Preventing the Spread of ACP

Valley Citrus Growers Continue Vigilance

By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor
ACP
USDA ACP Cooperative Program Map (Source:
California Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program)

The spread of Asian Citrus Psyllid (ACP) continues to be a looming threat for Central Valley citrus growers as it vectors Huanglongbing (HLB), a disease that destroys citrus trees. Greg Douhan, a University of California Cooperative Extension Tulare County citrus farm advisor reported to California Ag Today recently that, “There have been so many people onboard really working at this from multiple angles, and we’re in the eradication mode. We want to make sure the insect doesn’t get established in the San Joaquin Valley.”

“If one were to look at a map of ACP infestation in California [such as CDFA Quarantine Maps and California Citrus Pest & Disease Prevention Program Threat map], they may consider it to be endemic in the Los Angeles area. Rest assured that anytime ACP is found in a trap, the CDFA sprays everything in that area within 400 meters.”

Douhan said the Valley is on high alert to find ACP in traps. “

If researchers discover a cluster of finds in any particular area, we manage some spray programs and try to get all the growers to do a coordinated effort in order to try to combat it,” he said.

SaveOurCitrusIn addition, the SAVE OUR CITRUS app is a free USDA iPhone app to report and identify the four leading citrus diseases: citrus greening, citrus canker, citrus black spot and sweet orange scab. Report your symptoms, upload a photo, and citrus experts will respond.

So far, the practices have been working well.

“I think most of the growers are very well informed,” Douhan said, “and are taking this very seriously because it is this their livelihood.”

More California Ag News

Citrus Research Meeting Focuses on Moving Plant Ma... Industry Discusses Strategies in Fighting  Huanglongbing Disease By Jessica Theisman, Associated Editor Franco Bernardi, the interim president of th...
No End in Sight for Stopping Huanglongbing Disease Millions Spent to Fight Huanglongbing, with No Cure By Mikenzi Meyers, Associate Editor The California citrus industry—made up of 3,500 growers in V...
IR-4 Program Trying to Help Florida Citrus Industr... IR-4 Researchers Control Material to Help Citrus Industy By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Jerry Barron, executive director of the IR-4 Project at Rutger...
Study Forecasts Cost of Regulations on California ... Citrus Research Board Explains Cost Impacts on Growers News Release From California Citrus Mutual New regulations are expected to cost Californi...

GMO Technology Can Help Prevent Starvation

First World Activists Dictate to Third World

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor

Needed GMO technology to help citizens in Third World countries is being thwarted by activist groups in First World countries who are anti-GMO, said Alison Van Eenennaam, a UCANR Cooperative Extension Specialist focused on Animal Genomics at UC Davis.

“If the African people choose to use this to develop better bananas, they should have the right to use that and not be dictated to by activist groups in the First World promoting fear around this technology,” she said.

GMO technology could greatly benefit those in the developing world, especially those who struggle with starvation on a daily basis.

“Most people have never seen starvation. People take food for granted, and when you see people that have problems in their agricultural production systems that are actually affecting the food security, you have to address those problems, whether they be drought or disease problems,” Van Eenennaam explained.

“And I’m all for using whatever technology that works best to address a problem. Maybe it’s conventional breeding or maybe its GMO, or gene editing. I don’t really care. I just want to use the best tool that is available. But it doesn’t make sense to take some tools off the table for no reason, and I think that’s what’s happening around the debate of genetic engineering,” she said.

And the use of GMO crops in a third world country has dramatically decreased the use of pesticides, which should be celebrated by activists.

“About 90 percent of the farmers growing GMO crops are on small acreage producers in the developing world, that are growing insect-protected Bt cotton. And the dramatic decrease of insecticide use resulting from that—well environmentalist should be singing this from the rooftops,” Van Eenennaam said.

“It’s incomprehensible to me that if your real intent is to decrease pesticide use in agriculture, to not appreciate what those Bt crops have done for global insecticide use is to be willfully ignorant of what the data shows,” Van Eenennaam said. “It’s just a win-win for everyone.”

More California Ag News

Helping Anti-GMO Consumers Know the Truth Van Eennennaam: It's Tough to Change Emotion By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Alison Van Eenennaam, a UCANR Coop...
BioConsortia To Bring New Tools to Ag BioConsortia Continues Growth and Success, Securing $10 million in Series D Funding By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Getting even closer to helping Ca...
Trade Must be Fair for America Ray Starling, Special Assistant to Trump, on Trade By Patrick Cavanaugh, Editor Ray Starling is Special Assistant to President Trump for Agriculture...
Technologies for Spray Tank Mixes Dave Cheetham on Game Changer By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with, Dave Cheetham, Tech Marketing Manager w...

Grain Diseases Must Be Closely Monitored

Diseases are Always Evolving

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Mark Lundy is a UC Cooperative Extension Specialist in grain cropping systems at UC Davis. Lundy runs trials on grain crops because California is such a diverse environment and there are different conditions from year to year so it’s important to be consistent in measuring yield and crop quality, grain diseases, and agronomic traits on small grains.

Lundy’s work is predominantly on California wheat, but there are many trials on barley.

“Improved varieties have been the mainstay of my work,” Lundy said. “I came at it from a water and nitrogen management background, and one of our goals is trying to disentangle the environment that you can’t control from the environment that you can control. But this is the second year where we have some of those gradients in there so we are trying to maintain the attributes we have, while also trying to add some value.”

And diseases have been closely monitored within the trial system, noted Lundy.

“We do try to keep track of disease, and so when there are diseases of concern such as stripe rust, which was historically a big problem for growers, it has been successfully addressed through breeding,” he said.

The breeding is spearheaded by Jorge Dubcovsky, a professor at UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences working on wheat genes.

“Stripe rust is still something we have to keep an eye on, and it’s certainly a disease that is always evolving,” Lundy said. “And because resistance is not permanent, we’re always looking for the big diseases that can be detrimental to the production system, such as stripe rust.”

“We also keeping track of leaf rust,” Lundy said. “I’m not a pathologist by training, so I’ve been learning on the job, and I’m grateful to the former UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Lee Jackson, who was a pathologist. He created a nice knowledge base for us to build on.”

More California Ag News

Rootstocks Offer Production Attributes Tomato Rootstocks Grafting By Jessica Theisman, Associate Editor California Ag Today recently spoke with Brenna Aegerter, a UC Cooperative Extension...
Grain Crop Variety Trials Important Grain Crop Variety Trials Ongoing in California By Brianne Boyett, Associate Editor Grain crop variety trials are taking place around the state in h...
Cannabis Growers May Be Using Illegal Materials Illegal Pest Control by Cannabis Growers By Patrick Cavanaugh Farm News Director Big problems are arising in the cannabis growing areas of Californi...
AgTech Increasing Production Increasing Food Production with Technology Worldwide – and Locally By Erika Kosina, Nevada County Tech Connection   California, which boasts...

Band Canker Affecting Younger Almonds

Almond Band Canker Becoming a Big Problem

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

Brent Holtz is a UC cooperative extension Pomology Farm Advisor for San Joaquin County. He recently told California Ag Today about how the fungus band canker on almonds is becoming more prevalent in the San Joaquin Valley.

“I’ve seen a lot more band canker, which is caused by a pathogenic fungus, Botryosphaeria dothidea, and we’re seeing it on young orchards, especially in in San Joaquin county,” said Holtz.  “We’ve seen that a lot out in the delta and we’ve seen it in eastern San Joaquin county where the soils tend to be a little heavier, maybe old dairy ground and richer and we don’t really know why.”

“We’re seeing so much more, but it’s a fungus that infects usually the trunk or the main scaffolds, and we call it band canker because sap balls will come out at the site of the infection and create a band that circles around the trunk or the scaffold,” Holtz explained. “That’s why we call it band canker.”

It’s starting to show up in the orchards that have not been shaken yet, as a wound needs to happen before the infection sets in.

“We think it’s showing up in a lot of orchards before we start shaking the trees and usually in most cankers, we would have to have a wound that would have to happen first before the infection would take place either through a wound or a wound from shaking the tree,” Holtz said.

“Some of these orchards with symptoms tend to be trees that are growing very vigorously, and we suspect maybe that they’re growing so fast, growth cracks are created that the fungus may have got in and caused the infection.”

Trees with band canker on the trunk may not survive. And band cankered scaffolds have to be removed, which affects the tree’s architecture and will reduce yields.

There is evidence that micro sprinklers hitting the trunk could also increase the start of an infection.

“It seems to be showing up a little higher concentration where it was on a micro sprinkler irrigation system, where the sprinkler was actually hitting the trunk,” Holtz said. “We don’t seem to see it as much in orchards with a drip irrigation, so we are advising growers to consider drip or to put a splitter in their micro sprinklers so it can avoid wetting the trunk repeatedly with each irrigation.”

More California Ag News

My Job Depends on Ag Continues Growth Decal Sales Go to Nonprofit By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director California Ag Today recently spoke with Steve Malanca, one of the founders of M...
Paul Wenger Says Stay Involved Farmer Paul Wenger on His Past Role as Farm Bureau President By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Paul Wenger is a third generation farmer produ...
Almond Band Canker has No Cure Almond Band Canker Creeping up Again By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Themis Michailides, a UC Davis Plant Pathologist based at the Kearney ...
Orchard Sanitation is Critical This Season Orchard Sanitation to Push Back on NOW Underscored By Mike Stevens, Associate Editor We are completing our coverage of the importance of orchard san...

Mills Seek Out California Cotton Crop

California Cotton Crop Has High Quality

By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director

California Ag Today recently spoke with Dan Munk, Irrigation Soils and Cotton Farm Advisor of the UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County, about the state’s cotton crop. California farmers have an advantage in that they get a higher price per pound due to the high quality produced.

Dan Munk, UC Cooperative Extension, Fresno County

“The San Joaquin Valley, and really California, does enjoy the production of higher quality cotton,” Munk said. “When mills are looking for the highest quality, extra long staple cotton, oftentimes they’re going to be going straight to California because of the consistency of the crop, the good color, the good strength, the good fiber qualities that typically make up a good and optimum fiber for translating into fabric.”

Munk said that an extended gin period could be implemented due to the increased crop in the Valley. “I’m not aware of any closed gins that are going to be opening up after closure. Although that might be the case for one or two, I imagine we’ll see extended gin period this year to take care of the additional crop.”

And while there is a trend to go with innovative harvesters that produce round bales of cotton, that will only be true for bigger operations, Munk sad.

“It’s going to be popular for the larger growers, and so we are going to see increases in equipment for those round bales, but for the most part, many of the smaller growers will not be converting any time soon to move to those round bale producing pickers,” he said.

Munk explained that the rainstorm coming through the Central San Joaquin Valley in early September had a minimal effect on the cotton.

“Certainly, parts of Fresno, Tulare and Kings County … there’s parts of the Valley that got quite wet, I’m sure. But most of the cotton had not opened, and because of those delayed crops, we’re probably not going to be impacted in a significant way at all by the rains that we saw,” he said.

More California Ag News

Fresno County Cotton Bloom Nearing Cotton Bloom Is Later This Year By Melissa Moe, Associate Editor Cotton is an important crop in the Central Valley. We spoke with Daniel Munk, an ir...
Developing On-Site Rescue Plans for Worker Safety Western Agricultural Processors Association Seeks to Improve Worker Safety By Melissa Moe, Associate Editor Agricultural work can be very dangerous ...
Indoor Heat Regs: A Solution to a Problem? New Regs Target Indoor Heat Illness Prevention By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Many agricultural organizations have submitted written comme...
Central Valley Grapes in Demand for Rosé Blends Rosé Blends Growing in Popularity By Patrick Cavanaugh, Farm News Director Rosé blends are popular again, according to Nat DiBuduo, president of All...