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Pest/Disease Management

ACP-HLB Task Force Recommends ACP Treatment in Bakersfield

To prevent Asian citrus psyllid populations from developing in Kern County this fall, the San Joaquin Valley ACP-HLB Task Force recommends growers with citrus blocks east and south of Bakersfield make a soil-applied imidacloprid treatment or a foliar-applied Actara treatment before mid-September. Over the past several years, psyllid detections in Kern County have usually occurred in the fall – starting in September …

Oaks in Vineyards A ‘Win-Win’ for Bats and Growers

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, …

Argentine Ant Inhibits Biocontrol Options for Deadly Citrus Pests

Growers want to minimize their pesticide use in the orchard; but when you have invasive pests like the Argentine Ant protecting aphids and psyllids from natural predators, your options are limited.  Watch this brief interview with Greg Simmons from the USDA-APHIS as he explains and read more about it in California Fresh Fruit Magazine.

New detections of West Nile Virus in California horses – Prevention Tips

California Department of Food & Agriculture — A total of seven California horses have tested positive in recent weeks for West Nile Virus, with six of the cases in the Central Valley and one in Riverside County. Two of the horses were euthanized due to the severity of their symptoms. Horse owners are reminded to have their animals vaccinated to make …

Drilling for Microbial Gold: Eskalen Lab Researchers Seek Biocontrol Agents for Canker Disease

Marcelo Bustamante, PhD student in Akif Eskalen’s lab, is on a mission.  A sort of microbial safari.  Only the fungi and bacteria Marcelo is collecting aren’t easy to catch-they live inside the grape vine, potentially protecting it from deadly canker disease organisms.  To capture these microbes, Marcelo and his lab mates use a sterile drill bit to drill a small hole in grape vine trunks …

Techniques in Organic Farming that Influence Soil Health

Soil organic matter has long been known to benefit farmers. The carbon in this organic matter acts as a food source for soil microbes, which then provide other nutrients to the crops grown. Microbes, insects and small soil critters produce materials that can improve soil structure and water retention. It’s a healthy ecosystem every farmer wants to encourage. Measuring changes …

Do Ladybugs Help Your Garden Grow? Depends On Surroundings

When cabbage looper moth larvae infest a field, sustainable growers will often try to control the pests by releasing large numbers of predators, such as ladybugs. That way they can avoid spraying expensive and environmentally harmful insecticides. Still, farmers have mixed results when they supplement their fields with beetles or other predators. A new study of cabbage crops in New …

Could CA Farmers Lose CalEPA & Science-Based Pesticide Regulation?

Michael Miller Interview

Anti-pesticide sentiment has never been more prevalent, as California courts and anti-agricultural organizations frighten the public with non-science based claims of the harmful effects of crop protection materials such as glyphosate.  What farmers need to understand though now, is that much more than glyphosate is currently at stake.  The legislature is now being pressured to change the whole pesticide regulatory …

EPA Registers Long-Term Use of Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Pollinator Protection

Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Pollinator Protection

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor— an effective tool to control challenging pests with fewer environmental impacts. After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, corn, …

Five Shades of Gray Mold Control in Strawberry: Evaluating Chemical, Organic Oil, Botanical, Bacterial, and Fungal Active Ingredients

Gray Mold in Strawberries

Botrytis fruit rot or gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea, is common fruit disease in California strawberries. Botrytis cinerea has a wide host range infecting several commercially important crops including blueberry, grapes and tomato.  Fungal infection can cause flower or fruit rot.  Fruit can be infected directly or through a latent infection in the flowers.  Moist and cool conditions favor fungal …

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