Backyard Orchard News
The University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources is participating in eight booths at the 2013 World Ag Expo, which will run from Feb. 12-14 at the International Agri-Center in Tulare. Pavilion A will house a cluster of University of California booths: UC Cooperative Extension Tulare County (UCCE) at booth 1411 will be next to Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center (KARE) at booth 1412, and Agriculture and Natural Resources (ANR) will be across the walkway at booth 1513.
Lindcove Research and Extension Center and UC Riverside Department of Entomology will be helping the Citrus Research Board at booth L36. The UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and the UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center will be at booth 6014. Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation Center will be sharing booth M54 with Wilcox Agri-products. The UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Science will be at booth 8013.
The goal of all of the booths is increasing our visibility as well as increasing the public’s awareness of how UC ANR programs help ensure healthy food systems, healthy environments, healthy communities and healthy Californians by providing leadership and innovation through research, education and service.
- UCCE Tulare County will have publications on display; different advisors will be available at different times to answer questions. Tuesday will feature UCCE advisors Kevin Day, deciduous tree fruit, Neil O-Connell, citrus and avocado, and Julie Finzel, livestock and natural resources. Wednesday will feature UCCE advisors Elizabeth Fichtner, nuts, olives and dried plums, Carol Frate, alfalfa, dry Beans, corn and oil crops, and Michelle Le Strange, vegetables, weed control, turf and landscape. Thursday will feature UCCE advisors Manuel Jimenez, vegetables and integrated pest management, Cathi Lamp, nutrition, family and consumer sciences, and Steve Wright, cotton, winter cereals, and weed control.
- KARE will have a TV monitor with slides of KARE’s research and extension programs; an interactive GIS computer program; and interactive displays of pests and beneficial organisms. Kearney director Jeffery Dahlberg and KARE research staff will be available all week to answer questions about research and extension programs at KARE. Other KARE specialists, advisors and staff will be available for shorter periods. An ‘Ag Warrior’ intern plans to staff the booth as well. The World Ag Expo’s Ag Warriors program prepares returning veterans for careers in the agriculture industry.
- ANR will be displaying and selling ANR publications and have an interactive integrated pest management touch-screen kiosk for home and pest control.
- Citrus entomology, affiliated with Lindcove and UC Riverside Entomology, will have an interactive display of citrus pests, disease, varieties, and integrated pest management technologies in conjunction with the Citrus Research Board.
- CASI will have a display of conservation agriculture systems, practices and impact.
- UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center will provide brochures on the fourth-year veterinarian student clinical rotations and research programs; videos of veterinarian students on the farm; informational handouts on the SMV’s Doctorate of Veterinary Medicine programs; careers in veterinary medicine; and VMTRC’s dairy production medicine program.
- The UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences will have several interactive media displays. IPads will showcase the college’s information, including majors, internship opportunities, facilities, and ways to get involved on campus. Videos that showcase the university and the students will be on iPads and an overhead TV monitor. Current students (Aggie Ambassadors) will be in attendance and available to answer questions about student life, programs they are involved in, and their majors.
We will probably have something that interests you, so please come and join us!
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Anaheim boasted a thriving wine industry in the late 1800s, before an unnamed affliction killed 40,000 acres of the grapevines and put 50 wineries out of business. The problem was later found to have been Pierce’s disease of grapevines. Would Anaheim be wine country today if it weren’t for Pierce’s disease? Probably not, but the sad fate of this Southern California wine industry underscores the importance of controlling the disease and the insects that spread it in California’s thriving grape growing regions.
GWSS has turned out to be a very efficient vector of Xyella fastidiosa, the bacterium that causes Pierce’s disease in grapes. When GWSS made their way to places where scientists believed the bacterium didn’t exist, such as Kern County, grapevines began to express symptoms of the disease. The county agricultural commissioners in the San Joaquin Valley have been working tirelessly over the last 10 years to keep glassy-winged sharpshooters out of grape growing regions to protect a very valuable economic driver. In Fresno County alone, where grapes are the No. 1 agricultural commodity, the crop was worth $961 million in 2011.
Despite the efforts to contain GWSS in Fresno County, the pest is spreading very gradually south and east of the Fresno-Clovis metropolitan area into commercial vineyards and orchards.
“Cooperation by urban residents where we find GWSS has been great,” said Fred Rinder of the Fresno County Agricultural Commissioner’s office. Nevertheless, in 2012, GWSS was found spreading out in Kerman, Parlier, Sanger and Kingsburg.
Stephen Vasquez, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, fears local grape farmers have become complacent about glassy-winged sharpshooter and Pierce’s disease, even though all grapes are susceptible. The best way to control its spread, he said, is to monitor and manage sharpshooter vectors and remove and replace vines that have tested positive for Xylella fastidiosa.
“Be vigilant. Learn the symptoms and train crews and workers,” Vasquez said. “Pierce’s disease has been around for a long time and GWSS has been here more than a decade, but we still haven’t had that marriage of the two. That is potentially devastating.”
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