Posts Tagged: Integrated Pest Management
This year, Kearney had the pleasure of watching four great horned owls mature. We considered this to be a nice addition to the Kearney family. Themis Michailides indicated that owls in ancient Greece represented the bird of wisdom! In fact, when he attended high school in Greece, it was mandatory that all the students wear a hat with an owl-embroidered on the front of the hat.
Kearney staff noticed that a great horned owl was nesting in one of the trees in our north gravel parking lot. When the tree did not have very many leaves, the female parent remained vigilant in the nest with the nestlings. After the young owls became fledglings, the female parent would fly to a nearby tree to watch them. At first, we thought that there were two fledglings, and in the end, we discovered that there were four. All of them became branchers, moving out to the branches at about 6 weeks old. They started to fly about a week later and survived to be independent. Luckily, when one branchling fell out of the nest on a Friday, Gwen Conville, Tayoko Handa and Matthew Fidelibus came by to look at the owls before going home. They captured the fallen young owl and took it to a Critter Creek animal rescue volunteer, who indicated that the bird would probably be flying in a week. The three juveniles that did not fall can still be seen in different areas of Kearney. Please enjoy the following pictures that were taken by many different Kearney personnel, including but not limited to Dan Felts, Matthew Fidelibus, Larry Schwankl, and Laura Van der Staay.
A great horned owl nesting in one of Kearney's parking lot trees.
Female great horned owl at Kearney with one of her 4 nestlings.
Mother great horned owl with fledglings in a nest at Kearney.
Young great horned owl fledglings at Kearney.
Three great horned owls at Kearney on a branch about 1 week before becoming independent.
Branchling great horned owl looking at what is beyond its nest at Kearney.
Young great horned owls at Kearney getting ready to fly.
Juvenile and independent great horned owl remaining at Kearney.
One great horned owl brancher at Kearney fell.
Great horned owl at Kearney trying to resist being rescued.
The great horned owl at Kearney that fell.
Great horned owl at Kearney resisting a rescue attempt.
Great horned owl that fell at Kearney is secure and ready for transport to Critter Creek.
The UC Statewide IPM Program provides new resources to help workers identify the light brown apple moth.
Nursery workers are our first line of defense in detecting light brown apple moth when growing ornamental plants in commercial nurseries. A new brochure and video can help those in the field distinguish light brown apple moth from several look-alike caterpillars.
Light brown apple moth is currently under a California Department of Food and Agriculture quarantine that regulates the interstate shipment of plants to keep the moth from spreading to new areas. It has been quarantined in various counties throughout coastal California ranging from Mendocino to San Diego.
Correct field identification of the light brown apple moth is the first step in containing the spread of this moth. Unfortunately several other leafroller caterpillars, including the orange tortrix, omnivorous leafroller, avocado leafroller, and apple pandemic moth, look similar to light brown apple moth caterpillars. This makes photo identification tools that can go into the field with workers, like the Field Identification Guide for Light Brown Apple Moth in California Nurseries, a useful resource for nursery workers.
The field guide was created by Steven Tjosvold, Neal Murray, University of California Cooperative Extension; Marc Epstein, Obediah Sage, California Department of Food and Agriculture; and Todd Gilligan, Colorado State University with the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM).
An exotic and invasive pest from Australia, light brown apple moth has a host range of more than two thousand plants. It is a pest to a wide range of ornamental and agricultural crops, including caneberries, strawberries, citrus, stone fruit, apples, and grapes. The caterpillars eat leaves and buds, leading to weak or disfigured plants. They also can feed directly on fruit, causing the fruit to be unmarketable.
For more information on light brown apple moth and other leafrollers found in nurseries, see the UC Pest Management Guidelines for Floriculture and Nurseries.
Adult light brown apple moth.
Juvenile stage of the light brown apple moth.
Over 30 nonprofit, educational and government organizations attended Parlier Earth Day in April, where about 2000 local residents increased their awareness of how these groups can help them. Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center provided information on how we work on integrated pest management strategies and uses for biopesticides to help ensure an abundant supply of affordable and safe food. Attendees were very interested in discussing how this work at Kearney directly helped them.
Rodolfo Cisneros sharing information about Kearney with a local resident at the 2014 Parlier Earth Day.
Summer is upon us, and nothing quite says summer more than eating freshly picked blueberries or using them in delicious desserts. California blueberry growers can find an additional treat – the newly published UC IPM Pest Management Guidelines for blueberry on the UC IPM web site. California is quickly becoming a top producer of blueberries, and the new guidelines can help with management information on blueberry pests such as thrips, light brown apple moth, and spotted wing drosophila with additional information on pesticides and resistance.
It may be hard to believe but as of 1996, blueberry production was limited to colder states like Washington, Michigan, New Jersey, and Oregon, where naturally acidic soils and winter climates suit the traditional highbush varieties. As recently as 1997, California blueberries were only growing on less than 200 acres across the state. According to the latest CDFA statistics, 2012 continued to show what has been an increasing trend for California blueberries, with more than 40 million pounds harvested, $133 million sold, and plantings in more than 4,700 acres spanning San Joaquin, Tulare, Kern, Ventura, and Fresno counties.
In 1995 the University of California Small Farms Program and cooperating farmers started evaluating low-chill southern highbush varieties in San Luis Obispo and Ventura counties. They found that “low-chill” southern highbush varieties offered the most promise for extended season production on the central coast. By 1997, Kearney Agricultural Center trials found that southern highbush cultivars were also well adapted to the semiarid climate of the San Joaquin Valley. Further evaluations identified the best yielding and flavorful cultivars. Initial and ongoing UC Small Farms studies have escalated California blueberry production swiftly up the learning curve, providing California farmers of small to moderate operations a niche in a very competitive market.
Today, California blueberries are harvested from May through July in the San Joaquin Valley and January through May on the central coast. While consumer demands are on the rise and profits can be excellent, producing and harvesting blueberries in California is expensive. It can run over $10,000 per acre to prepare a field because successful cultivation in many areas necessitates soil and irrigation water acidification and adding tons of mulch per acre. Specialized equipment, labor-intensive pruning, and pests like light brown apple moth, thrips, and spotted wing drosophila can add substantially to cost. Therefore, getting the right information and planning is imperative. While the UC Small Farms Program continues to develop field and market research for blueberry production in California, growers can also turn to the newly published Pest Management Guidelines for blueberries.
Blueberry plant in California.
It's off to Berlin for integrated pest management (IPM) specialist Frank Zalom, professor and...
IPM specialist Frank Zalom. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)