Posts Tagged: citrus
The idea was dropped after grower Andy Wilson raised objections to the plan saying the reclaimed water contains trace amounts of boron and sodium, which could accumulate in the soil and eventually kill trees. Instead, the city will sponsor a 10- to 15-year UC Riverside study to learn how boron affects trees and fruit.
According to the article, written by David Danelski, UCR soil chemistry professor Christopher Amrhein said Wilson had good reason to be concerned about the city's plan divert fresh water from the Gage and Riverside canals and replace it with the recycled wastewater from the city's sewage treatment plant.
"We basically told (city officials), 'We can't take your reclaimed water,' " Amrhein was quoted.
The city has used UC Davis agricultural engineering professor Mark Grismer as a consultant to counter arguments by UCR citrus experts that recycled water would harm the trees. The city's recycled water project is still in the works. The reclaimed water will be used to irrigate Martha McLean Anza Narrows Park, Fairmont Park and the future Tequesquite Park, and could also be used to recharge aquifers.
The San Joaquin Valley is bracing for a hard freeze predicted to strike tonight and tomorrow morning, putting the Valley's $1.3 billion citrus industry on high alert. Whether farmers will have to spring into action depends on a lot of things, such as cloud cover, according to Joel Nelson of California Citrus Mutual, who was quoted in today's San Francisco Chronicle.
"But we will have the wind machines primed and many of them on from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m.," Nelson is quoted.
The Bakersfield Californian turned to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor John Karlik for advice for homeowners worried about potential freeze damage to landscape plants. He said residents within the city limits can rest fairly easy this week, but those who live in the slightly colder, outlying areas may need to take added precautions.
According to the article, he suggested homeowners bring tropical and sub-tropical plants inside, if possible, and cover outdoor plants overnight using plastic, cloth or newspapers. Watering the plants during the day will help preserve heat at night.
For more details on protecting your garden from frost, see this article by Pam Geisel, the academic coordinator for the UC Master Gardener program.
A note about the headline: The Valley, of course, is rarely as cold as New York, where Frank Loesser wrote the song "Baby, It's Cold Outside" in 1944, but the music still rings in the ears of Californians when an artic air mass descends on the state. A cute version of the song by Doris Day and Bing Crosby is one of many posted on YouTube.
A citrus tree that was coated with water for frost protection.
Coachella Valley citrus growers and industry researchers met yesterday to discuss an attack against the Asian citrus psyllid, an insect lethal to citrus crops that has recently been found in California, according to a story in today's Desert Sun.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced late last week that a single Asian citrus psyllid was detected in San Diego County, which set in motion a collaborative effort that includes UC Cooperative Extension to protect the state's citrus industry.
Asian citrus psyllid transmits citrus greening disease, which is already endemic in Florida and has wreaked havoc for citrus industries in Asia, India, the Middle East, South and Central America.
According to an article in Western Farm Press, the Citrus Research Board and representatives from the USDA, CDFA, UC and the San Diego County Agricultural Commissioner’s office met with citrus growers and other citrus industry leaders immediately after the psyllid find. They discussed the discovery and the threat it poses, as well as the industry and regulators’ plan of action.
The Citrus Research Board plans another meeting Sept. 25 in San Diego.
Asian citrus psyllid
The New York Times ran a rather technical article this week about a disease that is sending shivers down the spines of citrus growers in Florida and California - citrus greening. The disease is endemic in Florida. California growers are nervously watching the border with Mexico, where a pest that transmits citrus greening has already been found. That development was covered by the Los Angeles Times in July, as mentioned in this blog post.
This week's article, focused on Florida, included some dire predictions:
On concerns over solving the problem by genetically modifying citrus for resistance, Jude W. Grosser of the University of Florida said, "It’ll probably come down to the point where people have to decide whether they want orange juice or not.”
A Florida grower was quoted as saying, “Scientists have 10 years at the most to find a solution, or there’s not going to be a citrus industry in Florida.”
UC scientists are among those looking for solutions to managing the disease. The article said Abhaya Dandekar of UC Davis is working on an electronic nose to identify volatile organic compounds produced by infected trees.
UC citrus entomologist Beth Grafton-Cardwell also has her finger on the pulse of citrus greening. She is the author of an ANR publication about Asian Citrus Psyllid, which includes a lengthy section on citrus greening.