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Position Details

256 Orchard Crop Extension Entomologist : 40% OR / 60% CE

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Associated Documents

Status

This proposal has been formally submitted for the 2012 cycle.

Comments

10 Comments

1
Dear Dr. Redak:

I am writing to let you know of my support for establishing an Orchard Crops Entomology position (60% CE Specialist and 40% Research Entomologist) at the UC Kearny Ag and Extension Center in Parlier.

The UC Davis Olive Center seeks to do for olives and olive oil what UC Davis did for wine. The center has made great strides in this regard, becoming internationally recognized in its research and positioning the university in the center of an international debate over olive quality.

The core strength of the center is the 30 faculty, extension specialists and farm advisors that allow UC Davis to effectively serve the needs of the growing olive sector in California. The retirement of key research and farm advisor personnel will compromise the ability for UC Davis to maintain a leadership role in this field. An Orchard Crops Entomologist would deliver research that would help California growers control pests that threaten the multi-billion dollar orchard crop economy. The UC Kearny Ag and Extension Center is the best strategic location for this position.

Thank you for your consideration.

Dan Flynn
UC Davis Olive Center
Executive Director



Posted May 17, 2012 11:46 AM by Richard Redak
2
Dear Dr. Redak –

I am aware of UCR’s interest/plan to submit a specialist position description to ANR. Speaking on behalf of the California pistachio industry, we certainly need such a position with both significant extension and research responsibilities to be located at Kearney Ag Center to work on both insect and mite pests of pistachios in particular. Location is important because the pistachio industry is locate in the southern San Joaquin Valley – 95% or more of the acreage is in the five counties in the southern SJV. Acreage and production has been expanding and we are now the world’s leading grower and supplier of pistachios. Please count the pistachio industry as a supporter of the entomology specialist position and let me know when it has been posted so I can submit supportive comments directly to ANR.


Bob Klein

Bob Klein, Ph.D.
Manager
California Pistachio Research Board
4938 E. Yale Ave, Suite 102
Fresno, CA 93727

559.255.6480, ext 103
559.255.6485 Fax
Posted May 17, 2012 11:46 AM by Richard Redak
3
Dear Dr. Redak:

I am a research entomologist with the USDA-ARS San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center (SJVASC), which is located across the street from the University of California-Kearney Research and Extension Center (UC-KREC). The USDA-ARS SJVASC and UC-KREC are strategically located in the heart of Fresno County, which is the most productive agricultural county in the State of California. Major crops grown in the Fresno County include grapes, stone fruits, and other orchard crops that are affected by several arthropod pests. It is my personal experience that we need more research entomologists in the region to address the myriad of pest problems and facilitate communication with growers. To my knowledge, there are no new entomologist positions being established in the region and our situation will aggravate even more due to the fact that many entomologists stationed at UC-KREC will retire within the next few years. Therefore, I hereby support the establishment of an Orchard Crops Entomology position at UC-KREC to develop basic and applied research programs focused on reducing the impact of arthropod pests in fruit and nut tree crops, and provide outreach to appropriate clientele to facilitate adoption of new science-based knowledge for management of these pests.

Please don’t hesitate in contacting me if you have any questions.

Sincerely,


Rodrigo Krugner, Ph.D.
Research Entomologist
Crop Diseases, Pests, and Genetics Research Unit
San Joaquin Valley Agricultural Sciences Center
United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service
9611 South Riverbend Ave
Parlier, California 93648
Phone: 559.596.2887
Fax: 559.596.2921
E-mail: Rodrigo.Krugner@ars.usda.gov
Posted May 17, 2012 11:47 AM by Richard Redak
4
Dear Dr. Redak:

I am in support of establishing an Orchard Crops Entomology position (60% CE Specialist and 40% Research Entomologist). The position should develop basic and applied research programs focused on reducing the impact of insect and mite pests in commercial fruit and nut tree crops, and provide outreach to appropriate clientele to facilitate adoption of new science-based knowledge for management of these pests. This position should be located at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) at Parlier, CA, so that the individual filling the position will be strategically located to focus on the state’s most important orchard crop systems.

I am concerned about the loss of research positions within Cooperative Extension, and the University in general, dedicated to field level pest management problems. Pest problems facing the agricultural industry are increasing. Far too many new positions are now laboratory based, and focused on basic rather than applied research programs, and geared towards development of patentable products. The past support for more information based solutions by public institutions is on decline and being replaced by profit based solutions; without the best, most economical solutions in mind for the grower. The University of California, Kearney Agricultural and Research Center is probably one of the best equipped in the world for dealing with problems facing major orchard crops. It needs the support of dedicated faculty and extension personnel to provide novel as well as traditional information based solutions that benefits the local farming industry, and protects the environment.

Sincerely,

Charlie

Charles H. Pickett, Ph.D.
CDFA
Sacramento, California
Posted May 17, 2012 11:47 AM by Richard Redak
5
May 14, 2012

University of California, Riverside
Attn: Dr. Richard Redak
900 University Ave., 417 Entomology Building
Riverside, CA 92521

Dear Dr. Redak,

This letter is to express the California Grape and Tree Fruit League’s support of the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside establishing an Orchard Crops Entomology position to cultivate and maintain research programs dedicated to reducing the impact of insect and mite pests in commercial fruit and nut tree crops, and provide outreach to generate support and acceptance of emerging science-based information for managing these pests.

The California Grape and Tree Fruit League advocates on behalf of California tree fruit and fresh table grapes. Currently, our membership represents more than 95% of stone fruit volume and more than 85% of fresh table grapes grown in California. This past year, the California Grape & Tree Fruit League celebrated 75 years in operation working on behalf of California’s tree fruit, fresh table grape and berry operations.

With the retirement of several U.C. researchers and Cooperative Extension specialists, it is pertinent that an Orchard Crop Extension Entomologist position is established, especially for the Integrated Pest Management (IPM) program in orchard crops. This position is essential to the IPM program, which assists the industry as we work with key regulatory officials and trading partners to combat the devastating effects of invasive pests, such as the Melon Fruit Fly, Spotted Wing Drosophila and Light Brown Apple Moth.

The IPM program plays a dynamic role with the California tree fruit industry in critical stages of managing pests and is a vital resource for identifying, preventing, monitoring and assessing pest problems. Of particular importance, the IPM program is the sole resource our industry has to access science-based pest management programs that assist us in mitigating trade issues, addressing current and potential insect introductions, and in continuing our advancements in managing pests utilizing safe and effective practices.

Moving forward, an Orchard Crop Extension Entomologist would continue to provide support to California tree fruit in the evolution of pest management while protecting our environment and people. California is the leading producer of peaches, plums and nectarines in the United States with the heart of production in the Central Valley.
We support this position to be located at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research Extension Center (KARE) in Parlier, and with that will be located where he/she has an advantage of focusing on key orchard crops, including stone fruit.

We greatly appreciate the opportunity to share these comments and for the continued interest and support for maintaining the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Project. If we can provide any additional information please do not hesitate to contact us at (559) 226-6330.

Sincerely,
California Grape & Tree Fruit League

Marcy L. Martin
Director, Trade

c: Barry J. Bedwell, President

Posted May 17, 2012 11:48 AM by Richard Redak
6
Dr. Redak:
On behalf of the Olive Growers Council of California Board of Directors, we strongly support the idea of having an Orchard Crops Entomology position (60% CE Specialist and 40% Research Entomologist) to develop basic and applied research programs focused on reducing the impact of insect and mite pests in commercial fruit and nut tree crops, and provide outreach to appropriate clientele to facilitate adoption of new science-based knowledge or management of these destructive pests. Both the table olive and olive oil industries continue to fight a battle against the Olive Fruit Fly, Black Scale and Peacock Spot, all of which create economic difficulties for growers.

This position should properly be located at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) at Parlier, CA, so that the individual filling the position will be strategically located to effectively focus on one of California's most important orchard cropping areas.

If you have further questions or need additional information about our olive industry needs, please contact me.

Thank you.

Sincerely,
Adin A. Hester
Olive Growers Council of CA
559-734-1710
Posted Jun 13, 2012 10:04 AM by Richard Redak
7
Dr. Redak:
With all of the recent and pending retirements of entomologists doing applied research in the San Joaquin Valley, it seems to me that this position is one that is critical to fill. There are many commodity groups in the area of Kearney that could provide funding and need research and extension support, e.g., almonds, pistachios, olives, grapes, kiwifruit, and various stone fruits.
Posted Jul 31, 2012 12:49 PM by Joseph Morse
8
Dear Dr. Redak,

Please accept this letter as my strongest support for an Orchard Crops Entomologist position with an CE/OR split. Over the past 20 years, I orchard crop responsibilities in the Central Valley have been covered by, among others, Dr. Richard Rice, Walt Bentley, and Dr. Marshall Johnson. Dr. Rice recently passed away, Walt Bentley just retired, and Dr. Marshall Johnson will retire within the next couple of years. This will leave a gaping hole in California's expertise and resources to address new and ongoing pest control problems in a group of commodities worth billions of dollars per year. It is essential that this gap be filled by the Orchard Crops Entomologist position that has been proposed.

Yours sincerely,

Jocelyn Millar
Professor of Entomology
Posted Jul 31, 2012 3:35 PM by Jocelyn Millar
9
This position fills an area of critical need due to the extent of the pest problems and lack of personnel. It has broad support from the tree crop industry, ARS, CDFA, and UCD. I rank it high priority for filling.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 10:29 AM by Jodie Holt
10
Sound entomology and IPM research and extension have been instrumental in the success of the California almond, walnut and pistachio industries, who are working together as the California Tree Nut Research and Extension Planning Group. We view continuation of strong programs in entomology and IPM as a high priority. Continued efforts are needed to develop and fine tune pest management programs that address a number of challenges: sustain profitability, quality, environmental stewardship, worker and public safety; rapidly changing regulations; invasive pests; shifts in pest populations; and market access to name a few. Accordingly it is critical to maintain research and extension capacity in this area.

However, as pointed out in a number of already posted comments a number of key personnel serving California nut crops have or will be retiring soon or are no longer in the UC system: Carolyn Pickel, Walt Bentley, Steve Welter, Bob Van Steenwyk and Frank Zalom.

There are 5 positions in this supplemental call pertinent to nut crops and should be given serious consideration:

#210 – Area IPM advisor North San Joaquin Valley
#211 – IPM Advisor Sacramento Valley
#212 – IPM Entomology – KAC
#252 – Management of Arthropod Vectors of Plant Disease Specialist
#256 – Orchard Crop Extension Entomologist

From an almond perspective, it is doubtful that all these positions – which are high priority -- can be filled at this time; therefore, it would be desirable for ANR and the submitting UC organizations (Statewide IPM, UCD and UCR) to prioritize and coordinate the scope and geographic distribution of these positions. In particular for almonds, it is important to have coverage throughout the almond growing region – from Kearney to the Sacramento Valley.
Posted Aug 7, 2012 2:18 PM by Bob Curtis, Associate Director Agricultural Affairs, Almond Board of California

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