California's white gold, aka "King Cotton," took a significant hit in 2008. According to CDFA, cotton revenue dropped $61.5 million and 48,000 cotton acres were abandoned or went unplanted.
Cotton growers comitted to pressing on attended a recent cotton field day at the UC West Side Research and Extension Center, which was covered by freelance writer Marni Katz for Western Farm Press.
“I know you guys who have survived up to this point are the cream of the crop," the article quoted Ed Barnes, ag research director of Cotton Inc. “You really are dealing with a situation here that is unlike anywhere else in the country."
Katz drew information from presentations by four UC Cooperative Extension experts for her article:
IPM advisor Pete Goodell spoke about the need to address lygus regionally, rather than on a farm-by-farm basis.“The community has to manage the IPM landscape. This is a community problem and it’s going to require a community solution," he was quoted.
Field crops specialist Jeff Mitchell addressed the use of conservation tillage in cotton production. "The key to success, he said, is to plant into adequate moisture and use starter fertilizer to help establish the crop," Katz wrote.
Farm advisor Dan Munk discussed new guidelines for irrigating Pima and Acala cotton under "new water realities," such as drought and shortages due to water diversion.
Cotton specialist Bob Hutmacher said UC is re-examining nitrogen recommendations for cotton given rising fertilizer costs and diminishing returns for cotton. “Under quite a few different rotations, such as lettuce or others, there may be opportunities to back down on N applications without impacting cotton yields,” Hutmacher was quoted.
I ran into two members of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Patrol this afternoon. No, I...
Mediterranean Fruit Fly
Welcome to Cyber Monday, the Monday after Thanksgiving, which got its name from the popularity of online purchasing the first work day since the busy Christmas season began. According to Wikipedia, the prevalence of high-speed Internet in homes is diluting the shopping strength of Cyber Monday, so it may just become a day to honor the contributions of the Internet to American life.
Along those lines, I'll use Cyber Monday to bring you the latest cyber news coverage of UC ANR.
The Marin Independent Journal, reporting on the local olive harvest, quoted UCCE farm advisor Paul Vossen.
"Olives are a small-margin crop," he was quoted. "The yields are fairly low, and it's difficult and expensive to harvest - so when you do, you create a product that is quite costly to produce. But compared to common olive oils on your supermarket shelf, almost all California olive oil is going to be fresher and better-tasting."
The Orange County Register ran a story about a firefighter's new invention, a vent cover that blocks burning embers from entering but still allows air flow in attic spaces. UCCE wood durability advisor Stephen Quarles contributed to the story.
"Embers are so small and produced in such quantity it's like a snow storm pushed through vents into attic spaces where they ignite sawdust, paper-faced insulation. I've even seen birds' nests in attics," Quarles was quoted.
Smithsonian.com covered the Linnaean games, an insect trivia competition held at the Entomological Society's meeting in Reno last month. The games, named for 18th century "father of bionomial nomenclature" Carl Linnaeus, is serious business for entomological grad students. This year, a UC Riverside team took home the crown.
According to UC Davis Entomology Department public information rep Kathy Keatley Garvey, who attended the conference, this is the first time since at least 2002 that a UC team has won.
Bay Area news radio KCBS ran a story about Colony Collapse Disorder of honey bees featuring UC Davis bee specialist Eric Mussen. He said California’s bee keepers are hoping for a wet winter. More rain means more flowers and plants which provide more food for the bees.
“If they’ve got abundant food they can build up their largest populations. They’re the most robust, strongest bees you can get and therefore they’re more likely to repel some of these disease we think are a problem [for bees]," Mussen is quoted on the radio station's Web site.
The Desert Sun reported that UCCE Riverside County farm advisor Jose Luis Aguiar has been selected to participate in the California Agricultural Leadership Program.
When UC Davis chemical ecologist Walter Leal received a major award from the Entomological Society...
Michael Gray and Walter Leal
Happy Turkey Day! The last Thursday of November is Thanksgiving Day, but it really should be...
Bee and Nectarine Blossom