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Posts Tagged: Bruce Lampinen

Natural enemy of Asian citrus psyllid taking hold

Tamarixia radiata parasitizing an Asian citrus psyllid nymph in Bell Gardens, Los Angeles County. (Photo: Mark Hoddle)
A tiny wasp imported from Pakistan by a UC Riverside researcher is becoming established in the Inland Empire, according to an article by Mark Muckenfuss in the Riverside Press Enterprise.

Mark Hoddle, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Entomology at UC Riverside, collected Tamarixia radiata in the Punjab region of Paskistan. After a period of quarantine, the beneficial insect was released in Southern California citrus trees beginning in December 2011.

The Press-Enterprise article said Hoddle has found three sites — two in Fontana, one in San Bernardino — where the wasp has attacked psyllid larvae, killing them.

“We’re trying to understand how big an impact this wasp is having on the Asian citrus psyllid,” Hoddle said. “It’s too early to make estimates, but (the finds are) encouraging.”

For more details on the establishment of Tamarixia, see the UC Riverside Center for Invasive Species Research blog.

Olive oil's heath benefits? It's a slippery question
Katherine Tallmadge, The Washington Post

Polyphenols are what make olive oil more healthful than other vegetable oils, like canola oil. However, when tested, polyphenols were surprisingly low in most commercially available olive oils, USDA-ARS researchers reported. They also don't live up to international or USDA quality standards, according to studies by the UC Davis Olive Center.

Studies show that, as days, weeks and months go by after harvest, the polyphenol content and health benefits of the oil diminish.

“Think of olive oil as olive juice with a maximum two-year shelf life,” says Selina Wang, research director at the Olive Center.

Covenant between almond growers and researchers
Bob Curtis and Gabriele Ludwig, The Almond Board, Western Farm Press

If managed well, commercial trials can provide benefits for growers, researchers and the industry at large, but they can pose challenges. Almond research plots are a covenant between the grower and researcher that requires both parties to communicate and understand the goal of the research.

Bruce Lampinen, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis, says involving grower cooperators offers the research community the benefit of gathering commercial data to test promising practices or understand impacts in a real-world setting. Without this research, many of today's common practices that have led to dramatic increases in yield and improved quality, along with efficient and environmentally responsible orchard management, would not have been discovered.

Posted on Wednesday, September 26, 2012 at 10:01 AM

2010 was an excellent year for almonds

California almonds harvested in 2010 are expected to amount to 1.65 billion pounds or more, according to an article by Associated Press reporter Jeff Nachtigal. The story was picked up by many national publications, including the New York Times and the CBS News website.

The sizable almond crop is being met with strong worldwide demand and relatively high prices.

"The nut crops in general are looking good in California," UC farm advisor emeritus John Edstrom was quoted in the story.

UC Davis Cooperative Extension almond specialist Bruce Lampinen told the reporter that improved agricultural techniques used by California's 6,000 almond growers - such as planting trees closer together, cutting back on pruning and knocking off "mummies" during the winter to control navel orangeworm - have helped boost production.

But, the almond industry is not without its challenges.

  • UC Davis entomologist Eric Mussen told the reporter that farmers are still concerned about major honeybee die-offs, which have doubled the cost of renting bees for pollination in the past five years.
  • Water shortages are also a concern for some producers, according to Almond Board chair Mike Mason.

California almond growers produce 100 percent of the U.S. crop, supplying 100 percent of the domestic market, and 80 percent of the world market, said an Western Farm Press article about the bumper almond crop.

Improved almond production techniques have helped grow the industry.
Improved almond production techniques have helped grow the industry.

Posted on Friday, January 21, 2011 at 10:54 AM
Tags: almonds (68), Bruce Lampinen (7), Eric Mussen (272), John Edstrom (2)

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