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Mural honoring late UCCE advisor Steve Orloff approved by board of supervisors

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From the UC Cooperative Extension website: http://ucanr.edu/?blogpost=26965&blogasset=96361  Written by Jeannette Warnert   The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors has approved an artist's rendering of a mural that honors UC Cooperative Extension advisor and county director...

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:21 PM
Tags: Steve Orloff (3)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Who Invited Bugs to the UC Davis Picnic Day?

Bohart Museum associate Wade Spencer with his desert hair scorpion, Celeste, poses with the mascot,

Who invited bugs to the UC Davis Picnic Day? Well, UC Davis officials and the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology did! Yes! All systems are "go" for the 104th annual UC Davis Picnic Day, an all-day event on Saturday, April 21 when scores of visitors, aka picnickers, will stroll the...

Home is where the habitat is: This Earth Day, consider installing insectary plants

Help the environment this Earth Day, which falls on Sunday April 22 this year, by installing insectary plants! These plants attract natural enemies such as lady beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. Natural enemies provide biological pest control and can reduce the need for insecticides. Visit the new UC IPM Insectary Plants webpage to learn how to use these plants to your advantage.

The buzz about insectary plants
Biological control, or the use of natural enemies to reduce pests, is an important component of integrated pest management. Fields and orchards may miss out on this control if they do not offer sufficient habitat for natural enemies to thrive. Insectary plants (or insectaries) can change that—they feed and shelter these important insects and make the environment more favorable to them. For instance, sweet alyssum planted near lettuce fields encourages syrphid flies to lay their eggs on crops. More syrphid eggs means more syrphid larvae eating aphids, and perhaps a reduced need for insecticides. Similarly, planting cover crops like buckwheat within vineyards can attract predatory insects, spiders, and parasitic wasps, ultimately keeping leafhoppers and thrips under control.

Flowering insectaries also provide food for bees and other pollinators. There are both greater numbers and more kinds of native bees in fields with an insectary consisting of a row of native shrubs planted along the field edge (called a hedgerow). Native bees also stay in fields with these shrubs longer than they do in fields without them. Therefore, not only do insectaries attract natural enemies, but they can also boost crop pollination and help keep bees healthy.

Insectary plants may attract more pests to your crops, but the benefit is greater than the risk
The possibility of creating more pest problems has been a concern when it comes to installing insectaries. Current research shows that mature hedgerows, in particular, bring more benefits than risks. Hedgerows attract far more natural enemies than insect pests. And despite the fact that birds, rabbits, and mice find refuge in hedgerows, the presence of hedgerows neither increases animal pest problems in the field, nor crop contamination by animal-vectored pathogens. Hedgerow insectaries both benefit wildlife and help to control pests.
 
How can I install insectary plants?
Visit the Insectary Plants webpage to learn how to establish and manage insectary plants, and determine which types of insectaries may suit your needs and situation. If you need financial assistance to establish insectaries on your farm, consider applying for Conservation Action Plan funds from the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) offered by the Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Sources:

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 4:28 PM

Mural honoring late UCCE advisor Steve Orloff approved by board of supervisors

A rendering of the full mural. Some changes are expected.

The Siskiyou County Board of Supervisors has approved an artist's rendering of a mural that honors UC Cooperative Extension advisor and county director Steve Orloff, who passed away in late 2017, reported Danielle Jester in the Siskiyou Daily News. The mural also depicts Siskiyou County's agricultural heritage.

The mural will be painted on the south-facing wall of the UCCE office, a county owned building, said Rob Wilson, the UCCE advisor and director of the UC Intermountain Research and Extension Center who is serving as interim county director for Siskiyou County UCCE.

County resident Sari Sommarstrom said that, about a year before Orloff's passing, she contacted Orloff about the UCCE headquarters "boring building."

Orloff responded that, “Our office is not only boring, it is ugly.” Orloff pursued having a mural painted on the cooperative extension building's wall about 15 years before, but it never went anywhere.

Mount Shasta-based artist Kim Solga has been selected to paint the mural.

The mural includes a small rendering of Steve Orloff. He is shown wearing a cowboy hat and holding a clipboard.
Posted on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 11:03 AM
Tags: Steve Orloff (3)
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

Take part. Learn. Act. Earth Day is Sunday, April 22

Earth Day has roots in California, stemming in part from an oil spill off the coast of Santa Barbara in 1969, wrote Rose Hayden Smith in a UC Food Observer post marking the 48th annual Earth Day this Sunday, April 22.

"The Santa Barbara oil spill galvanized U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wisconsin) to call for a national day of locally inspired and organized 'teach-ins' on the environment – a national 'Earth Day,'" the story says. The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970.

Earth Day is widely credited with “sparking” the modern environmental movement. Landmark environmental legislation swiftly followed (including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act and Endangered Species Act). The Environmental Protection agency was founded that same year. Twenty years after its launch, Earth Day became a global movement.

Among the stories covered in the UC Food Observer is a UC Cooperative Extension research project that is seeking to identify street trees that can cope with rising temperatures and lower rainfall expected due to climate change. UCCE scientists are partnering with the U.S. Forest Service “in an unprecedented 20-year research study to expand the palette of drought-adapted, climate-ready trees for several of the state's climate zones."

Read more about the project here.

The UC IPM program is encouraging Californians to celebrate Earth Day by growing insectary plants. These plants attract natural enemies such as lady beetles, lacewings, and parasitic wasps. Natural enemies provide biological pest control and can reduce the need for insecticides. 

Get the details here.

Apollo 8 astronauts captured a picture of the earthrise over the moon in 1968.

 

Posted on Friday, April 20, 2018 at 8:32 AM
Tags: Earth Day (5)
Focus Area Tags: Environment

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