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Pest/Disease Management

FDA Releases Findings Following 2020 Outbreak Linked to Central Valley Peaches

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released a report on its investigation of the Salmonella Enteritidis outbreak in Peaches. The FDA and multiple state and federal partners investigated an outbreak of Salmonella Enteritidis infections that were linked to the consumption of peaches during the summer of 2020. In total, the outbreak caused 101 reported illnesses across 17 states, including 28 hospitalizations. This appears to …

Farming Tips for Enduring Historic Drought in Northern CA

It has been heart breaking to seeing wheat and alfalfa fields dry up the last few weeks.  The recent hot temperatures caused many fields to wither, while placing greater irrigation needs on the few crops being irrigated with well water.   It’s the driest year I have experienced in my 10 years in the Klamath Basin! Several people asked me about …

Conventional Melon Weed Management in the Sacramento Valley

Sutter County grows between 300 and 800 acres of fresh-market honeydew, mixed melon and cantaloupe each year. The fields vary between furrow and drip irrigation, with many fields in the Sutter Basin only receiving a pre-irrigation. Because of the rapid growth of melons, they are competitive with weeds and one cultivation may be sufficient to control weed issues. The growing …

Good Bacteria Could Contribute in Fight Against Pathogens in Beef Processing Facilities

Disease-causing bacteria like Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Salmonella enterica could survive sanitization in beef processing facilities. Scientists and collaborators in the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA), Agricultural Research Center (ARS) are investigating how this happens while also seeking approaches to solve the problem. E. coli O157:H7 (a Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) and S. enterica are two disease-causing bacteria (pathogens) associated with foodborne illnesses in the United States. …

An Organic Alternative to Combatting Spotted Wing Drosophila

Scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) are working to understand how something can be equally effective as both a government-approved food additive and as a pesticide. Methyl benzoate is a naturally occurring compound produced by plants. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration long ago approved methyl benzoate for human use; its fruity and floral aroma makes it a staple …

Preparing for Almond Hull Split

Almond experts say there is only one proven way to know when hull split begins: inspect your trees from the top down, starting in the southwest corner of the canopy. The importance of knowing precisely when hull split occurs is critical because it signals the proper timing for treatments to control navel orangeworm (NOW) and, as appropriate, hull rot. Whether …

Effective Non-chemical Soil Fumigants for Organic Production

The Organic Center — Soil fumigants that fight soil-borne diseases and ensure crop production continue to be banned to protect the health and safety of rural communities. Organic farmers and conventional farmers who can no longer use these chemical tools need effective alternatives to protect their yields. A recent study published in the journal Agronomy(link is external) demonstrates that a non-chemical alternative can be …

How do Nematodes Help Plants and Soils?

Nematodes normally get a bad reputation. Yes, some of these miniscule creatures can cause harm in plants and animals. But little is known about the non-parasitic nematodes, which have many beneficial roles. Ashley Shaw from the University of Oregon explores this topic in this Soils Matter blog: It might be hard to believe, but you may never have seen the most …

Successful HLB Management Strategy in CA Focuses on Everyone Doing Their Part

What Nobel Prize-winning Economics Research Tells Us About ACP and HLB Management in California As you have likely heard many times, coordinating management measures for the Asian citrus psyllid (ACP) and Huanglongbing (HLB) over a larger scale than individual properties is key to achieving effective control and limiting the spread of the disease. Coordination is important in terms of surveying …

ARS Citrus Rootstocks: A Success Story

Remember that old commercial that declared, “A day without orange juice is like a day without sunshine”? Thanks to the Agricultural Research Service (ARS), consumers can enjoy “citrus sunshine” whenever they like. Begun by USDA more than a century ago, the citrus research program has helped to ensure a bounty of not only oranges, but also grapefruits, mandarins, lemons, and …

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