Posts Tagged: lygus
When the University of California decided to provide geospatial support to its scientists at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in 2000, they tapped Kris Lynn-Patterson, an experienced teacher and information systems technologist, to lay the groundwork. Geographic information systems academic coordinator Lynn-Patterson retired in June.
Lynn-Patterson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in geography/climatology at Fresno State University and taught weather, climate landforms and global information systems classes there as a full-time lecturer for five years and part-time at State Center Community College for 10 years.
In 1990, while still teaching part time, she took a new position as a climatologist with a crop insurance firm.
“We were embarking on a brand-new initiative in the crop insurance business using remote sensing and spatial imagery to appraise losses from weather events,” Lynn-Patterson said.
In 2000, she again broke ground by introducing geospatial technologies to agricultural research at Kearney. Geospatial technologies now allow scientists to take a broader view of landscapes than is possible from the field level.
For example, Lynn-Patterson worked with Pete Goodell, UC Cooperative Extension advisor with the Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, to understand the migration of lygus bugs through the San Joaquin Valley’s mosaic of diverse crops. In the spring, lygus can reproduce in lush vegetation on foothills surrounding the San Joaquin Valley. As the plants dry when the weather warms and rain stops, the lygus begin looking for a new home in valley agriculture, including cotton, which suffers severe economic losses from lygus.
By combining observations made on the ground with GIS mapping technology, Goodell was able to determine the areas in the San Joaquin Valley where cotton is most likely to have lygus problems in mid-summer. Where alfalfa is scarce, cotton fields absorb the migrating bugs. But where alfalfa is close to cotton fields, the alfalfa acts as a lygus sponge and spares cotton most of the damage.
Recently, Lynn-Patterson and her staff, in collaboration with the Citrus Pest and Disease Prevention Program, have been engaged in mapping cropping patterns in the Central Valley citrus belt. This geographic database will provide information needed to ensure quick action when Asian citrus psyllids or huanglongbing disease is found.
Last year, the Kearney GIS program became part of a larger UC Agriculture and Natural Resources statewide program called Informatics and Geographic Information Systems. IGIS is organizing and preparing data pertaining to agriculture and natural ecosystems statewide and making the information accessible on the web.
Lynn-Patterson has a full retirement planned. She is establishing a non-profit animal rescue organization, “Four Feet Inn,” that will connect homeless dogs, horses and other animals with foster families.
“My goal is to find a path to get animals off the street and into no-kill shelters,” Lynn-Patterson said. “I love animals and I love people who want to help animals, so facilitating this connection is what my spirit wants to do.”
Lynn-Patterson is also pursuing a writing career. She has already completed the first novel in a trilogy and begun work on the second. Both of these hobbies she plans to combine via the Internet with travels around the United States and Canada in a motor home.
The Geographic Information Systems (GIS) team at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center is growing this year. The program will add two positions in the coming months with new grant funding as more scientists recognize the value of employing spatial mapping in their agricultural research, said Kris Lynn-Patterson, the GIS Academic Coordinator at Kearney.
In one of the new projects, the Kearney GIS team will work with Beth Grafton-Cardwell, a UC Riverside citrus entomology specialist and director of the UC Lindcove Research and Extension Center, to provide the spatial information necessary to better manage Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and the possible future occurrence of Huanglongbing, a devastating citrus disease that the psyllid can spread. ACP was introduced into California in 2008; large populations are now established in urban areas of San Diego, Imperial, Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Riverside counties. Huanglongbing has not been detected in California to date. The California Department of Food and Agriculture and citrus growers are treating urban and agricultural areas of infestation to prevent ACP spread and Huanglongbing introduction.
GIS will be used to document the locations of ACP infestations and the disease, and analyze the risk and rate of spread from the urban areas into commercial citrus. The research is funded by a five-year grant from UC Agriculture and Natural Resources to conduct risk assessment, economic analysis and extension education for Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing disease management in California.
Kearney GIS also secured a contract with the Citrus Research Board to map all commercial citrus orchard locations and boundaries in California.
“This will go hand in hand with the Asian citrus psyllid research,” Lynn-Patterson said. “Currently a seamless GIS map layer of this type doesn’t exist, but is badly needed to facilitate the effective use of GIS in an area-wide pest management program.”
Another source of funding for the GIS program has been Cotton Incorporated and the California Cotton Alliance for continuing work with Kearney-based UC integrated pest management advisor Pete Goodell. GIS is critical to understanding the movement of lygus bugs through the San Joaquin Valley’s diverse cropping landscapes and the relationship between crops that act as sources (places from which lygus originate) or sinks (crops into which lygus move). Throughout the year, lygus feed on various crops and weeds, and when these become unsuitable, they move into cotton, where lygus costs farmers nearly $19 million in yield loss each year.
The GIS team will build on the existing Lygus Community Mapping Program by incorporating lygus monitoring data, and delivering the program through smart mobile devices, such as 3G- and 4G-compatible cell phones and tablets.
See Kearney’s Web-based GIS website for more information on the program.
A land use map that is part of the lygus project.