UC Agriculture & Natural Resources News
Long-time UC Cooperative Extension ag assistant Michael Yang broadcasts a weekly "Hmong Agriculture Radio Show," providing a crucial connection for immigrant farmers with ag information and services, reported Jessica Kutz in High Country News.
“His voice is really important,” said Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, UCCE advisor to small-scale farmers in Fresno and Tulare counties.
During his one-hour broadcast on KBIF radio, Yang plays traditional Hmong folk music, reads through market prices for Asian vegetables, provides timely farming advice, pesticide safety and labor information, and Occupational Safety and Health Administration updates. He started the program about 30 years ago.
“A lot of farmers said we need to be aware of what is going on,” he said. “So I talked to my boss and we were able to get some grants to help the radio announce agriculture (information) to the small farm community.”
The article said Yang first tried to connect with the Hmong community by going door-to-door, but farmers were distrustful of government meddling. With their radios turned to programming in their native language, farmers listen openly.
Hear that buzz? Today is World Bee Day! We celebrate honey bees every day, but they are especially celebrated on May 20, World Bee Day. It's an annual day to raise awareness about the importance of bees and beekeeping. It's a day to acknowledge the industriousness of Apis mellifera, their...
Beekeeper Adelaide Grandia smiles through a pollinator cut-out board. Her grandfather is teaching her beekeeping. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Adelaide Grandia and her grandfather, Dwight Grandia of Gulf Shores, Ala., confer on a bee vacuum device. He is teaching her how to keep bees and recently set up a hive for her. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ariel Cormier, who works in the chancellor and provost offices as manager of Budget and Financial Analyis, guides her twin daughters Casey and Gabrielle, 8, in the Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven. The garden, located on Bee Biology Road, was installed in the fall of 2009. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ariel Cormier shows her daughter, Gabrielle, how to use the bee vacuum device, a catch-and-release activity. At right is daughter Casey. The 8-year-old girls are twins. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ariel Cormier with eight-year-old twin daughters Casey (left) and Gabrielle at the Miss Bee Haven sculpture. It's a six-foot-long mosaic and ceramic sculpture of a worker bee. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis employee David Hernandez (left) with sons Aayden, 10 (center) and Evan, 8, pose behind the pollinator cut-out board. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
UC Davis employee Chunying Xu with her son, Andy, look for bees in the bee garden. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Try topping your salads with some tasty garbanzo beans this summer. Not only are they a healthful source of protein, vitamins and minerals, but the ‘green' legumes are produced in California with a small environmental footprint!
California farmers grow about 10,000 acres of garbanzo beans, mostly for the canning market.
“We have the right growing conditions, including cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers, to produce high-quality, large, creamy-white garbanzo beans for high-end markets, like salad bars,” says Rachael Long, UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor for Sacramento, Solano and Yolo counties. “Other areas, such as Washington State, grow a smaller garbanzo bean destined for processing, like hummus, a creamy vegetable spread.”
Garbanzos, also called chickpeas, are originally from the Middle East, where they have been farmed since ancient times. In California, their heritage dates back to the Spanish Mission era. California garbanzo beans are grown in the winter time, minimizing water use. The nitrogen-fixing legumes supply their own nitrogen and require few pesticides for production as the plants secrete acids that ward off insect pests.
To assist farmers in production practices, Long led a team of researchers to produce a new 2019 Garbanzo (chickpea) production manual for the dry bean industry in California.
“This is a great resource for farmers and the industry,” says Nathan Sano, manager for the California Dry Bean Advisory Board, about the publication, which covers garbanzo production from seed selection to harvesting and markets.
The manual identifies garbanzo varieties that have pest and disease resistance. Nutrient management information helps growers comply with regulations for protecting groundwater from nitrate. The irrigation section provides tables on water needs for crops grown in different areas of California, helping to conserve water.
“Our UC ANR Grain-Legume workgroup started this production manual back in 1992,” Long said. “I'm thankful for a strong team and grower and industry input and support. I also appreciate the incredible mentoring and reviews of this manual by Roland Meyer, UC Cooperative Extension emeritus soil specialist, and a fantastic editor, UC Cooperative Extension agronomy specialist Dan Putnam, to make this publication a reality. This was a big group effort, and I appreciate everyone's contributions to make this a valuable resource for the California dry bean industry.”
The California garbanzo bean production manual is available for free online at https://anrcatalog.ucanr.edu/Details.aspx?itemNo=8634.
In addition to Long and Meyer, co-authors include UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors Michelle Leinfelder-Miles, Konrad Mathesius, Sarah Light, Mariano Galla, Shannon Mueller, Allan Fulton and Nick Clark, and UC Cooperative Extension irrigation specialist Khaled Bali.
When insects, animals, weeds and disease-causing microbes make their way into California from other parts of the nation or the world, the economic and environmental impacts can be catastrophic.
A recent UN report that details the world's biodiversity crisis assigns part of the blame to the proliferation of invasive alien species. “The numbers,” the report says, “have risen by about 70%, across the 21 countries with detailed records” since the 1970s.
“It's time to better understand how invasive species affect California's biodiversity, as well as our water supply, fire regimes, recreation and agriculture,” said Sabrina Drill, UC Cooperative Extension natural resources advisor in Los Angeles and Ventura counties. Drill worked with the California Invasive Plant Council and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife to offer five free 40-minute mid-day webinars on invasive species as part of the multi-agency sponsored California Invasive Species Action Week.
During the first part of the week the series cover a range of organisms, from killer algae and incestuous beetles to rodents of unusual size. Later in the week, it's Weeds-A-Palooza, with talks focusing on invasive plants.
The webinars will be offered using Zoom Video Communications from 12:10 to 12:50 p.m June 3-7. All details are available online at https://ucanr.edu/sites/invasivelunch/invasivelunch2019/. Links to the Zoom meeting space will be posted on that webpage before the webinars begin.
Sabrina Drill, UCCE natural resources advisor, and Edwin Grosholz, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis
Most people only hear about an invasive species when they are here causing problems. But preventing new invasive species from getting here in the first place requires understanding the “pathways” of introduction. From tsunamis to aquariums, container ships to canoes, Grosholz and Drill will discuss ways that freshwater and marine organisms travel to California, and how we can prevent spreading them once they arrive.
Tuesday, June 4: “What's killing California's trees? Shot hole borers, palm weevils and the rest”
Beatriz Nobua-Behrmann, urban forestry and natural resources advisor, UC Cooperative Extension in Orange County
Tree pests come to Golden State from around the world and threaten street trees, agriculture, and natural areas. Last year the legislature in Sacramento allocated $5 million to begin addressing the latest threat – shot hole borers that kill a wide variety of trees in Southern California. Nobua-Behrmann will describe how these insects damage trees and what we can do about it.
Valerie Cook-Fletcher, Nutria Eradication Incident Commander, California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Nutria, a South American rodent, have caused extensive damage in Louisiana wetlands for decades. Now nutria have been found in the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta and its tributaries and state agencies are working to find them before they can breed and spread. Cook-Fletcher will provide an update on efforts to locate this elusive swimmer in the maze of sloughs and backwaters of California's San Joaquin Valley.
Thursday, June 6: “Citizen stewardship: Tackling giant reed in Contra Costa County”
Mike Anciaux and Bob Simmons, Walnut Creek Watershed Council
Giant reed (Arundo donax) is one of the most damaging wildland weeds in California. More than $20 million was spent to remove it from the Santa Ana River watershed in Southern California to protect the endangered Least Bell's Vireo, a songbird that nests in native streamside vegetation. On the eastern side of San Francisco Bay, citizens are uniting to find and remove hundreds of populations along Contra Costa County's creeks.
Eric Wrubel, San Francisco Bay Area Network, National Park Service
Invasive knotweed species are some of the worst weeds in the world. They have become notorious for destroying property values in Europe. Knotweed is extremely difficult to get rid of because its underground rhizomes store energy and resist herbicides. Wrubel will describe the partnership that has formed to eradicate recently found invasive knotweed in the San Geronimo Valley and Lagunitas Creek watersheds in Marin County before it can spread.
Rachael Freeman Long treasures her memories as a graduate student in entomology at the University of California, Davis. She remembers eating fried grasshoppers at a party. "They're okay with a lot of spices!" She remembers watching Professor Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. and his wife, Ruth, give one...
Rachael Long, UCCE farm advisor, leads a tour of her family farm in Yolo County in April of 2015. "Hedgerows are important for enhancing beneficial insects, including bees and natural enemies, for better biocontrol and crop pollination in adjacent field crops, with measurable economic benefits," she says. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)