I was recently in an avocado orchard and saw the rounded fruit and small leaves typical of zinc deficient trees. I asked the grower if there were recent leaf analysis of the orchard, and so we looked at them. The leaves were running at 20 ppm which is low. Sufficiency runs at 50 ppm. The recommendation was to apply zinc sulfate to the soil. The recommendation included, though 200 pounds of phosphorus per acre. Phosphorus and zinc are antagonistic, meaning applying one can limit uptake of the other. In applying phosphorus at such a high rate was probably preventing uptake of zinc. It is also antagonistic to copper, iron and manganese, so all of these micronutrients can be limited by phosphorus applications.
There have only been two documented cases of phosphorus deficiency in fruit trees, walnuts on a volcanic soil in Lake County and oranges on decomposed granite in San Diego. It is an essential element, yes, but applying it when there is sufficiency in the leaves can lead to other problems which can be hard to correct. Generally speaking, phosphorus does not need to be applied to fruit trees in California. In other states that have peat soils, high carbonates or highly weathered soils, phosphorus application is a normal practice, but here make sure you need it before applying it.
In California, Siegler reported, water is moved through a network of dams, canals and pipes from the places where it rains and snows, to places where it is needed, like farms and cities.
"The system that we have was designed back in the 1930s through 1950s to meet population and land use needs of the time," Parker said. "Now things have changed in the state and that system really hasn't evolved to keep up with the times in California."
The system was designed when the California population was about 10 million. Now the population is 38 million. It was also designed during an unusually wet period of history.
"And the question is, how is that system going to perform in 2050?" Parker said.
The story outlines three ways the state is coping with the drought:
- A $7 billion water bond to upgrade that massive infrastructure system is on the Nov. 4 ballot. The measure would pay for building two new large reservoirs and the expansion of dozens more. There is also tens of millions of dollars earmarked for water recycling and reuse.
- Efficiency, such as capturing urban waste water, treating it and using it on farms. Passage of the water bond will allow for this strategy to expand.
- Water conservation. The example Siegler gave was an executive order by Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, which aims to cut freshwater use in his city by 20 percent in the next three years.
Listen to the NPR story here:
Writer Dennis Taylor reported that Aziz Baameur, UCCE farm advisor in Santa Clara and San Benito counties, is trying to increase the Scoville units in hot peppers by adjusting on-farm practices.
"The trend lately is toward hotter items," said Jeff Sanders of George Chiala Farms in Morgan Hill, the site of the research project.
Taylor waxes on about super hot peppers that are being grown around the world - including the current record holder, according to Guinness, the Carolina Reaper, which is 900 times hotter than the jalapeño.
He wrote that he asked a newsroom colleague, UCCE Master Gardener Laramie Trevino, whether she would prefer more heat in jalapeños, and he mentioned a plan to call Baameur and Sanders to learn more about the motives behind their research work.
For more information about the hot pepper research, see: Some like it hotter: UC Cooperative Extension tries to grow a spicier jalapeño.
All of U.S. kiwifruit is grown in California. Hasey told the reporter that most kiwifruit come from Sutter, Yuba and Butte counties, as well as the southern San Joaquin Valley. Strong market demand and prices have prompted at least one major grower to expand.
"They actually plan to plant 800 acres in Yuba County, which is a huge increase," Hasey said.
Kiwis are native to China, but are commonly associated with New Zealand. Called the Chinese gooseberry, they were renamed "kiwifruit" - after flightless birds native to New Zealand - for the export market in the 1950s. Kiwifruit vines are frost sensitive and require plenty of heat in the summer. Of the 27 most commonly eaten fruits, kiwis are the fourth most nutrient dense, following papayas, mangos and oranges, according to the Network for a Healthy California's Harvest of the Month.
Hasey said consumers are drawn to the fruit's sweet-tart taste and nutritional value.
“They're really packed with potassium and vitamins and antioxidants, and a lot of people like them,” she said.
I was forwarded this great article written by Barry Tickes, an Area Agricultural Agent with the Yuma Ag Center and part of the University of Arizona and Arizona Agricultural Experiment Station.
With Barry's permission, I've posted his explanation of "lift off" or "codistillation" of herbicides. The article and other is in that issue of Vegetable IPM Updates can be found HERE.
Goal “Lift Off”
Codistillation is when a herbicide evaporates or changes from a liquid to a vapor with water. This can occur from soil, water or plant surfaces and can be responsible for substantial loss of some herbicides. When codistillation occurs with Oxyflurofen (GoalTender, Goal 2XL and others), the concern is not herbicide loss but crop injury. Codistillation can occur with several herbicides. It is affected by many factors including temperature, moisture, organic matter, soil pH and other variables.
In general, codisillation is greatest when temperatures, moisture and pH are high and organic matter is low. One of the herbicides used in this region that is most affected by codistillation is Eptam (EPTC). A study conducted several years ago in Brawley California found that more than 80% of the Eptam that was applied in irrigation water was lost by codistillation. Most of this was from the soil after it had reached the field. In our trials, we have found that codistillation may help GoalTender and Goal 2XL (oxyfluorfen, also sold as Galligan, Oxi Flo and others) kill weeds but it also can increase crop injury. Goal can move into plants in the vapor phase once it has lifted off and both weed control and crop injury are enhanced. We have seen this when Goal is Chemigated through sprinklers. Goal is primarily a contact type herbicide and moves little in the plant. It works preemergence by killing weeds as they emergence from the soil and contact the herbicide. It is rare for contact type herbicides to work better when overhead water is applied but this seems to be the case with this herbicide.
Lift-Off or codistillation of Goal lift off injury seems to be worse this season because of rain. In many cases this potential is exaggerated. Lift-Off of Goal differs from the usual off target drift that can occur with other herbicides. In this case it is movement of the herbicide with water vapor. Moisture must be present and this moisture must evaporate. The vapor normally stays in the field and it is common for a band application to the furrows, for instance, to move across the bed top. Significant movement out of the field normally only occurs with wind. GoalTender is not as volatile as Goal 2XL and is less prone to codistillation but it occurs with both. The picture below is of GoalTender that was applied to the furrows only but it lifted off and covered the entire bed. The crop grew out of this in 2 weeks.
Barry knowledgeable, Barry helpful….