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UC Agriculture & Natural Resources News

Why I Left my Boots in Mozambique

Striga (witchweed) growing in a corn field.

In March of this year I traveled to Chimoio, Mozambique to provide an Integrated Pest Management training to a group of farmers through the USAID Farmer-to-Farmer program. On my first day at the farm, we toured the farm and discussed their worst pest issues. One of the farmers brought a red...

Posted on Monday, September 24, 2018 at 11:39 AM

Good Day for Two Open Houses Saturday, Sept. 22 at UC Davis

Watch out! A honey bee buzzes into the habitat of a praying mantis. Praying mantids will be exhibited Saturday, Sept. 22 during the Bohart Museum of Entomology open house. UC Davis student Lohit Garikipati  will display some of his mantids, including orchids. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

If you've often wished you could clone yourself to be able to attend two events on the same day at the University of California, Davis, not to worry. Two open houses on Saturday, Sept. 22 have differing hours so you can attend both! The Häagen-Dazs Honey Bee Haven, a half-acre bee...

Curiosity Didn't Kill the 'Cat

An aggressive caterpillar attacks  another 'cat trying to pupate. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Curiosity didn't kill the 'cat. An aggressive 'cat did. We were delighted to find 10 monarch caterpillars (the first of the year!) on our narrowleaf milkweed a couple of weeks ago in our Vacaville pollinator garden--but not so delighted to see what happened to one of them. We tucked the 10 'cats...

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 5:00 PM

Citrus Research Board relies on UC ANR scientists

The Citrus Research Board is celebrating 50 years of careful scientific study to improve the sustainability of the California citrus industry, worth more than $7 billion per year. They have no closer partner than University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, reported Tim Hearden in Western Farm Press.

A laboratory, screen houses and a research-sized citrus grader have been built at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center, largely made possible with the industry-funded Citrus Research Board. Since the 1990s, the board have given more than $2.3 million to Lindcove for facilities and has funded much of the center's research.

Dr. Beth Grafton-Cardwell in front of the state-of-the-art fruit grader. The equipment purchase was funded by the Citrus Research Board.

“It's fabulous,” said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UC Cooperative Extension citrus entomologist and director of Lindcove. “There are committees from the CRB that interact with our researchers to maximize and orient the research toward the industry's needs.”

The industry is now facing the serious threat of huanglongbing (HLB) disease of citrus. The disease, which is spread by Asian citrus psyllid, has devastated the citrus industry in Florida. It has been detected in a handfull of backyard trees in Southern California, but so far has not made its way into commercial orchards. 

New research programs at Lindcove include developing citrus varieties with tolerance to HLB, and perhaps a project to grow citrus under a screen in what is known as a Citrus Under Protective Structure, or CUPS. If built, the CUPS facility will be housed on a 10-acre section of the Lindcove center.

“We're making slow, steady progress” against HLB, Grafton-Cardwell said. “We don't see a silver bullet. However, that's where the bulk of the CRB budget is going now.”

Posted on Thursday, September 20, 2018 at 9:36 AM
Focus Area Tags: Agriculture

UCCE offers prescribed-fire workshop for land managers

Prescribed burn
To reduce the dry grasses and shrubs that can fuel intense wildfires, California landowners and land managers are invited to attend a prescribed-fire workshop organized by University of California Cooperative Extension in October. The workshop will be offered in two locations – Placer County and Calaveras County.

On Oct. 2, the prescribed-fire workshop will be held at Colfax Veterans Memorial Hall, 22 Sunset Circle, Colfax. 

On Oct. 4, the workshop will be held at Ebbett's Pass Fire District, 1037 Blagen Road, Arnold. 

The one-day workshop is designed for landowners and land managers who want to learn skills in prescribed-fire planning and implementation. In addition to reducing wildfire fuels, prescribed fire is used to control invasive plant species and for ecological restoration.

Each workshop will feature similar content including presentations on prescribed fire, including local fire history and current fire research, prescribed fire permitting and legal considerations, fire weather forecasting and online tools, air quality and smoke management, fire terms and fire behavior, burn plan development, burn unit preparation and fire tools and equipment. Instructors will also discuss models for accomplishing prescribed fire on private lands, including prescribed burn associations and CAL FIRE's Vegetation Management Program.

During the last week of October, participants in each workshop will be invited by UC Cooperative Extension to a field trip to look at lands actively managed with prescribed fire and to participate in a live training burn (weather permitting) at UC Berkeley's Blodgett Research Forest in Georgetown in El Dorado County.

Each workshop costs $25 for lunch and educational materials and registration by Sept. 27 is required to participate. To register, please visit http://ucanr.edu/2018rxfireworkshops.

For more information, contact Susie Kocher, UC Cooperative Extension advisor, at (530) 542-2571 or sdkocher@ucanr.edu.

 

Posted on Wednesday, September 19, 2018 at 4:37 PM
Tags: prescribed fire (1), Susie Kocher (16), wildfire (131)
Focus Area Tags: Natural Resources

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