This is an announcement for the Annual Strawberry Field Day held by colleague Surendra Dara in Santa Maria, California, this coming May 6. It's always been a good event, very well worth the time to go!
Surendra presenting to attendees at a past Santa Maria Strawberry Field Day.
The first myth he debunked has been circulating since Gov. Brown announced steep water cutbacks for the state's municipalities. "He didn't mention agriculture, and that made people suspicious," Johnson wrote.
For clarification, Johnson spoke to Doug Parker, the director of UC Agriculture and Natural Resources' California Institute for Water Resources. Brown didn't talk about ag in his big announcement because growers are already operating under an 80 percent cut from their normal water share from the State Water Project, and a zero percent allocation from the federal Central Valley Project.
"California farmers took about 5 percent for their land out of production last year, and that number will surely go up this year," the article says.
Other myths tackled in the story include:
- Agriculture uses 80 percent of California's water
- Dumb laws prevent the buying and selling of water
- Farmers are wasting a lot of water
- Farm conservation measures can free up plenty of water
The issue of increasing almond production is raised because of its water use. According to the story, almond orchards consume more water than the indoor use of all 39 million California residents combined.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources advisor David Doll is featured in many of the images distributed with the story. In one he holds an almond he says is smaller than normal in size due to the drought. Doll displayed micro sprinklers, used by almond growers to conserve water, and in another photo he is seen talking with an orchard manager who uses a floating pump to bring water from the Merced River to his almond orchard.
UC Cooperative Extension hosts water supply meeting
Rich Greene, Daily News
UCCE hosts a regional meeting in Corning April 30 where local efforts to sustain water supplies will be discussed. The meeting will cover the numerous events that have occurred on the water front since September 2014. That included the passing of the Groundwater Sustainability Act and the disappointing rainfall and snowpack numbers from 2015.
Drought issues, trial studies at center of UC desert field day
Michael Dukes, Imperial Valley Press
An update on the statewide drought topped the agenda for the Agronomic Crops and Water Conservation Field Day held at the UC Desert Research and Extension Center here early Thursday morning. The event, sponsored by Imperial County's UC Cooperative Extension and the California Department of Water Resources, played out in a six-stop tour, with specialists from across the agribusiness world providing attendees with an inside look at a variety of initiatives taking place within the Valley and all over California.
Developing, managing, maintaining and testing an early detection and rapid response program (EDRR) will enable property owners to combat new weeds before they become a problem. EDRR is a system used to find new weeds and then treat those weeds before they spread and become an even greater problem. An early detection and rapid response program has four main components: education, monitoring, assessment, and management.
Education: Education includes teaching people to look for weeds and providing information on some of the most likely weeds to invade your area and identifying unknown specimens. In California, a variety of agencies and programs can be used to learn about weeds in your area from UC Cooperative Extension advisors, to your local Resource Conservation District (RCD), County Agricultural Commissioner, and State and Federal agency biologists. There are several books and websites available (UCANR's Weeds of California, Cal-IPC's website, CalFlora, CA Dept. of Food and Agriculture Plant Health and Pest Prevention's website), which work well for established weeds. Some sources do not have the newest invaders.
Monitor: To know if your property has been invaded, someone has to be on the land surveying and monitoring for weeds. It's pretty obvious that if no one is watching a problem can't be detected.
Assessment: Once a problem weed has been found, the situation needs to be evaluated given the local and regional context. Is it a weed that is new to North America, or is it new to your property, but found throughout the region. Equally important is alerting others in your area or organization so proper resources can be used to control the population.
Most weed seeds do not move far. A few weed seeds do get very lucky and can hitchhike very far. What are the odds a newly discovered weed population hitched for a long ride or dispersed from a local population? Alerting others to be on the lookout for a new infestation will help answer that question, and they can warn you if they find a weed before you do.
Management: New weeds will need to be managed and in some circumstances eradicated. I hope that is obvious. Exotic plants can create problems for land managers from reduced yield, decreased property values, to harming native species. The fewer exotic species on a landscape the better chance we have less weed management problems. Managing a weed population should start as soon as possible. The longer a problem weed lingers the harder it is to remove and the more likely it is to spread.
I also argue that preparation is crucial part of weed management. We prepare our gardens, our restoration sites and our fields; we should be prepared for weeds. Many weed populations are spreading, so we should be able to know if we have enough resources in place to manage a newly discovered weed infestation. What if you notice a new weed on your neighbor's property? Do you have a strong enough relationship with them to make sure the problem doesn't cross the fence line? The best way to answer these questions is to conduct a drill: A weed drill. Emergency responders conduct drills all the time. Wildland firefighters use prescribed fires partly as training to ready their teams in the spring before the fire season gets into full swing. We can be doing similar measures with our properties.
Imagine the worst kind of weed has infested your property. Are the four components of an EDRR program strong enough to stop it from spreading and creating a loss on your and your neighbor's properties? Do you or your staff have enough knowledge about weeds to recognize it is a problem? Would you be able to detect the weed if it was on your property (or would it spread without detection)? Can you assess the situation (i.e. can you determine how much of a problem it could become)? Do you know who to alert for help once it is found? Can you and your neighbors gather enough resources, and if you are working on public land can you comply with environmental laws (and/or gather permits) quickly enough to manage the population and stop the spread? Conducting a drill is an excellent way to find out if you are ready!
The California Weed Science Society (CWSS) is offering scholarships to support undergraduate and graduate students with an interest in weed or invasive plant management. To be eligible for these awards the student must be pursuing a degree at an accredited 2-year college or 4-year university in California. Preference will be given to students that demonstrate a strong interest in weed or invasive plant management.
Academic scholarships up to $2,000 are available for undergraduate and graduate students.
The internship is an award of $3,000 for an 8-week full-time internship with a University of California farm advisor or other off-campus research personnel with responsibilities in weed or invasive plant management.
Undergraduate Research Awards
The undergraduate research award is a grant up to $2,000 to support a research project related to weed or invasive plant management.
For additional information and to apply: http://cwss.org or contact Scott Oneto at 209-223-6834 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Application Deadline: April 30th, 2015