Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center
University of California
Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center

Kearney News Updates

Dahlberg, Bali, and Putnam share forage expertise in Pakistan.


Two of Kearney's researchers, Jeff Dahlberg and Khaled Bali joined Dan Putnam of UC Davis in a trip to Pakistan to talk with Pakistani researchers, academics, and farmers about forage production. Pakistan has reached out to their expertise to help understand improved forage practices that will help Pakistan meet its dairy and meat needs in the future. The three UC researchers gave presentations in Faisalabad and Multan at the Agricultural Universities. Dr. Putnam gave presentations on alfalfa, Dr. Dahlberg on sorghum as a forage, and Dr. Bali on irrigation and evapotranspiration. Their Pakistani hosts were very gracious and appreciative of their efforts. While there, they also participated in a fabulous tradition at the Ag Universities, planting of a tree in each of their names. The Kearney and Davis researchers look forward to strengthening these new relationships between Pakistani scientists and those of UC and ANR.

Dr.Khaled Bali (green hat), Dr.Dan Putnam (center back), and Dr.Jeff Dahlberg (tan hat and shirt) meeting with Pakistani improved forage stakeholders.


Posted on Friday, April 5, 2019 at 1:44 PM

Diana Nix Marks 40th Year at Kearney!

Saturday Night Fever won album of the year, The Dukes of Hazzard roared onto our television screens, and a very young Diana Nickel answered a newspaper ad for a job at Kearney. Hired as a Secretary One with Shorthand, Diana would see plenty of changes over the next 40 years, but one constant would be working at Kearney. When asked how it was to start at Kearney, Diana replied, “I made the choice to take this new job, but honestly, I am not good with change. It was tough.”

As an increasingly important center of research, Kearney continued to develop assets and so did Diana. She was reclassified to Word Processing Specialist and then Administrative Assistant. Following the trail of technological advances, Diana said the office personnel took some classes to learn the new word processing and computer skills, but much of her skill set came from just figuring things out herself. Knowing there was a need to be met, that her assistance mattered and made a difference motivated her to keep growing.

New skills at Kearney were only exceeded by new skills at home as Diana married, raised children, and then learned to cope as a young widow. Through it all she says, Kearney has been a constant, like a family. In fact, Diana credits the people at Kearney as the reason she has stayed 40 years.

Also a key factor in Diana's longevity at Kearney is her drive to help. “I don't want anyone to leave here without getting something.” This usually means being an excellent resource of information about research, planning, catering, etc., but sometimes it is different. One time a woman came into the reception area and asked Diana to throw out a handful of garbage for her. No problem. Thunk-goosh, into the can. A short time later, Diana heard back from the woman, “I think my teeth were in that. Could you please check?” Sure enough. Diana, very helpfully, gave them back.

There are chapters left to write about Diana's past 40 years, and many more to write about her continuing future here. For now, we will close with these words from Kearney's director at a celebration held for Diana on March 20th, as Jeff Dahlberg thanked Diana Nix for her “…extraordinary service to the UC-ANR KARE community. It is not often that we have the opportunity to thank someone for 40 years of service to our organization, and it was a pleasure to present a Certificate of Appreciation and a pin to Diana in recognition of her years of service.”

Diana with some Kearney friends.

Certificate, 40 year pin, and cake to mark the occasion.

Director Jeff Dahlberg thanks Diana Nix at her celebration.


Posted on Friday, March 22, 2019 at 1:17 PM

FARMS Leadership students take workshops on fruit, soil, and sorghum at UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center.

In December the Farming, Agriculture, and Resource Management for Sustainability (FARMS) program brought about 60 high school students from valley schools to enjoy a day of workshops and ag-related learning at UC Kearney. Part of the Center for Land Based Learning, the FARMS Leadership program students participated in team building activities with their peers, and three workshops provided by Kearney: the science behind fruit ripeness/quality, building healthy soils for healthy crops, and sorghum and whole grains.


The students circle in a team-building exercise.

Two FARMS students check the sugar content of oranges.
Students learn that healthy soil produces healthy crops.
Director Jeff Dahlberg teaches about sorghum and healthy whole grains.

Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2018 at 2:22 PM

DPR license and certificate holders: Renew early! Get those last-minute hours with help from UC IPM.

Learn about opportunities to receive continuing education hours. October is upon us and before you know it, we'll be wrapped up in the busy holiday season. If you hold a license or certificate from the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) and have a last name that begins with letters A through L, this is your year to renew. DPR encourages license and certificate holders to avoid the end-of-the-year rush and submit renewal applications by November 1.

Early renewal has its advantages. DPR can take up to 60 days to process a renewal application. Submitting applications now not only avoids late fees and gives you time to fix any problems that DPR may find, such as not having enough continuing education (CE) hours to renew, but also ensures that you will have your new certificate or license by the first of the year.

Without a renewed license in hand, you are not allowed to use or supervise the use of pesticides after January 1, 2019 until you receive it. You also run the risk of having to retest if there are problems with the renewal application and not enough time to fix them.

If you need a few last-minute credits, take a look at the online courses the UC Statewide IPM Program (UC IPM) offers:

Laws and Regulations


UC Agriculture and Natural Resources (UC ANR) is also offering monthly webinars on specific pest issues for CEUs. More information can be found on the UC Ag Experts Talk website. 

Check out the list of DPR-approved continuing education courses. For more information about license renewal, visit DPR's licensing and certification webpage.

Learn about pest management and other training opportunities from UC IPM.



CEU Renewals picture
CEU Renewals picture

Posted on Tuesday, October 23, 2018 at 8:48 AM

UC Riverside graduate students broaden their education at Kearney.

Under the auspices of Georgios Vidalakis, Professor at UC Riverside, a handful of graduate students visited Kearney to broaden their scientific knowledge and see examples of how individuals in careers such as their own can have an impact. The students were from a variety of disciplines including Plant Pathology, Microbiology, Entomology, and Botany. Vidalakis said that one reason he chooses to make the annual trek to Kearney is the great diversity of agriculture represented in this one field station.

 Their morning was spent in the field.

Nematologist Andreas Westphal explained how he is saving years of research time by testing walnut rootstock against nematodes and for compatibility with commercial scion wood, simultaneously. Below.

Andreas Westphal speaking to students.

Themis Michailides, Plant Pathologist, showed the students samples of infected pistachios. Later he said of this, “The disease is anthracnose of pistachio caused by Colletotrichum fioriniae, according to Project Scientist, Paulo Lichtemberg. It is a new disease in California and caused major problem in a few orchards in Glenn Co. The same disease in 2010 destroyed 75% of the Australian pistachio crop.  It is fortunate that the Kerman pistachio that is extensively planted in California shows more tolerance to this pathogen than the susceptible Red Aleppo cultivar. At present, we (with the lead of Paulo Lichtemberg) are doing epidemiological studies to determine conditions affecting the disease, evaluation of pistachio cultivar susceptibility to the pathogen, and fungicide trials to manage it.” Below.

Themis Michailides with students.

The students examined a novel trapping method for leaffooted bug as Entomologist Houston Wilson related control strategies for this emerging pest of pistachios. Below.

Houston Wilson with students.

After lunch, Leslie Holland, a Plant Pathology PhD Candidate working with CE Specialist Florent Trouillas, gave a presentation to students on the important role of plant disease diagnosis to growers and to research institutions. Holland spoke with students about emerging diseases in the fruit and nut crop industry in California and the research being conducted to manage these diseases.

The group continued their day learning from Director Jeff Dahlberg how he and just six other people on the board of the Whole Grains Counsel developed the Whole Grains Stamp. The stamp, used to help consumers make healthy eating choices, is now on 12,000 different products in 58 countries. Vidalakis said that for the students to see firsthand the kind of influence a small group can have in the world was a “jaw-dropping” moment.



Posted on Monday, October 15, 2018 at 1:56 PM

First storyPrevious 5 stories  |  Next 5 stories | Last story

Webmaster Email: