Backyard Orchard News
On your tour of World Ag Expo 2015, make sure to come by the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) exhibits at Pavilion A and B (northwest corner of the Expo), clustered at booths 1411, 1412, 1512 and 1513.
Booth 1411 - UC Cooperative Extension, Tulare County office
Serving local Californians since 1913, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) maintains offices throughout the state through a partnership between local county governments, UC ANR, and the US Department of Agriculture. UC Cooperative Extension advisors help identify and solve local problems through research and educational programs that focus on the evolving needs of growers, youth, families, agencies, policy makers and the general public.
Staff will provide specialized programming for an Agriculture Day (Tuesday, Feb. 10), a 4-H/Nutrition Day (Wednesday, Feb. 11), and a UC Master Gardener Day (Thursday, Feb. 12).
The Research and Extension Center System (RECS), which extends from the Oregon border in the north, through the Sierra Foothills and Central Valley, and along the Pacific Coast and south to the border of Mexico, includes sites in a wide variety of California ecosystems, allowing researchers and extension educators to effectively address regional challenges and issues. It is the only UC statewide program that can provide researchers with a premier research management organization including land, labor, facilities and equipment, in a wide variety of real-world, outdoor growing environments, where they can pursue new knowledge for the benefit of agricultural and resource science, industry, and the general public.
Centers are also focal points for community participation and active involvement in finding ways to address current and relevant regional agricultural and natural resource challenges. The RECS centers support projects involving county-based cooperative extension advisors and campus-based research specialists, as well as researchers from Land-Grant institutions in other states, the California State University (CSU) system and USDA as they conduct their research and education programs.
Booth 1412 - UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center (KARE)
Officially dedicated in 1965, KARE has achieved international acclaim for leadership in the development of new fruit, nut and grape varieties, innovative cultural and irrigation practices, pest and disease management techniques, and new understandings of postharvest biology. KARE plays a leadership role in maintaining the quality of California's rural environment, with programs in air, soil and water quality and mosquito management.
Booth 1512 - UC ANR Lindcove REC (LREC)
Established in 1959 by San Joaquin Valley citrus growers, Lindcove REC covers more than 100 acres growing more than 400 citrus varieties. At LREC, scientists conduct research to evaluate new varieties of citrus and improved citrus-growing techniques and new ways to manage pests. Extension educational programs carry the practical results of this research to citrus industry clientele and the general public.
Booth 1513 - University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources
Come learn more about the University of California's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, our history, and our research and programs across the state. You can also download our Cultivating California brochure.
UC ANR is a statewide network of University of California researchers and educators dedicated to providing individuals, communities, and industries with science-based information and solutions to address the important issues California is currently facing.
- 4 Agricultural Experiment Station – UC campus-based research
- Research and Extension Centers (REC)
- 50+ UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) County Offices
- 6 statewide programs focused on high-priority concerns
- Agricultural Issues Center (AIC)
- California Naturalist Program
- IGIS - Informatics and Geographic Information Systems
- Integrated Pest Management
- Master Gardener Program
- Sustainable Agricultural Research and Education Program (SAREP)
- Youth, Families and Communities Program
UC ANR is an engine for problem solving, working with industry to develop and improve agricultural markets, help keep a good balance in international trade, address environmental concerns, protect plant health, and provide farmers with scientifically tested production techniques and the tools necessary to maintain a safe food supply for consumers.
Other UC ANR booths:
- Outdoor booth M54 - UC Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation (CASI) –
CASI has over 2,100 university, farmer, National Resources Conservation Service, and private-sector partners working to develop and evaluate a wide range of cropping system alternatives for California's diverse cropping sectors. The practical coupling of agricultural production and strategies for water conservation via efficient tillage and irrigation are important aspects of CASI's current work.
- Booth 6014 - UC Davis Veterinary Medicine Teaching and Research Center
- Booths 8013 & 8014 - UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences
Map of the UC ANR network.
Girl scouts, parents and scout leaders investigated pest management and agricultural careers at the GIRL Expo organized by Girl Scouts of Central California South on January 24, 2015. The annual scouting event attracts more than 1,200 visitors from Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties for a day of “learning by doing” and inspiring girls to take action for their planet and their communities.
Roberta Barton and Julie Sievert represented UC ANR Kearney Agricultural, West Side and Lindcove Research and Extension Centers at an interactive information booth in the “CSI” area. In keeping with the crime scene investigation theme, different “crop science investigation” dioramas were presented containing clues to common pests and pest management methods. Girls and adults had fun using their powers of observation and child-sized magnifying glasses to identify the usual “suspect” for each scene from among a gallery of “wanted” mug shot posters for aphid, rodent, weed, Asian citrus psyllid, snail, and slug pests. Curious visitors were drawn to the REC booth to participate in the engaging hands-on learning activity, get seed packets, and have a chance to win a California Naturalist bug observation kit.
Roberta Barton helps girl scouts and adults identify pest damage, pests, and management strategies.
The two conferences will draw international scientists, Extension specialists, and agricultural industry professionals, among others.
Professor Ullman of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology and a former associate dean for Undergraduate Academic Programs, UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, is a key organizer, along with George Kennedy of the North Carolina State University Department of Entomology, Neil McRoberts of the UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology and Robert Kemerait of University of Georgia.
The first conference, to take place May 14-16, is “Enhancing Risk Index-Driven Decision Tools for Managing Insect-Transmitted Plant Pathogens,” sponsored by the USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture's Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (USDA NIFA/AFRI). Ullman is co-principal investigator of the five-year, $3.75 million grant awarded in 2012 from the USDA AFRI/NIFA to develop and implement a national scientific and educational network to limit thrips-caused crop losses. This conference will convene experts in modelling, risk assessment, and innovative IPM technology in an intimate setting to discuss the latest breakthroughs in modelling insect vectored plant pathogen threats and mobile applications for risk assessment and management strategy assessment. Early bird registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15t and can be accessed at registration and poster abstract submission ends March 15 and can be accessed at http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Registration/ and http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/ respectively.
The second conference is the Xth International Symposium on Thysanoptera and Tospoviruses, to be held May 16-20. "This meeting is the tenth in a series of international symposia that, over 30 years, have grown to be the dominant vehicle and venue for information exchange between scientists investigating problems related to thrips and tospoviruses around the world," Ullman said. "These symposia have been instrumental in extending knowledge and producing new solutions and innovations in thrips and tospovirus management worldwide, by providing a forum for sharing research findings and integrating fundamental and applied knowledge."
Thrips are tiny insects that pierce and suck fluids from hundreds of species of plants, including tomatoes, grapes, strawberries and soybeans. The pests cause billions of dollars in damage to U.S. agricultural crops as direct pests and in transmitting plant viruses in the genus Tospovirus, such as Tomato spotted wilt virus. “There are 23 additional approved and emerging tospovirus genotypes transmitted by at least 14 thrips species (Thysanoptera: Thripidae),” said Ullman, who has been researching thrips and tospoviruses since 1987.
The May 14-16 workshop will feature speakers and discussions focused on development and deployment of risk index-driven tools for the management of vector-borne diseases, including modelling, epidemiology, risk assessment and user interfaces. Researchers will discuss decision tools, risk assessment in managing insect vectors and pathogens in crops, and accomplishments, challenges and gaps. Early registration is underway. Scientists are invited to submit abstracts (see http://ucanr.edu/sites/tospo/Participate/)
The May 16-20 symposium will feature presentations of common interest to both insect and virus research areas during morning sessions and a poster session. It will also include specialized discussions, and contributed presentations in the afternoon and evening.
“This is a unique opportunity to convene leading international scientists, extension specialists, and individuals in the agricultural industry to share and discuss the latest findings in thrips and tospovirus biology, ecology and management,” said Ullman. Registration is now underway. Scientists who seek to participate are invited to submit poster and contributed talk abstracts, Ullman said. The deadline to submit abstracts is March 15 (http://ucanr.edu/sites/ISTT10/Participate/).
It's going to be a busy seven days--May 14-20--at the Asilomar Conference Center...
UC Davis entomologist Diane Ullman is a key organizer of the two conferences focusing on insect-vectored pathogens. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Visitors to the University of California, Davis campus can visit six museums at the fourth annual Biodiversity Museum Day.
It's a week after Super Bowl Sunday, and by then all talk about deflated footballs may have ended.
The UC Davis Biodiversity Museum Day will take place Sunday, Feb. 8 from 12 noon to 4 p.m., and will showcase the Bohart Museum of Entomology, Center for Plant Diversity, the Botanical Conservatory, the Paleontology Collection, the Anthropology Collection, and the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology.
“Each museum's impressive research/teaching collection documents the biodiversity of life in California and throughout the world, whether it be plants, fossils, human culture, insects or birds,” said co-coordinator Tabatha Yang, education and outreach coordinator for the Bohart Museum.
All participating museums have active education and outreach programs, but the collections are not always accessible to the public. On Sunday, Feb. 8 they will be.
It's billed as a special day to go behind-the-scenes to learn how scientists conduct research; gain first-hand educational experience; and to see some of the curators' favorite pieces. Visitors are invited to explore displays, talk to scientists and students, and participate in fun activities.
There is no admission, and parking is free, too. Visitors are encouraged to stroll or bike around the UC Davis campus and see all six collections. All are located indoors. Maps, signs and guides will be available. Click to download map.
- Bohart Museum of Entomology, Room 1124 of Academic Surge, Crocker Lane (off LaRue Road)
- Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology, 1394 Academic Surge, Crocker Lane
- UC Davis Botanical Conservatory, Kleiber Hall Drive
- Center for Plant Diversity, Sciences Laboratory Building, off Kleiber Hall Drive, near Briggs Hall
- Anthropology Collections, Young Hall, off A Street
- Geology Collections, Earth and Physical Sciences Building, across from Academic Surge Building, Crocker Lane
Biodiversity Museum Day's Facebook page provides more information. For further information, you can also contact co-coordinator Ernesto Sandoval at the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory at email@example.com or (530) 752-0569.
A Madagascar hissing cockroach crawls on the arm of a visitor at the Bohart Museum of Entomology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Olivia Dally, a UC Davis grad who received her degree in wildlife fish and conservation biology in 2012, preparing specimens at the third annual Biodiversity Day. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
The skull of an Asian elephant, displayed last year by the Museum of Wildlife and Fish Biology. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
Visitors enjoying the UC Davis Botanical Conservatory. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
And we have a winner!
Drum roll...Art Shapiro...
Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at the University of California, Davis, who sponsors the annual Beer-for-a-Butterfly Contest to collect scientific data, snagged the first cabbage white butterfly of the year at 12:30 p.m.. Monday, Jan. 26 in West Sacramento, Yolo County.
“The cabbage white butterfly (Pieris rapae) finally came out today (Jan. 26),” he said.
And, it's a boy!
Shapiro figured this would be the day. Sunshine filtered through the high clouds in the morning, so it was relatively warm when Shapiro set out at 11.15 a.m. for a mustard patch near the railroad tracks. In fact, he was so “sufficiently sure” that Monday would be the day that he took his net “and was prepared to sweep the vegetation with it to kick up any individuals that were sunbathing (“dorsal basking”) in the dilute sunlight in order to raise their body temperature to the level needed for flight.”
But that wasn't necessary. “The sun came out strongly at 12.11 and the butterfly, a male, took wing spontaneously 19 minutes later,“ he related. ““It was a very easy catch; I suspect he emerged this morning (Jan. 26) and that was his first flight.”
Shapiro has sponsored the contest since 1972 to determine when the cabbage white will first emerge in the three-county area of Sacramento, Yolo and Solano. It's all part of his 43-year study of climate and butterfly seasonality. “It is typically one of the first butterflies to emerge in late winter.”
Although the first flight of the cabbage white has been as late as Feb. 22, it is emerging earlier and earlier as the regional climate has warmed, said Shapiro. “There have been only two occasions in the 21stcentury in which it has come out this late: Jan 26, 2006 and Jan 31, 2011.
“It's obvious that a dry January doesn't guarantee an early emergence!” Shapiro said. ”The very wet December of 2014 laid the groundwork for tule fog this month, which we hadn't really seen since the drought began. The cold, foggy weather certainly played a role in delaying emergence.”
Ten minutes after collecting the cabbage white, a second species, the mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa) showed up. “It hibernates as an adult and is always an early flier, but this was its first record on the floor of the Sacramento Valley this year—it's been out about two weeks in the lower Coast Range,” Shapiro said.
Five minutes later, at 12.45, a third species showed up: a male fiery skipper (Hylephila phyleus) that landed momentarily literally at Shapiro's feet. It was the earliest he's ever recorded. “This is a much more significant record than the others,” he said, explaining that the fiery skipper “normally is first recorded around here in March or even April. Last year it set a new early record in the Valley—Feb. 21, in Rancho Cordova, Sacramento County.—the only February Valley record in our 43-year database. It was last seen in 2014 on Dec. 1, also in Rancho Cordova. However, there are two January records at the Suisun Marsh, Solano County: Jan. 3, 1996 and Jan. 28, 2000.
Of the fiery skipper, Shapiro noted: “The first was certainly a late carryover of the fall 1995 brood, which was still flying on Dec. 14. “ The species wasn't seen again until the start of the spring brood on March 31, 1996. The 2000 record is more ambiguous. The last Suisun sighting in 1999 was on Dec. 11 and the first spring sighting was very late, May 24, 2000.
“The last fall-brood sighting of the fiery skipper was on Nov. 9, 2014, making it exceedingly unlikely that this was a late individual from that brood,” Shapiro said.
In 2014, Shapiro netted the winning cabbage white butterfly at 12:20 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14 in West Sacramento, Yolo County. It ranked as "the fifth or sixth earliest since 1972.”
Shapiro has won the contest every year except three. Graduate student Adam Porter defeated him in 1983; and graduate students Sherri Graves and Rick VanBuskirk each won in the late 1990s.
The contest rules specify that it be an adult (no caterpillars or pupae and that it be captured outdoors. It must be live when delivered to the department office, 2320 Storer Hall, UC Davis.
Shapiro has monitored central California's butterfly populations for 43 years and posts information on his website.
Art Shapiro, distinguished professor of evolution and ecology at UC Davis, holds the first cabbage white butterfly of 2015. He collected it Jan. 26 in West Sacramento, Yolo County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)