2016 Pitahaya/Dragon Fruit Field Day
Friday – September 16, 2016
MVP Farms – Off Highway 126, Fillmore, CA
3095 West Telegraph Road, Fillmore, CA 93015, and
Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center – Santa Paula, CA
14292 West Telegraph Road, Santa Paula, CA 93060
7:00 am Registration and Continental Breakfast at MVP Farms
8:00 am Overview and Tour of Field Research Trials at MVP Farms (Varieties, Irrigation, Fertilization, and Trellis System) - Jose Fernandez De Soto & Ramiro Lobo, UC Cooperative Extension; Manuel Dubon, MVP Farms; and, Keny Lam, AGQ Labs Inc.
9:30 am BREAK & Relocate to Hansen Agricultural Research &Extension Center in Santa Paula
10:00 am Pitahaya Production in Ventura County – A Research Update – Jose Fernandez de Soto, UC Hansen Research and Extension Center.
10:20 am Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit Varieties – Morphology, Genetic Characterization, Adaptation and Yield Data - Ramiro Lobo – Farm Advisor, UCCE San Diego County.
10:40 am Pitahaya Diseases, Prevention & Management Strategies – James Downer, Farm Advisor, UCCE Ventura County.
11:00 am Nematode Problems in Pitahaya Production – Research Update – Ole Becker, Extension Nematology Specialist, UC Riverside.
11:20 am Fertility Management for Pitahaya Production in California: Kenny A. Lam, Agronomy Director, AGQ Labs Inc.
11:40 am Integrated Pest Management (IPM) and Insect Pest Management Alternatives for Pitahaya Production in California – Anna D. Howell, Entomologist - UCCE Ventura County.
12:00 am Pitahaya or Dragon Fruit Establishment Costs and Market Considerations: Ramiro Lobo – Farm Advisor, UCCE San Diego County
12:30 PM LUNCH & Pitahaya Fruit/Ice Cream Tasting (included with registration)
2:00 PM ADJOURN!!
REGISTRATION: $30.00 per person if registered and paid online by Monday – September 12, 2016; or $40 at the door, if space allows. The registration fee covers handout materials, continental breakfast, refreshments, lunch, pitahaya fruit/ice cream tasting, and 6 cuttings of pitahaya or dragon fruit. Please register in advance to help us plan for meals and handouts!!
Register online at http://ucanr.edu/2016pitahaya-ventura
ACCESSIBILITY: UC Hansen Agricultural Research and Extension Center is a Handicapped accessible facility. However, the field portion of this event involves walking on uneven terrain without any shade. Please contact Jose De Soto (760.996.4874 or firstname.lastname@example.org) or Ramiro Lobo (858.243.4608 or email@example.com) for any special accommodation you may need.
Program sponsored by the University of California Cooperative Extension offices in San Diego and Ventura Counties, in collaboration with MVP Farms and with financial support from the UC Thelma Hansen Fund.
Various insects, birds, and other animals pollinate plants. Bees, especially honey bees, are the most vital for pollinating food crops. Many California crops rely on bees to pollinate their flowers and ensure a good yield of seeds, fruit, and nuts. Pesticides, especially insecticides, can harm bees if they are applied or allowed to drift to plants that are flowering.
Our mission at the University of California Agricultural and Natural Resources (UC ANR), Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) is to protect the environment by reducing risks caused by pest management practices. UC IPM developed Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings to help pest managers make an informed decision about how to protect bees when choosing or applying pesticides. You can find and compare ratings for pesticide active ingredients including acaricides (miticides), bactericides, fungicides, herbicides, and insecticides, and select the one posing the least harm to bees.
Ratings fall into three categories. Red, or rated I, pesticides should not be applied or allowed to drift to plants that are flowering. Plants include the crop AND nearby weeds. Yellow, or rated II, pesticides should not be applied or allowed to drift to plants that are flowering, except when the application is made between sunset and midnight if allowed by the pesticide label and regulations. Finally, green, or rated III, pesticides have no bee precautions, except when required by the pesticide label or regulations. Pesticide users must follow the product directions for handling and use and take at least the minimum precautions required by the pesticide label and regulations.
A group of bee experts in California, Oregon, and Washington worked with UC IPM to develop the Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings. They reviewed studies published in scientific journals and summary reports from European and United States pesticide regulatory agencies. While the protection statements on the pesticide labels were taken into account when determining the ratings, it is important to stress that UC IPM's ratings are not the pollinator protection statements on the pesticide labels. In a number of cases, the ratings suggest a more protective action than the pesticide label.
The UC IPM ratings also include active ingredients that may not be registered in your state; please follow local regulations. In California, the suggested use of the bee precaution pesticide ratings is in conjunction with UC Pest Management Guidelines (for commercial agriculture) and Pest Notes (for gardeners). Each crop in the UC Pest Management Guidelines has a link to the Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings database and provides guidance on how to reduce bee poisoning from pesticides.
“According to a UC Berkeley news report,about one-third of the value of California agriculture comes from pollinator-dependent crops, representing a net value of $11.7 billion per year.”
Led by Philip Martin, professor emeritus in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at UC Davis, scientists analyzed all Social Security numbers reported by farm employers in 2014. The total number of farmworkers employed in California in 2014 was 829,300. The number of full-time equivalent jobs was 410,900.
“We have lots of people who do farm work in California,” Martin said. “If we could use more of them year round, we would not have to always be looking for immigrants.”
Interest in farmworkers and farm employment is growing in California and in the nation. Comments about illegal immigration by presidential candidates and a new law under consideration in California to require overtime pay for farmworkers have made farm employment part of a national conversation. California's labor-intensive fruit and vegetable production systems, the tightening of border controls and proposals to give some unauthorized workers a temporary legal status have also fueled interest.
“Many farm employers argue that there are farm labor shortages, while worker advocates counter that there is only a shortage of wages to attract and retain farmworkers,” Martin said. “Our objective was to provide a clearer picture of California's agricultural workforce by determining the actual number of wage and salary workers in agriculture.”
The research was based on information from the state's Employment Development Department, which collects data on farmworkers and wages paid when it collects unemployment insurance taxes from employers.
The results of the 2014 analysis are compared with previous analyses of farm employment going back to 1990. The data reflect a shift over the last 30 years away from direct-hire employment on crop farms and toward employment by farm labor contractors.
“Crop support services, like farm labor contractors, surpassed on-farm hires for the first time in 2007,” Martin said. “Since 2010, average employment reported by crop support establishments has been rising by 10,000 a year.”
In 2014, nonfarm crop support firms brought an average of 205,000 farmworkers to crop farms, while direct-hires on crop farms was 175,000.
“Our data show that California has a remarkably stable workforce,” Martin said. “We found that most farmworkers are attached to one farm employer, often a labor contractor who moves them from farm to farm.”
Average earnings for all workers who held at least one farm job during the year was over $19,000 in 2014, while average earnings of those who had their maximum earnings in agriculture was $16,500. Farmworkers who were employed by farm labor contractors had the lowest average earnings at $12,719.
In addition to Martin, the article was authored by Muhammad Akhtar, Brandon Hooker and Marc Stockton of the California Employment Development Department. California Agriculture journal is the peer-reviewed research journal of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources.
Here are a few articles from California Ag Today Mechanical Weeding Saves Labor...
Following a search process, I have decided not to fill the Youth, Families and Communities (YFC) Director position at the present time. This decision did not come easily because we were successful in attracting a number of outstanding candidates, each of whom would bring different experiences and perspectives to the position.
Given the current search for a Vice Provost of Statewide Programs and Strategic Initiatives, with whom the YFC Director would work closely, coupled with our need (following Chris Greer's announcement yesterday) to recruit for a new Vice Provost for Cooperative Extension, and the strategic planning process that ANR has just begun, we have decided to take time to re-assess the needs of the YFC programs. Before moving forward, we want to be sure we are allocating resources such that programs can be best positioned to meet future needs. We do want to thank the search committee for their efforts in identifying strong candidates and for taking the time to see the process through.
For the time being, Shannon Horrillo, associate director of 4-H program and policy, and Katie Panerella, associate director of nutrition, family and consumer sciences program and policy, will continue to share the YFC Director duties, as they have for the last year. They have done a great job leading the programs and there is no reason at this time for that to change.
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