It was so well-deserved. Internationally known honey bee guru Eric Mussen, Extension apiculturist...
Just started reading the book Machine Platform Crowd which is about the second phase of this machine age.
Great read, but what is striking is the summary of electrification and its initial slow uptake in factories. Why did something so obviously superior to coal fired steam power not get adopted the instant it was introduced?
There were actually a number of reasons. The adoption of electricity in factories was impeded by manufacturers who were reluctant leave to behind what they already were familiar with and knew well, and at the time electricity was only a marginally superior to coal anyway.
The real gains from electrification were to be made only when some manufacturers stopped just replacing steam engines with electric motors and redesigned the entire system - by placing electric motors on the conveyor belts, assembly lines and overhead cranes - and took full advantage of the new technology. The full potential of electricity now realized brought to bear huge advantages in price of production and flexibility, saturating the market with goods and hammering less able competition into the ground.
A lucid reading of the above should make us realize in the berry industry that in fact we are in a similar dilemma with our fitful advance on integrating automation into our agriculture. Really profitable automation simply doesn't mean replacing people with machines in the same fields as before. If we learn our lesson well from the transition to electricity from steam, we probably have to look at changing a lot about the production system itself.
If you've been looking for that cabbage white butterfly in the three-area county of Sacramento,...
The Ventura County Cattlemen's Association publicly thanked UC Cooperative Extension and other organizations for their support during the devastating wildfires of late 2017.
In the space of 12 hours, the Thomas Fire ripped through vital grazing land that cattle rely on for their daily feed. Some animals were also killed in the fire. In a letter to the Ventura County Star, Beverly Bigger, president of the Ventura County Cattlemen's Association, said UCCE livestock and range advisor Matthew Shapero, the Ventura County agricultural commissioner and representatives of Ventura County animal services established an emergency program to supply five days of hay until ranchers could get on their feet.
UC Cooperative Extension also served as a one-stop location where ranchers could meet with representatives from multiple agencies to apply for assistance programs.
"We want to thank and recognize them for helping us in our time of need. We look forward to returning to our passion: managing and improving the land and continuing Ventura County's ranching heritage," Bigger wrote.
Wow, woolly whitefly covered with waxy, curly filaments , Aleurothrixus floccosus.
One of the consequences of fire and the resulting ash is that the biocontrol agents that keep whiteflies, scale, mealybug and other pests in balance is that they will spend so much of their time preening that they don't have time to go after their prey. Lacewing larvae, minute pirate bug, ladybird larvae, parasitic wasps and others rely on moving around to get at their food sources. When they cant move fast, they stop and clean their joints to stay limber. Whitefly and scale insects just hunker down and don't need to do a lot of moving. They just breed, and without actively moving biocontrol agents, their populations can explode. Or that's my human analogy. In dusty areas or areas affected by ash, the particles get in their joints and they need to spend time cleaning in order to move fast.
Whiteflies suck phloem sap, which in some cases can cause leaves to wilt and drop when there are high numbers of whiteflies. However, the primary concern with whiteflies is the honeydew they produce. Honeydew excreted by nymphs and adults collects dust and supports the growth of sooty mold; large infestations blacken entire trees, including fruit, as well as attract ants, which interfere with the biological control of whiteflies and other pests. The sooty mold can also affect tree yields by reducing photosynthesis and requiring extra handling time for cleaning.
So pests under good control prior to a fire can get out of hand. This is a good example of a tree in the town of Ventura where ash was a problem. A seemingly clean tree, free of whitefly, started to defoliate with blotchy leaf spots. On the undersides of the leaves corresponding to the blotches are colonies of whitefly. And looking closely you can see that some of the nymphs have exit holes, indicating that they have been parasitized by a wasp. So nature is kicking in and taking it's course. The whitefly should get cleaned up soon too by some forager, such as lacewing larvae or pirate bug. No need to spray because it would just be a further disruption.
See more about whiteflies at:
Photos: Defoliating 'Meyer' lemon tree, blotches on upper side of leaf, whitefly colonies with exit holes in some of the nymphs