Backyard Orchard News
UC helps the Fresno Farm and Nutrition Day increase student awareness of healthful food and where it comes from.
More than 1,600 third-graders and 330 teachers and chaperones from 24 Fresno County schools attended Farm and Nutrition Day March 22 at the Big Fresno Fairgrounds. Attendees had the opportunity to tour 50 stations with educational handouts, experiential workshops, presentations and demonstrations. Fresno County Farm Bureau organized the event with the assistance of several presenter groups, sponsors and volunteers, including two UC Agriculture and Natural Resources units.
KARE provided short presentations on what it takes to be a healthy plant and what it takes to be a healthy person, followed immediately by workshops where the students planted leaf lettuce transplants to take home and enjoy. This workshop was made possible with donations and volunteers. Valley Soil & Forest Products donated soil, The Plant People donated pots, and Greenheart Farms donated lettuce transplants. Ten volunteers helped ensure that all of the participants were able to pot up and take home leaf lettuce plants.
Fresno County UC Cooperative Extension provided nutritional presentations and demonstrations. Fresno’s community 4-H clubs brought farm animals to interact with the mostly urban students. Richard Molinar, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Fresno County, small farm program, displayed Southeast Asian vegetables and discussed Southeast Asian culture with the students.
The first thing you notice when you walk up to the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility...
On April 22 a field event was held at Lindcove with speakers Joseph Morse from UC Riverside and Jim Cranney from the California Citrus Quality Council. The issue discussed was how California citrus growers are going to prevent fruit from arriving in Korea with live Fuller rose beetle eggs, now that Korea is no longer going to fumigate citrus. Korea will reject citrus shipments if live Fuller rose beetle eggs are found. Speakers suggested that a systems approach that combines several strategies (a combination of skirt pruning, trunk treatments, foliar treatments, and/or post-harvest fumigation) may be necessary to accomplish the goal, since no single treatment provides complete control. The problems with pesticide treatments are that Fuller rose beetle adults emerge from the soil year round, they are difficult to kill with pesticides, and the pesticides must be reapplied to maintain their efficacy. The problems with the post harvest fumigants currently under study (phosphine and ethyl formate) are that they require extended periods of treatment and cold temperature to achieve a high level of kill of the eggs. Research is being conducted on all of these strategies and until it is completed, the best management strategy includes skirt pruning, trunk treatment starting in June, and a foliar spray 600 degree days prior to harvest. More information can be found at this web site, http://ucanr.edu/sites/KACCitrusEntomology/Home/Fuller_Rose_Beetle_384/Management_36/ that includes information on how to build a spray wand for trunk treatments.
Decisions, decisions... Where's the best spot for the new residents of my garden? I acquired two...
KARE scientist visits Australia to share insights into disease control and food safety strategies for tree nut crops.
Themis Michailides, plant pathologist and lecturer in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis, and Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, recently visited Australia, primarily to visit pistachio and almond orchards and discuss disease control and food safety strategies for these crops.
In 2011, Australia had excessive rains at harvest time, which resulted in pistachio crop losses of 40 to 50 percent due to anthracnose fungi. The lost crop was worth about $15 million. To help prevent the problem in the future, the growers went to California to get input on current disease management strategies. Themis Michailides’ research and extension program was very helpful. As a result, the pistachio and almond crop growers of Australia created protocols to prevent and control the disease. The Australian Pistachio Industry invited Dr. Michailides to tour the Riverland and Sunraysia regions this year to inspect orchards that were previously affected by the anthracnose as well as meet with Australian researchers.
Dr. Michailides was surprised to find lower limb dieback in Australia. This is a problem that his program studied in California for many years with funds from the Californian Almond Board.
The trip was mutually beneficial. The Australian industry and researchers received expert advice and Dr. Michailides learned about practices in Australia that can benefit his research and extension program in California.
Highlights of the trip are summarized below.
- Brisbane: met with Australian plant pathologists from the local area and discussed many plant diseases of interest to the local region.
- Adelaide: stayed and enjoyed visiting with his UC Davis classmate Prue McMichael’s family; visited local laboratories and research organizations to discuss pistachio, pomegranate and almond disease control and food safety strategies.
- Mallee and Riverland regions: met with growers and researchers to discuss disease control and food safety strategies for pistachios and almonds. Displayed samples of Anthracnose and Botryosphaeria infected nuts and leaves that were collected during Dr. Michailides’ Australian orchard visits.
- Mildura: met with the Australian Pistachio Research and Development Committee and discussed some of the pistachio disease control efficacy research being done in Australia. Recommended that the committee access “Fungicides, Bactericides, and Biologicals for deciduous Tree Fruit, Nut, Strawberry, and Vine Corps 2012” to review current pest management strategies for tree fruit, tree nut, strawberry and vine crops. Shared how to closely inspect trees, bark, wood, leaves and nuts to identify and diagnose symptoms of various diseases, as well as predict disease risks based on inoculum levels and weather conditions.