated for wildfire and emergency investment in the budget.

Multiple Assembly members and senators contributed individual bills related to wildfire intervention, ranging from fire prevention techniques to mitigating climate change through clean energy policies.

[Should be Yana Valachovic] Lenya Quinn-Davidson, an area fire advisor for the UC Cooperative Extension, worked closely on AB 38 with Assemblymember Jim Wood's office, D-Santa Rosa. AB 38 works to develop community-wide resilience through home-hardening techniques and defensible space development. Assemblymember Bill Quirk, D-Hayward, author of AB 1584, wrote about the relevance of climate change in enhancing wildfire risk.


Value up, acreage down in 2018 ag report

(Imperial Valley Press) Tom Bodus, Oct. 3

…”The agricultural industry is not alone in their contribution to our economy in Imperial County,” said Agricultural Commissioner Carlos Ortiz, in a written statement. “What contributes to the success of agriculture is the support and advocacy from such organization as Imperial County Farm Bureau and Imperial Valley Vegetable Growers Association and agencies including the University of California Cooperative Extension and the Agricultural Commissioner's staff who all work tireless to promote and support the industry.”


California's Prune Orchard of the Future

(Progressive Crop Consultant) Oct. 3

Luke Milliron | UCCE Farm Advisor for Butte, Glenn and Tehama Counties
Franz Niederholzer | UCCE Farm Advisor for Colusa, Sutter, and Yuba Counties
Dani Lightle | UCCE Orchards System Advisor for Glenn, Butte and Tehama Counties
Katherine Jarvis-Shean | UCCE Orchards System Advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo Counties

California will likely have a large prune crop in 2019 following favorable bloom conditions and lower yields in 2018. Unfortunately, in prune production with larger crops typically comes smaller fruit, of which there is currently an over-supply in the world market. High production of small fruit world-wide has come at a time when demand for small fruit from consuming nations like China, Brazil, and Russia has been in decline. California handlers have been strongly urging their growers to use shaker thinning to reduce the fruit number during spring and help deliver large, high-quality fruit at harvest.


How to Prepare for Wildfire Season, According to Experts

(Inside Hook) Diane Rommel, Oct. 3

…Whether you blame climate change or population shifts, utility companies or bad luck, one thing is clear: a drier, hotter environment requires new thinking, and some difficult questions. Does your Napa Valley wedding spot have an evacuation plan? Is an autumn getaway in the mountains worth the risk? For the answers, we went straight to the experts: Dr. Tom Scott and Area Fire Advisor Lenya Quinn-Davidson of the University of California Cooperative Extension.

Posted on Friday, November 1, 2019 at 12:16 PM

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