University of California, Division of Agricultural and Natural Resources

UC Davis Will be at World Ag Expo!

Associate Dean Oberbauer to join UC Davis agricultural experts at World Ag Expo

(Pictured are UC Davis Aggie Ambassadors, who will on hand to greet expo-goers.)

Associate Dean Anita Oberbauer with the UC Davis College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences will gather with fellow scientists, staff and students at the World Ag Expo in Tulare, February 11-13, to chat with farmers, prospective students, alumni and leaders throughout the agricultural industry.

More than 100,000 people are expected to attend the 53rd annual event, where 1,400 exhibitors display cutting-edge agricultural technology and equipment over a massive 2.6 million square feet of show grounds.

“I’m delighted to take part in this incredible agricultural exhibition,” said Oberbauer, who is associate dean of agricultural sciences for the college and a professor in animal science. “I look forward to discussing the college’s latest development in agricultural research, meeting prospective students and reconnecting with alumni and friends from the Central Valley and beyond.”

Professor Oberbauer will be at the UC Davis booth—located in the Ag Career and Education Center—from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 13. She will be joined by Christopher Glick, associate dean for development and external relations, who will attend the expo all three days. The UC Davis booth has been expanded this year to provide extra space for alumni and others to gather.

Throughout the event, various college experts in livestock, nutrition, plant pathology, engineering, economics and more will be available to discuss agricultural issues and visit with attendees. Aggie Ambassadors and undergraduate student advisors will be on hand to answer questions about UC Davis majors and campus life.

“Prospective students can learn about our majors and the career paths they provide,” said Sue Ebeler, associate dean of undergraduate academic programs and professor in viticulture and enology. Ebeler will be at the UC Davis booth on Feb. 13.

In addition to Associate Deans Oberbauer, Glick and Ebeler, college experts attending the expo include:

  • Deanne Meyer, Cooperative Extension specialist in livestock waste management, who will be available all days
  • Rachael Goodhue, department chair and professor in agricultural and resource economics, who will be available Feb. 11
  • Florent Trouillas, assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in plant pathology, who will be at the expo Feb. 11
  • Farzaneh Khorsandi, assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in biological and agricultural engineering, will be available Feb. 11 and Feb. 12
  • Gerado Mackenzi, associate professor of nutrition, will be available Feb. 12
  • Patricia Oteiza, nutrition professor, will be available on Feb. 12.

UC Davis is ranked first in the nation for agriculture, plant sciences, animal science and agricultural economics. The College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences enrolled more than 2,000 new students in the fall of 2019, many of them from California’s Central Valley. The college offers 28 majors—everything from agriculture to nutrition to global disease biology.

“The World Ag Expo is an incredible event,” Ebeler said. “We get to meet with leaders from around the world, as well as with the passionate young people who are the future of agriculture.”

 

 

2021-05-12T11:05:01-07:00February 7th, 2020|

Giving Tuesday Big for UC

Giving Tuesday Donations Exceed UC ANR Expectations

By Pam Kan-Rice, UC Agriculture & Natural Resources

On Giving Tuesday 2019, donors gave $130,311 over 24 hours for UC Cooperative Extension, statewide programs and research and extension centers that make up the University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources network.

The donations will help UC Agriculture and Natural Resources extend the power of UC research in agriculture, natural resources, nutrition, and youth development to more Californians in their own communities to improve their lives.

“The generosity of our donors will help us keep 4-H leadership-building activities affordable for California kids, and fund research into living with wildfire, farming in a changing climate, healthier foods, pest control for home and environment, and many other issues that concern Californians,” said Glenda Humiston, UC vice president for agriculture and natural resources.

“UC ANR researchers and educators are working in every county to bring practical, science-based answers to residents wherever they live in the state,” noted Humiston.

Thanks to generous donors, volunteers, staff and board members who gave a total of $40,000 in matching funds, there was an incentive for donors across the state who wanted to double the impact of their gifts.

“We set a goal of collecting a total of $125,000 for 4-H and UC ANR from more than 500 donors on Giving Tuesday,” said Emily Delk, UC ANR director of annual giving and donor stewardship. In all, UC ANR received 580 donations on Giving Tuesday.

Donations are still being accepted to boost UC ANR programs and research for a healthier California. To give, visit http://donate.ucanr.edu.

To learn more about how UC ANR is helping your community, visit https://ucanr.edu/About/Locations and follow @ucanr on social media.

2019-12-12T14:14:30-08:00December 12th, 2019|

Climate-Smart Team Announced for Farmers

UC Cooperative Extension Deploys Team of 10 to Help Farmers Practice Climate-Smart Agriculture

By Jeannette Warnert, UCANR Communications Specialist

Scientists are developing climate-smart farming practices, California is offering financial incentives to implement them, and now a group of 10 UC Cooperative Extension climate-smart educators are taking the program to the next level.

To help farmers apply for grants to improve soil quality and enhance irrigation systems, UC Agriculture and Natural Resources partnered with the California Department of Food and Agriculture to put climate smart educators in 10 California communities.  The educators are working closely with UCCE advisors to help farmers and ranchers improve soil health, irrigation practices and manure management.

The climate smart programs offered by CDFA and promoted by UC ANR educators are:

The educators provide hands-on assistance to farmers and ranchers through the complex application process, conduct field days with climate-smart farmers, establish demonstration plots to share the practices, and work with farmers who are voluntarily implementing climate-smart farming.

Most of the educators were hired in early 2019, just weeks before the application deadline. They are now gearing up for a second cycle of applications. The state funded 194 projects in 2018, and 217 in 2019.

Each of the educators has a passion for agriculture and the environment, shaped by their upbringing, experiences and education.

“I am interested in carrying out research that focuses on the adoption and economics of climate change best management practices. The practices should help farmers continue their business,” said Esther Mosase, climate-smart educator in San Diego County. “I’m interested in seeing policymakers making policies that have a farmer as a focal point. They have been here long, they have been tilling the land, they can also contribute in coming up with better solutions that reduce climate change.”

The state is providing incentives for farmers to improve soil health in order to moderate the conditions that are driving global climate change. Improving soil health increases its ability to store carbon and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Side benefits include improved water infiltration, nutrient cycling and dust control.

Farmers can apply for three-year grants to implement new practices on their farm, such as reducing tillage, growing cover crops and applying compost. Conventional farm practices turn the earth, releasing the stored carbon back into the atmosphere.

UCCE’s 10 new climate-smart educators are:

Britta Baskerville
UC Cooperative Extension, Mendocino County
blbaskerville@ucanr.edu, (707) 463-4158

Baskerville started college as a theater major in Sacramento, then realized that wouldn’t result in a viable career. After suffering from an autoimmune disease tied to microbiome health, she began to understand the important role of the food and agricultural industries in public health. Baskerville earned a bachelor’s degree from UC Berkeley that combines sustainable agriculture with the sociological and ecological impacts of agriculture, natural resources conservation and public health.

Last summer, Baskerville served as a program coordinator in an adaptive agriculture learning environment, where she designed two practicum programs for adults. She is considering a career in the food industry.

Caddie Bergren
UC Cooperative Extension, Merced County
cmbergren@ucanr.edu, (209) 385-7403

Bergren grew up in a small fishing town on an island in Alaska. She earned a bachelor’s degree in earth systems at Stanford University in 2013, and then spent two and a half years in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer. Bergren worked with a women’s garden cooperative and with subsistence farmers. She spent the last three years as a community organizer.

“I was so excited to find this job, which combines my interests in working directly with all kinds of people on the intersection of agriculture and climate change,” Bergren said. “I’ve especially enjoyed using my Spanish-language skills to work with traditionally underserved farmers in this area.”

Dana Brady
UC Cooperative Extension, Glenn County
dmbrady@ucanr.edu
, (530) 517-8187

Brady completed a bachelor’s degree in animal science at Chico State University in 2018. She was familiar with UC Cooperative Extension through school and had visited UCCE research sites.

Brady grew up in a farming and ranching family in rural Linden, southeast of Stockton.

“My earliest memory is of my grandfather’s farm, where he had an emu, donkey and llama,” she said. “I was in 4-H and FFA as long as I can remember.”

In addition to working directly with farmers on grant applications, Brady has been helping advisors in Glenn County on research projects and building relationships in the community through workshops and seminars.

“I am also very excited for an upcoming event at an elementary school farm day to present about Climate Smart Agriculture and presenting at some bigger events later this year with a few others in the cohort,” Brady said.

Samikshya (Sami) Budhathoki
UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno and Madera counties
sbudhathoki@ucanr.edu, (559) 241-7515

A native of Nepal, Budhathoki traveled to the United States in 2015 to attend college at Fresno State, where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in plant science. During her studies, she completed a weed and salinity management project with professor Anil Shrestha. Budhathoki served as an intern in plant pathology with Bayer Crop Science.

She developed in interest in agriculture because of the industry’s importance to society and the world.

“Some people don’t get enough to eat even once a day. I wanted to join the effort to end world hunger and food insecurity,” Budhathoki said.

Budhathoke said she also is concerned about climate change and welcomes the opportunity to help farmers maintain a sustainable agriculture industry even in the face of climate change.

In the future, she plans to pursue graduate studies in climate change or water management.

Emily Lovell
UC Cooperative Extension, Yolo, Solano and Sacramento counties
ejlovell@ucanr.edu, (530) 405-9777

Lovell grew up in Sacramento and developed an interest in agriculture when she was overcoming a serious illness. She graduated from UC Davis in 2016 with a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture and food systems.

“Originally, I didn’t want to make money in agriculture,” she said. “I wanted to live off the land. I believe farming is a political act and I wanted to help return power to the people through farming and land ownership.”

Lovell said she is interested in pursuing a graduate degree in an area that combines community resiliency through localized food systems and economics and, eventually, becoming a crop adviser.

Esther Mosase
San Diego County
enmosase@ucanr.edu, (858) 282-6737

Mosase has a master’s degree in agricultural engineering from Botswana College of Agriculture and a doctorate from South Dakota State University in civil engineering. Her master’s research focused on water resources, watershed modeling and management.

Raised in a farming family in Botswana, Mosase experienced the impact of climate change firsthand.

“I remember we had drought years, normal years and extremely wet years,” she said. “Twenty years ago, it was not uncommon for open water to freeze. But now we get mild winters and very hot summers. Rain-fed agriculture is now a risky enterprise compared to two decades ago.”

In addition to helping farmers with the climate-smart farming grant applications, Mosase is helping farmers cope with water quality concerns.

“For instance, one farmer wanted to improve the water quality at the edge of his avocado and citrus farm before it enters the stream. He also wanted to be helped with pools of standing water in the farm that usually affect the health of avocado trees,” Mosase said. “We advised him on what to do regarding the standing water, but for the edge of the field treatment, we decided to install bioreactors.”

Mosase will help collect field data on the bioreactors’ effectiveness and plans to publish the results.

Valerie Perez
UC Cooperative Extension, Santa Cruz County
valperez@ucanr.edu, (831) 763-8028

Perez earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural business at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo in 2018. She accepted an internship with a large animal veterinarian, and found her passion, she said. In addition to working as a climate smart community educator, Perez is taking prerequisite courses for veterinary school. She hopes her career will lead to conducting research to benefit the meat industry.

“I’ve always been interested in ways to better agriculture and how our systems could improve, but it wasn’t until I received this job that my interest for climate-smart agriculture really peaked,” Perez said. “Agriculture is such an important industry, it is vital that we find ways to educate one another on how to better what we have been doing for so many years.”

Allison Rowe
UC Cooperative Extension, Ventura County
amrowe@ucanr.edu
, (805) 645-1464

Rowe has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Colorado College in Colorado Springs and a master’s degree from the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management at UC Santa Barbara. Her background and interests focus on the interface of land management and climate change.

“Everyone and everything is interwoven with our food system and yet so much of how we produce food accelerates climate change,” Rowe said. “I enjoy being at the interface of science and education, where the rubber meets the road. I wanted to find a role where I could work with people on the ground and implement solutions to climate change while contributing to resilient farming economies.”

She said it is encouraging to see that farmers and ranchers are interested in climate-smart agriculture and welcome the technical assistance.

Kristian Salgado
UC Cooperative Extension, Imperial County
kmsalgado@ucanr.edu, (442) 265-7700

Salgado attended San Diego State University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in 2014 with a double major in psychology and environmental studies and minors in counseling and social change. She earned a master’s degree in social science at Humboldt State University in 2018.

“My background in agriculture is very broad ranging, from topics relating to public health concerns connected to agriculture production – pesticide drift and agricultural burning – to food insecurity in low-income communities,” Salgado said.

Salgado is a native of Calexico, a city located across the border from its sister city, Mexicali, Mexico. Her farming experience centers on urban agriculture.

“Growing food on non-agricultural land has allowed me to learn the technical/scientific processes that go into growing food,” she said.

Salgado plans to continue her education in a doctoral program in ethnic studies at UC San Diego, where she can focus on several overlapping areas of interest, including race studies, food justice, sustainable agriculture, climate change, environmental decision-making processes, and participatory action research methodology and practices.

Shulamit Shroder
UC Cooperative Extension, Kern County
sashroder@ucanr.edu, (661) 868-2168

Shroder attended college at the University of Maryland in College Park, earning bachelor’s degrees in environmental science and policy and in Spanish language, literature and cultures. She has worked in an agricultural research lab, in the gardens at the University of Maryland and in a nearby organic farm. After graduating in 2016, Shroder volunteered with the Peace Corps in Senegal, West Africa, where she trained farmers on gardening and agroforestry techniques and extended improved varieties of staple crops like beans, corn, millet and sorghum.

“While serving in Senegal, I saw firsthand the effects of desertification and erratic rainfall on the ability of the community to feed itself,” she said

Shroder intends to earn a master’s degree and continue to research and promote sustainable agriculture techniques.

2019-12-06T17:15:40-08:00December 5th, 2019|

Mating Disruption For NOW Works

Trials Show that Mating Disruption Works Well to Offset NOW Damage

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Mating disruption for navel orangeworm works. David Haviland is a UCANR, farm advisor, Kern County. “We all know navel orangeworm is not a simple pest to control and it takes an integrated pest management approach. We know the base of that sanitation—getting rid of all the mummies in the winter to make sure that we reset the clock when navel orangeworm comes back in the spring,” noted Haviland.

“We know that the earlier you harvest, the better you’re going to be. So early and timely harvest is going to help. We know insecticides helped. They’ve been around a while and they’re effective and, certainly, people are using them,” said Haviland. “At the same time, those three things alone don’t always control the pest to the level you need. And that’s where mating disruption can come in as the other leg on the IPM chair.”

Haviland has tested the mating disruption products. Currently, there are three different groups of products registered. There are the aerosol products that releases pheromone throughout at certain intervals throughout the season. The second group, what we call the Meso emitter, that’s a rubber strip that’s hung in the trees that passively releases the pheromone all year and the third group, which is new, is as a sprayable pheromone. It’s one that you put in the tank and you spray it along with an insecticide or fungicide.

“In 2017 trials the big take-home message this that all three of the aerosol products were effective. They all work well, as does the Meso emitter, so all those work about the same,” noted Haviland.

In 2017/2018 Haviland had larger trials that confirmed their previous results. “The earlier trial showed a 40 to 50% reduction in damage, while the later trial on larger acreage showed a 60 to 70% reduction in damage, which was a positive return on investment to the grower,” he said.  In 2018, Haviland conducted the first UC trial on sprayable pheromone products.  They did not work very well.

2021-05-12T11:01:45-07:00November 15th, 2019|

Summer Annual Weeds Need Control Now

Avoid Allowing Summer Annual Weeds Going to Seed

By Chris McDonald UCANR Inland and Desert Natural Resources Advisor, San Bernardino County

As the summer heat is finally nearing its end, and its officially fall on the calendar, there unfortunately is a new crop of weeds flowering right now. Some of our summer annuls have started to go to seed, others are just about ready, and others are already starting to senesce. In order to manage these weeds, managers must stop the plants from reproducing. With our summer annuals that means stopping the plants from producing seeds, right about now, (or maybe three weeks ago).

However, treating a giant tumbleweed right now isn’t really my favorite activity. I’d rather spend my time treating small tumbleweeds and working more effectively and also using less labor and/or herbicides to do it in the process. (Well I’d rather not have any tumbleweed in the first place.)

If treating the weeds when they are small is more efficient and uses less pesticides, when can we treat them at the smallest? To answer this, we need to know when our summer annuals germinate. When do our summer annuals germinate? There are several different germination periods for ‘summer’ annuals. Some of our summer annuals actually germinate in the winter to early spring from January to March, others germinate in the spring from March through May.

Weeds like yellow star thistle and stinkwort germinate in the winter from January to March. Tumbleweed and goat’s head germinate in the spring (March to May). Despite their different starting times, they will all grow during the late spring and summer as small plants hiding under a crop of larger weeds or in open areas, until they get large enough in the mid-summer to grow tall and more noticeable than our long dead winter weeds.

Other summer annual weeds, like spurges (such as spotted spurge,Euphorbia maculata, and also some other spurges), can germinate throughout the spring and summer as long as the soil is moist and warm. This summer annual can be much shorter lived than the other summer annuals mentioned above. In the desert, spurges might germinate after a monsoon, in other locations they might germinate in areas that have been irrigated or receive a little extra moisture or where the soil is moist.

The summer annuals on your property might be growing right now because of insufficient weed management in the winter and the spring! Other summer annuals might have germinated with the onset of high temperatures and need to be controlled in the early summer.

This pattern does not hold true for all species and all conditions, especially if irrigation continues throughout the spring and summer, or if there is a late spring storm or if summer monsoons deliver rains early. Sometimes even some of our winter annuals which should have flowered in February to April, germinate late in the season, and flower in June. It’s unusual and it does also happen.

If you can figure out what species of summer annual weed you have, then you may be able to figure out when it germinated and prioritize your weed treatments for that time period, in the winter and spring for some species and in the heat of summer for other species. Hopefully you will save yourself some time instead of letting them all grow into bigger and harder to treat summer annuals.

2021-05-12T11:01:46-07:00October 8th, 2019|

The Wonderment Elderberries

Elderberies Have Rich Benefits for Farms and Diets

By Jeannette Warnert, UCANR Communications Specialist

Native California elderberries can be found at the intersection of sustainable farming, super nutrition and economic viability. Naturally drought tolerant, flavorful and packed with nutrients, they are capturing the interest of farmers, health-conscious consumers and scientists.

Elderberries were the focus of a field day offered by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) in September at Cloverleaf Farm, an organic berry and tree fruit operation in Dixon.

Elderberries occur naturally around the world. In California, Native Americans used the tree’s stems for making flutes, berries for food and purple dye, and bark, leaves and flowers for their purported anti-inflammatory, diuretic and laxative properties.

“They had a relationship with the plant for food, medicine and music,” said SAREP academic coordinator Sonja Brodt. “We wish to honor the elderberry’s history here and thousands of years of management by California native tribes.”

UCCE Farm Advisor Rachael Long said elderberries can be used in a hedgerow designed to attract beneficial insects.

UC Cooperative Extension advisor Rachael Long said elderberries are her favorite native plant.

“They’re pretty in the spring and summer. The flowers smell like cloves. It’s a wonderful fragrance,” she said.

But perhaps the best attribute of elderberries for Long, a proponent of planting hedgerows on the edges of farmland, is the tree’s ecological benefits. Elderberries can be among the rows of trees, shrubs, grasses and sedges in hedgerows that attract beneficial insects and pollinators to farms to help with biocontrol of pests and pollination of plants in adjacent crops.

“Flowering native plants like elderberries, toyon, Christmas berry, coffee berry, manzanita and coyote brush provide nectar and pollen for native bees, honey bees and other insects,” Long said. “I see a lot of green lace wings (predators of aphids, spider mites and other pests) in elderberry.”

Long reported that a tomato farm didn’t have to spray as much for aphids because of the beneficial insects attracted by the hedgerow. “They saved $300 per acre each year,” she said.

Hedgerows require long-term planning and care, including weed control. Establishing a hedgerow costs about $4,000 for a 1,000-foot-long planting with a single row of shrubs and trees bordered by native perennial grasses. At that rate, Long has calculated that a return on investment in pest control takes about 15 years. For pollination, the return on investment is about 7 years.

Installation of hedgerows can be eligible for cost sharing with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service Environmental Quality Incentives Program. Costs can also be offset by harvesting the elderflowers and elderberries in the hedgerow and making value-added products – such as syrups and jams – or selling the flowers or berries to a processor.

Processing the mature elderberries with sugar allows small-scale producers to make deep purple elderberry syrup.

Farmer Katie Fyhrie shared how Cloverleaf Farm is managing elderberries in a hedgerow, harvesting flowers in the spring to make and bottle elderflower cordial, and harvesting berries in the fall to produce and bottle deep purple sweet-tart syrup. Sixteen ounce bottles of cordial and syrup sell for $12 each. The cordial and syrup are ideal for serving with seltzer and ice for a fruity and uniquely wild-tasting drink.

Elderberry Farmer Katie Fyhrie.

Fyhrie is also working with Brodt of SAREP to gather data for research on best production practices, farm and processing labor costs, and yield comparison between native plants and named varieties from the Midwest. The study includes data from three California farms.

The project is a collaboration among the UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (a program of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute at UC Davis), the UC Agricultural Issues Center, the UC Davis Department of Food Science and Technology and four farmers to assess the farm management practices, cost, nutritional content, and market potential of California elderberries.

While laboratory research comparing the nutritional characteristics of the California blue elderberry with the North American black and the European black is continuing at UC Davis, food science professor Alyson Mitchell and her graduate student Katie Uhl were able to share what is already known about the nutritional benefits of the fruit.

They said elderberries are high in vitamin C, dietary fiber, phenolic acids and anthocyanins. Elderberries contain antibacterial, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents. While they have a strong history as a treatment for colds and flu, more studies are needed to understand their medicinal use, Mitchell said.

The field day in Dixon was among the first outcomes of the two-year project. A growers’ production guide, cost of production study, an assessment of market demand and nutritional analyses are also planned. The information will be made available, along with other resources on elderberry cultivation and processing, on the ASI website.

2019-10-01T10:34:05-07:00October 1st, 2019|

Many Join the UC ANR Ranks

Eight academics joined the ranks of UC Cooperative Extension advisors, specialists and an academic coordinator over the last few months.

 

By Jeannette Warnert, Communications Specialist, UCANR

The new academics are:

Top Row from Left: Kamyar Aram, Marisa Coyne, Amer Fayad, and Joy Hollingsworth. Bottom row from left: Susana Matias, Joji Muramoto, Mohamed Nouri, and Kosana Suvocarev.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kamyar Aram
UCCE specialty crops advisor
Contra Costa County

Kamyar Aram joined UC ANR in August 2019 as UCCE advisor in specialty crops. He serves Contra Costa and Alameda counties. Previously, Aram was a post-doctoral scholar at UC Davis working on research and outreach for management of vectored grapevine diseases. He has bachelor’s degrees in plant biology and Latin from Ohio State University, a master’s degree in horticulture from Cornell University and a doctorate degree in plant pathology from UC Davis. His doctoral research focused on the life cycle of the Sudden Oak Death pathogen in aquatic environments. For his master’s thesis, Aram studied the use of compost as a source of nitrogen and to suppress soilborne diseases in vegetable production.

Aram can be reached at (925) 608-6692, kamaram@ucanr.edu.

Marisa Coyne
Academic Coordinator for Volunteer Engagement
Master Gardener statewide program

Marisa Coyne was named academic coordinator of volunteer engagement in the UC Master Gardener Statewide Program in April 2019. Previously, Coyne was a community education specialist at the UCCE office in Marin County, where she managed the 4-H Youth Development Program. Originally from Philadelphia, Coyne has worked in rural and urban communities and in food, agriculture and wilderness spaces, providing interdisciplinary, inquiry-based educational opportunities for learners of all ages. Coyne holds a bachelor’s degree in communications at Temple University and a master’s degree in community development at UC Davis.

Coyne can be reached at (530) 750-1394, macoyne@ucanr.edu.

Amer Fayad
Director, Western IPM Center
UC ANR headquarters

Amer Fayad joined UC ANR as director of the Western Integrated Pest Management Center in July 2019. He is a plant pathologist with research experience on the identification, epidemiology, biological and molecular diversity of viruses. Prior to joining UC ANR, Fayad served in several capacities at Virginia Tech, most recently as associate director and Africa program manager of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for IPM. Fayad has a bachelor’s degree in agriculture and a master’s degree in crop production from the American University of Beirut. He earned a doctorate degree in plant pathology, physiology and weed science from Virginia Tech.

Fayad can be reached at (530) 750-1271, afayad@ucanr.edu.

Joy Hollingsworth
UCCE nutrient management and soil quality advisor
Fresno County

Joy Hollingsworth was appointed nutrient management and soil quality advisor, serving Fresno, Kings, Madera and Tulare counties, in April 2019. Before taking her new position, she served as a staff research associate at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center in Parlier. Previous to that, Hollingsworth was a junior specialist in the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, where she designed and implemented agronomic field trials for canola, camelina, sugar beets and castor. Hollingsworth has a bachelor’s degree in communications and a master’s degree in plant science from Fresno State.

Hollingsworth can be reached at (559) 241-7527, joyhollingsworth@ucanr.edu.

Susana Matias
UCCE nutrition specialist
Statewide position, based at UC Davis

Susan Matias joined UC ANR in July 2019 as a UCCE specialist in the Department of Nutritional Sciences and Toxicology at UC Davis. Before coming to UCANR, Matias was a research scientist with the California Department of Public Health and a specialist at UC San Francisco. From 2013-18, she was an assistant project scientist in the Department of Nutrition at UC Davis. Matias has a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in educational psychology from Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú. She earned a doctorate degree in epidemiology from UC Davis, with an emphasis in international and community nutrition. Her research interests include maternal and child nutrition, immigrant health, food security, obesity and diabetes prevention.

Matias can be reached at (510) 642-0980, slmatias@berkeley.edu.

Joji Muramoto
UCCE organic production specialist
Statewide position, based at UC Santa Cruz

Joji Muramoto became UC ANR’s first organic production specialist in May 2019. He has a joint affiliation with UCCE and the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz. In his new role, Muramoto will coordinate a statewide program focused on fertility and pest management in organic production systems across the state. Muramoto has bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate degrees in soil chemistry from Tokyo University of Agriculture. He has conducted research and extension on fertility and soil-borne disease management in organic and conventional strawberry and vegetable production since 1996.

Muramoto can be reached at (831) 459-2178, jmuramoto@ucanr.edu.

Mohamed Nouri
Area UCCE orchard systems advisor
San Joaquin County

Mohamed Nouri joined UC ANR in April 2019 as an area orchard systems advisor serving San Joaquin County. He will conduct a research and extension program to address high-priority production and pest management issues in walnuts, sweet cherries, apples, oil olives and other crops. Because San Joaquin County is the statewide leader in cherry and walnut production, Nouri will be a regional and statewide leader, facilitating interaction among campus-based academics, UCCE advisors and community stakeholders. Previously, Nouri worked at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center as a graduate student and post-doctoral researcher. He performed research on fungal diseases of major fruit and nut crops. Nouri has a bachelor’s degree in life and earth sciences, a masters in microbiology and plant pathology and a doctorate degree in plant pathology, all from Tunis ElManar University.

Nouri can be reached at (209) 953-6115, mnouri@ucanr.edu.

Kosana Suvocarev
UCCE biometeorology specialist
Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis

Kosana Suvocarev joined UC ANR as a UCCE biometeorology specialist in March 2019. Before taking this position, she was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Arkansas, where she was part of a team effort focused on rice farming, water conservation and greenhouse gas emission reduction practices in the area of the Mississippi Alluvial Aquifer. Suvocarev earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia, and a doctorate degree at the University of Zaragoza, Spain.

2021-05-12T11:05:01-07:00September 20th, 2019|

California Oak Trees Harbor Insect-Eating Bats

Oak Trees in Vineyards a ‘Win-Win’ For Bats and Growers

By Pam Kan-Rice  UC ANR Assistant Director, News and Information Outreach

Californians love their oak trees. During vineyard development, Central Coast grape growers often feel compelled to leave an old iconic oak standing, even if it ends up right in the middle of their vineyard. While driving through the Central Coast, it’s not unusual to see the pattern of vineyard rows broken by a majestic oak tree. Aside from their beauty, what are some of the ecosystem services that these majestic trees provide?

To find answers, a UC Cooperative Extension scientist in San Luis Obispo County collaborated with a U.S. Forest Service scientist to study how bats use blue oak and valley oak trees in vineyards. UC Cooperative Extension specialist Bill Tietje, a co-author of the study, says they focused on bats that eat insects because bat populations have declined dramatically in some areas due to habitat loss and disease. “And bats don’t hurt grapes. As a matter of fact, thanks to the huge number of bugs they consume, bats could be very good for a vineyard.”

To understand the potential value of remnant oak trees for insectivorous bats, the researchers placed microphones to detect bat calls within 14 Central Coast vineyards. The recordings revealed 11 species of insectivorous bats foraged within the vineyards. Bat foraging activity was 1.5 times greater at the trees compared to open, tree-less areas within the vineyard. And the bigger the tree, the bigger the number of bats it attracted.

“The study results suggest that the large oak tree in my vineyard not only increases the beauty and biodiversity of the agricultural landscape, but also attracts insect-eating bats that can provide natural pest control—a win-win,” said grape grower Jerry Reaugh, who cooperated with the researchers.

In fact, the trees more than doubled the number of insectivorous bats called woodland-adapted bats within the vineyards. The study indicates that the oak trees attracted woodland-adapted bats that would normally be absent from vineyards.

Tietje hopes that the free insect-reduction services provided by bats will increase grape growers’ incentive to manage and maintain the trees, and even to plant new oak trees in suitable areas around their vineyard, in mutual benefit to both agriculture and biodiversity.

“In addition to their value for insectivorous bats, remnant trees maintain bird and insect diversity by providing food, habitat, cover and stepping stones that facilitate the movement of wildlife within agricultural landscapes,” said Tietje.

This study comes at a time when declining blue oak and valley oak populations are of great concern.

“We hope the study will increase awareness of these beautiful and beneficial trees and make the case for conservation and restoration,” Tietje said. “Preserving and enhancing biodiversity in the midst of climate change is key to ensuring resilience in our landscapes and communities.”

The study by University of Washington graduate student Anne Polyakov, Theodore Weller of USDA Forest Service and Tietje is published in the September 2019 edition of Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

 

2021-05-12T11:05:02-07:00September 2nd, 2019|

UCR’s Dr. Charles Coggins Memorial Service Sept. 7 2:00 pm

Coggins Served As Long Time Citrus Plant Pathologist

The family of Dr. Charlie Coggins would like to welcome all citrus industry friends to attend his memorial service at First Baptist Church 51 West Olive Avenue Redlands, California 92393

Charles W. Coggins, Jr. passed away on Aug 18, 2019 at the age of 88. Coggins served as Chairman of the Board of Directors for the California Citrus Quality Council from November 1992 to January 2008. In 2003, he was presented with CCQC’s highest honor, the Albert G. Salter Memorial award which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions to and achievements in the citrus industry.

Charles Coggin

Coggins was an industry pioneer who recognized the potential advances with plant growth regulators (PGRs), beginning with gibberellic acid (GA) and continuing with programs to retain 2,4-D. It was said that his research on PGRs has been described as the single most economically beneficial research result of the last century. He authored more than 100 technical publications and nearly 50 semi-technical publications that have proved to be invaluable tools for citrus growers worldwide. He was the recipient of numerous awards for his leadership, agricultural excellence and research accomplishments.

Coggins, Professor Emeritus of Plant Physiology, officially retired from the University of California Riverside in 1994. During his 37 years at the University, he served as Chairman of the UC Riverside Department of Plant Sciences and helped create the Department of Botany and Plant Sciences. He also served 15 years as Executive Secretary/Treasurer for the International Society of Citriculture. To help succeeding generations of researchers, Coggins created The Coggins Endowed Scholarship Fund at UCR to provide financial assistance for graduate students in the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences who demonstrate academic excellence, quality research and benefit to the citrus industry.

Charles Coggins inspecting citrus earlier in his career at UCR

He was born November 17, 1930 in North Carolina. He was proceeded in death by two sons from cystic fibrosis. He is survived by his wife Irene of 68 years, a son and four grandchildren. A memorial service is pending. In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to support his scholarship at UCR in honor of him, to the Parkinson’s disease foundation or cystic fibrosis charities. Cards can be sent to 819 Alden Road, Redlands, CA 92373.

2019-08-23T22:35:10-07:00August 26th, 2019|

Field Bindweed is A Struggle to Control

Field Bindweed Difficult to Manage

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor

Field Bindweed is a struggle in the summer months. Scott Stoddard, UCANR Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor, Merced County, discussed with California Ag Today how to manage the weed during the summer in annual crops.

“Field Bindweed is predominantly a summer weed, so we are trying to manage it more in our summer annual crops such as cotton, corn, melons, and tomatoes,” Stoddard said.

This weed has been documented back 100 years but only recently has become more of a problem for farmers.

“It did not seem to be as universally impacting people as much as it does now,” Stoddard said.

Farmers are asking themselves what they are doing irrigation-wise that impacts the weeds.

“Does drip irrigation favor this weed? Does conservation tillage favor this weed? There are all kinds of unknowns,” Stoddard explained.

Stacking herbicides can help and control the Field Bindweed.

“Herbicides in the annual crop systems are marginal and you have to stack them. You have to combine the Roundup with something like a Treflan and then combine that maybe with some applications of other herbicides,” Stoddard said.

Even with stacking the herbicides, they are still marginal. On the herbicide angle, this is one of the things that makes weeds so challenging.

2021-05-12T11:01:46-07:00July 26th, 2019|
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