Posts Tagged: Lindcove
The Citrus Research Board and UC Agriculture and Natural Resources have established a $1 million endowment to fund the Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection at the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center. The endowed researcher will provide a UC Cooperative Extension scientist a dedicated source of funds to support scholarly activities focused on the long-term sustainability of the citrus industry.
“I wish to thank the Citrus Research Board for establishing the Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection at LREC endowment,” said UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston. “This gift, coupled with the $500,000 match from the UC Office of the President, will help to ensure the long-term success of exemplary research focused on the California citrus industry.”
UC President Janet Napolitano provided half the funds for the endowed researcher; the CRB donated the other half.
“We are gratified that President Napolitano has selected the CRB for this prestigious match program,” said CRB Chairman Dan Dreyer. “It will be invaluable in helping us to pursue critical research that will yield beneficial findings to support the sustainability of the California citrus industry.”
The new endowment supports the UC Citrus Clonal Protection Program, which distributes pathogen-tested, true-to-type citrus budwood to nurseries, farmers and the public to propagate citrus trees for commercial and personal use. The CCPP maintains blocks of trees that serve as the primary source of budwood for all important fruit and rootstock varieties for California's citrus industry and researchers.
The CCPP is a cooperative program between UC ANR, CRB, the California Citrus Nursery Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. CCPP director Georgios Vidalakis, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in plant pathology at UC Riverside, shared his appreciation for the efforts that led to the creation of the new endowed researcher position.
“My thanks to the citrus growers for their decades-long support, especially the members of the CCPP committee of the CRB for their vision, and UC's Greg Gibbs for coordinating all of the efforts,” he said. Vidalakis also praised Lindcove director Elizabeth Grafton-Cardwell “for making the case to our growers about the importance of this endowment and for making plans to house the UC ANR endowment at the LREC.”
A selection committee will award the endowment to a distinguished UC ANR academic. An annual payout will be used to provide salary, graduate student and/or program support. The researcher will be named for a five-year term. At the end of that period, the appointment will be reviewed and either renewed or taken back to a selection committee to choose another UC ANR academic.
“I would like to thank the CRB for this generous gift and their continued support of our research for CCPP at the LREC,” said UC ANR Director of Major Gifts Greg Gibbs.
The CRB administers the California Citrus Research Program, the grower-funded and grower-directed program established in 1968 under the California Marketing Act as the mechanism enabling the state's citrus producers to sponsor and support needed research. More information about the Citrus Research Board may be found at www.citrusresearch.org.
The Presidential Researcher for Sustainable Citrus Clonal Protection is the fifth $1 million UC ANR endowment to support California agriculture. The other endowments are:
- UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Tree Nut Genetics, formed with the California Pistachio Research Board in October 2015
- UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Tree Nut Soil Science and Plant Water Relations, formed with the California Pistachio Research Board in October 2015
- UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for California Grown Rice, formed with the California Rice Research Board in September 2016
- UC Cooperative Extension Presidential Chair for Agricultural Education in Orange County, formed with the Orange County Farm Bureau in October 2017
Nine Woodlake High School students took part in the UC Davis Agriscience fair research project competition, held at the campus March 2-3. Several who worked with UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center scientists took home winning ribbons.
"We are very proud that we played a part in making these students winners," said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, Lindcove director.
Lindcove has been conducting an ag science ‘experience research' day for Woodlake High School ag academy students the past three years. Last September, the students participated in a research project on citricola scale taught by Grafton-Cardwell. Students learned about experimental design, studied the life cycle of the insect using microscopes, collected leaves from a research plot, evaluated the survival of the scales exposed to different treatments, and plotted their data.
"This was a great opportunity for students to see how science applies to agriculture and to talk about careers in agricultural science," Grafton-Cardwell said.
The Woodlake winners who were part of the program were Kirsten Killian and Nate Reeves. Kirsten was mentored by Lindcove staff research associate Therese Kapaun. Kirsten won first place in plant systems and fifth place overall. Nate Reeves took fifth place in plant systems. In addition, Woodlake High School won the overall novice Division 1 team award.
The students' teachers are Jason Ferreira, agriculture academy instructor, and teaching assistants Joshua Reger, Joel Leonard and Stephanie Doria.
The health of California youth reflects this disturbing national trend. To address the challenge of childhood obesity statewide, the California 4-H Food Smart Families program will be implemented at four sites in Fresno, Orange, Sutter-Yuba and Tulare counties this year. Additional UC partners will include the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) and CalFresh.
Youth need to increase consumption of dark green veggies and whole grains, and decrease intake of sugar and saturated fats. The objective of California 4-H Food Smart Families is to increase knowledge and create behavior change related to nutrition, cooking, gardening, physical activity and food preparation. The program engages youth 8 to 12 years old and teens in 4-H Healthy Living programming. Youth will be directly reached through lessons delivered at after-school sites, low-resource elementary schools and organized field days at four UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Research and Extension Centers (REC): Kearney REC in Parlier, South Coast REC in Irvine, Sierra Foothill REC in Browns Valley and Lindcove REC in Exeter. The program is structured around positive youth development curricula and practices which provide an intensive engagement of underserved children, teens, families and other stakeholders. Local 4-H teens will be recruited and trained to deliver programs and assume leadership roles.
Programming at California sites will get underway this fall and will continue through the school year. Look for more exciting California 4-H Food Smart Families news in the coming months as programming and activities kick into high gear.
Author: Roberta Barton
UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center has a new, state-of-the-art fruit grader, which automatically gathers detailed information on individual citrus fruits for California researchers. The machine provides data that has not been available to Lindcove researchers before.
Typical fruit grading equipment determines fruit size, count and grade. The Compac InVision 5000c has three lighting systems – fluorescent, ultraviolet and near infrared – plus a weigh bridge that together measure fruit dimensions, weight, color, and blemishes from insect damage, scarring and sunburn. Without spoiling the fruit, the grader also determines its sweetness and assesses internal damage. The new line can handle citrus fruit sizes ranging from a small mandarin up to a grapefruit.
“This equipment will give our researchers much more precise information for making comparisons,” said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, director of the Lindcove REC. “Our old packing line could tell us an overall color of the fruit. The Compac grader precisely defines how much of the surface area is green, yellow and orange.”
Highly advanced software works in conjunction with the equipment, recording measurements and a series of photographs – color and ultraviolet – for each individual fruit, allowing scientists to run correlations between all the parameters.
“We can determine which rootstock and scion combinations give the perfect size, sweetest taste and best ripening fruit,” Grafton-Cardwell said. “We will be able to train the software to recognize various types of pest damage – such as damage from katydids and citrus peelminer – and demonstrate which pesticides best protect the fruit from damage.”
In the past, labor costs limited researchers to gathering such detailed information from only a small sample of fruit on certain trees. With the new Compac grader, all the fruit from particular trees can be thoroughly assessed.
Another benefit of the upgraded equipment is its light-touch. The machine can gather data about mandarin oranges without harming the delicate peel. Growing interest in mandarins has UC scientists devoting more time and resources to the diminutive fruit. While Valencia and navel orange acreage is holding steady or dropping in California, mandarin acreage has tripled in the last 10 years.
“As the Valencia market has declined, many Valencia orchards are being replaced with mandarins,” Grafton-Cardwell said. “We have dozens of excellent varieties of mandarins and consumers love them because they’re easy to peel. Mandarins are the wave of the future.”
The cost of the Compac fruit grader was covered by the Citrus Research Board, a grower-funded organization created to support citrus research.
“The new fruit grader is another example of the excellent collaborative relationship the University has with the citrus industry,” Grafton-Cardwell said.
See the components of the new fruit grading system in the video below:
Because of anticipated inclement weather, the producers of the TV program California Country canceled their visit to the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center's annual citrus tasting on Friday, which this year featured the dedication of two new facilities and the celebration of the facility's 50th anniversary.After a bitter cold week and a night of heavy rain, the weather on Friday turned mild and dry for the well-attended and notable occasion. And even though the California television magazine wasn't present, the festivities were covered by a TV crew that traveled all the way from Sinaloa, Mexico.
Reporter Juan Francisco Sotomayor Valdéz and a photographer from Televisoras Grupo Pacífico gathered information, photos and footage for a 12-minute segment that will be broadcast on a television program that is offered on Sundays at 3:30 p.m Pacific Time. The segment on Lindcove, Sotomayor said, can be viewed on the Internet only while it is broadcast live, probably on Sunday, Dec. 27.
Turning the tables on the visiting reporter, I dusted off my Spanish to ask him a few questions on video about the team's willingness to travel more than 1,000 miles to a citrus research station in the United States. In his response, Sotomayor said they were visiting Lindcove because they understand that UC scientists are leaders in conducting citrus research.
The TV show has also had the opportunity to cover citrus research facilities in Valencia, Spain, and in Brazil. Sotomayor said the program's viewers would be interested in experiences UC researchers have had with the more than 200 varieties of citrus offered to growers in the United States. See the video below: