"Today dawned foggy," began Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology, in a...
A cabbage white butterfly, Pieris rapae, nectaring on catmint last summer in Vacaville. (Too late in the season last year to win Art Shapiro's contest.) (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The following is compiled from the January newsletter of the Ventura County ACP-HLB Task Force
Results of November scouting trip are available for the Canine Detection Team
A team of six dogs and three handlers from F1K9 scouted 20 citrus ranches in Ventura County between Nov. 18 and Nov. 22, 2019. The visit included returns to several ranches scouted during F1K9's July deployment, as well as numerous ranches in new areas. A total of 4,650 trees were inspected, and dogs alerted on 353 (8%). Alerts occurred at every location. The percentage of scouted trees that triggered alerts at each ranch or block ranged from 3% to 22%. Download the full report here.
The canine detection team is returning next week to scout more orchards. However, their time is fully allocated. Planning is under way for their more permanent return by February or March 2020. If you wish to have your grove(s) scouted in the future, please send an email indicating your interest to Farm Bureau CEO John Krist at email@example.com.
A total of 1,760 residential citrus trees have been confirmed PCR-positive for HLB in San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, and Orange counties. Information about the expanded HLB quarantine, and a tally of the HLB confirmations (updated weekly) can be found at CitrusInsider.org. Regulatory actions required by the state in response to an HLB detection are detailed in CDFA's Action Plan (https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/citruscommittee/docs/ActionPlan.pdf). To see the proximity of your citrus to the nearest confirmed HLB, you can enter an address in this Google maps-style website: www.ucanr.edu/hlbgrowerapp. The site also provides a direct link to the HLB Voluntary Best Practices most relevant to your location.
The winter ACP area-wide management treatments have begun, and treatment reminders have been distributed. If you did not receive a reminder, please contact grower liaison Sandra Zwaal (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Cressida Silvers (email@example.com) to be added to the distribution list.
Twenty-four of Ventura County's 50 psyllid management areas (PMAs) qualified for the winter buffer treatments, in which the California Department of Food and Agriculture will apply pesticides to residential citrus within 400 meters of commercial groves. The requirements to qualify for residential buffer treatments are expected to change slightly in the future. Stay tuned for the UC recommendations and a vote from the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Committee (CPDPC) on the new requirements.
Report neglected and abandoned citrus
Help prevent neglected and abandoned citrus from serving as a breeding ground for ACP and the spread of HLB by reporting its location to the County Agricultural Commissioner's office at (805) 388-4222. If your citrus is not worth the resources required to protect it from ACP and HLB, it may be a good time to consider removing the trees.
The next CPDPC meeting will be on Jan. 15. Click here to download the agenda.The CPDPC makes decisions on behalf of the citrus industry, and attendance by all citrus growers and affiliates is encouraged. The Coastal Region committee representative is Kevin Ball; contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Meetings are free and open to the public, and can be attended in person, via webinar, or by phone. The agenda and prior meeting minutes can also be found at https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/citruscommittee/.
The 9th Annual UC Riverside Citrus Field Day for citrus growers and citrus industry representatives is Jan. 29. Click here to download the agenda and registration information.
The University of California has developed a series of one-hour webinars, designed for growers and pest control advisors, that will highlight various pest management and horticultural topics for citrus and avocados. During each session, a UC expert on the subject will make a presentation and entertain write-in questions via chat during and/or after the presentation. To learn more, go to https://ucanr.edu/sites/ucexpertstalk/.
Contact your grower liaisons if you have additional questions:
ACP task force
The question is troubling: What's going on with the monarch butterfly population in the West? The...
A male monarch nectaring on Mexican sunflower (Tithonia) in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
A monarch sipping nectar from its host plant, milkweed. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The University of California system's first-ever institute for organic research and education will be established in the UC's Agriculture and Natural Resources division (UC ANR) with a $500,000 endowment gift from Clif Bar & Company and $500,000 in matching funds from UC President Janet Napolitano.
The California Organic Institute will accelerate the development and adoption of effective tools and practices for organic farmers and those transitioning to organic by building on the capabilities of UC ANR's Cooperative Extension and Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program. Although organic is the fastest growing sector of the food economy, funding for research has lagged far behind support for conventional agriculture. Farmers interested in transitioning to organic or improving performance of their organic systems often lack the guidance they need to succeed.
“California's organic farmers already benefit from UC ANR's pest management, irrigation and crop production research, and this partnership with Clif Bar will give UC more capacity to focus on challenges specific to organic farming,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president of agriculture and natural resources. “UC Cooperative Extension advisors work directly with farmers throughout the state so new organic farming techniques can be applied quickly.”
The California Organic Institute is Clif Bar's third organic research endowment and the first in its home state of California, where the company sources several key organic ingredients. Clif Bar is not alone in sourcing from the state, which has the most organic farms in the U.S.: California's nearly 3,000 certified organic farms grow crops on land that represents 21% of all U.S. certified organic land.
“The California Organic Institute will serve many of the organic producers we depend on for ingredients like almonds and figs, as well as farmers outside our supply chain,” said Lynn Ineson, vice president of Sustainable Sourcing for Clif Bar. “We recognize that the future of our food company depends on the ecological and economic success of organic and transitioning farmers.”
Recruitment for an institute director will begin in early 2020, with a search committee including industry representatives and partners. The director will work with a permanent advisory committee, Clif Bar, and UC ANR to launch the institute and recruit additional like-minded partners to support its long-term success.
Ultimately, with the support of UC ANR and a constellation of partners, the California Organic Institute will be in a strong position to increase the performance of organic farming for improved stewardship of natural resources, the economic well-being of rural communities, and greater stability for the next generation of California farmers.
About Clif Bar & Company
Clif Bar & Company is a leading maker of nutritious and organic foods and drinks, including CLIF® Bar energy bar, LUNA®, The Whole Nutrition Bar for Women®; and CLIF Kid®, Nourishing Kids in Motion®. Focused on sports nutrition and snacks for adventure, the family and employee-owned company is committed to sustaining its people, brands, business, community and planet. For more information on Clif Bar & Company, please visit www.clifbar.com, check out our Facebook page at facebook.com/clifbar and follow us on Twitter at: twitter.com/clifbar.
About UC ANR
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources brings the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition and youth development to local communities to improve the lives of all Californians. UC ANR is a statewide network of UC researchers and educators who create, develop and extend knowledge on agricultural and natural resource management, youth development, family and consumer sciences, community and economic development, STEM and more. UC ANR collaborates with private and public stakeholders in all 58 counties to advance the well-being of all Californians.Learn more at ucanr.edu.
An airborne fungus from Europe, ganoderma adspersum, has been killing almond trees in the San Jaoquin Valley since it was discovered in the area five years ago, reported John Cox in the Bakersfield Californian.
The fungus rots wood from the inside out, usually weakening the trunk a ground level.
Three kinds of ganoderma fungus infections were identified recently in California almond orchards; University of California researchers say 94 percent of the cases were of the adspersum variety.
"We are seeing those trees collapsing at 11, 12, 15 years old,” said UC Cooperative Extension orchard systems advisor Mohammad Yaghmour. The infections have results in the removal of orchards at less than half their typical 20- to 25-year life span.
Spraying for the fungal disease is ineffective. Yaghmour believes that in time researchers will identify a root stock that is resistant to the fungus.