Backyard Orchard News
Hispanic farmers gathered at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center today for a half-day seminar in Spanish about small-scale agricultural production.
A key topic was food safety. UC Cooperative Extension small farm advisor Richard Molinar acknowledged at the meeting that farmers who have been producing crops for dozens of years without incident might wonder why documenting food safety procedures is warranted. He said heightened awareness of food safety issues has consumers and retailers demanding such documentation, even if it isn't required by law. In the future, government agencies might develop food safety guidelines for small-scale farmers.
"Retailers are asking packinghouses and wholesalers for the food-safety documents," Molinar said. "They want to see written policies in place."
Other topics addressed at the meeting were squirrel and gopher control, sucking insect control, groundwater protection and pesticide calibration.
The Hispanic Farmers Conference at KARE.
Richard Molinar discusses food safety in Spanish.
Ladybugs, aka ladybird beetles, are out there.Walk through the garden and they're easy to find.Last...
Ladybug looking for food on an artichoke. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ladybug munching aphids on the limb of a nectarine tree. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Ladybug looking for aphids in all the right places. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
BMSB is now found in 33 states. Although not established in California, it has been identified in Los Angeles and Solano counties. BMBS can fly, but they primarily move into new areas by hitchhiking on vehicles and equipment.
Native to Asia, it's thought that BMSB arrived in packing crates shipped to the Eastern U.S. It has a large host range that includes grapes and many of the fruits and vegetables grown in California. Damage can be substantial when BMSB populations are not identified early and managed appropriately.
Apple growers in the Mid-Atlantic states have reported losses of $37 million representing 18 percent of their fresh apple market. Growers and wineries are also concerned that the “stink” from any bugs accidentally crushed in wine or juice grapes could taint the product with off flavors. This insect should concern homeowners as well, since people in the Mid-Atlantic states have reported large populations of BMBS overwintering in their homes and becoming a nuisance.
BMSBs resemble some other California stinkbugs, such as the rough stink bug, a beneficial predator of other insects. If you think you’ve found a BMSB, or any other odd or unique looking insect pest, you should collect it and bring it to your local university advisor, ag commissioner or state ag department entomologist for proper identification. Early identification of invasive pests is critical for protecting California’s billion dollar agricultural industries.
You can learn more about the BMSB and current research here.
"How are the bees doing?"That's the question beekeepers are asked all year.Well, today the annual...
Honey bees working a hive at the University of California, Davis.. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Honey bee near the Harry H. Laidlaw Jr. Honey Bee Research Facility, UC Davis. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The benches in the entomology greenhouse at LREC are being renovated in order to better support...
Gerry, Jose T. and Jose H. make improvements in the benches