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

Kearney News Updates

National Honey Bee Day 2018: Brush up on your knowledge of bee protection.

Celebrate National Honey Bee Day by brushing up on your knowledge of bee protection—check out the newly revised Best Management Practices to Protect Bees from Pesticides and Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings from UC IPM. These resources will help you strike the right balance between applying pesticides to protect crops and reducing the risk of harming our most important pollinators.

The best management practices now contain important information regarding the use of adjuvants and tank mixes, preventing the movement of pesticide-contaminated dust, and adjusting chemigation practices to reduce bee exposure to pesticide-contaminated water. The Bee Precaution Pesticide Ratings have also been updated to include ratings for 38 new pesticides, including insecticides (baits, mixtures, and biological active ingredients), molluscicides (for snail and slug control), and fungicides.

Most tree and row crops are finished blooming by now, but it is a good idea to learn about bee protection year-round. Visit these resources today to choose pesticides that are least toxic to bees and learn how you can help prevent bees from being harmed by pesticide applications.

Honey bee on almond blossom. Photo by Jack Kelly Clark.

Posted on Wednesday, August 15, 2018 at 11:05 AM

Five staff and one academic retire at the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center in 2018

Five staff members and one academic based at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center, representing a total 148 years of service, were honored today with a luncheon to mark of their retirement.

Center director Jeff Dahlberg presented each retiree with a calendar signed by their colleagues and wished them well in retirement.

The retirees are:

With 41 years of service, Tom Buzo, staff research associate in the nematology lab
 
With 19 years of service, Lorraine Holm, financial services assistant/team leader, Business Operations Center
 
With 13 years of service, Becky Phene, staff research associate in the pomology laboratory
With 17 years of service, Bob Ray, superintendent of the physical plant
 
With 22 years of service, Laura Van der Staay, program and facility coordinator
 
With 36 years of service, Larry Williams, UC Davis plant physiologist
 
Posted on Wednesday, June 27, 2018 at 3:47 PM

New tower signals advance of Wi-Fi communication at Kearney.

From its solid foundation underground to its antenna poised above the rooftops, the new tower at Kearney is the keystone to blanketing the research fields with Wi-Fi. Access points in the field will complete the hardware portion of the tower system. Where possible, the access point hardware taps into existing electrical infrastructure at wells and buildings. Where necessary, five solar powered access points will be installed to augment coverage.

Some of the practical applications of this system include remotely retrieving data from multiple sensors without removing them from their collection points, confirming sensor operation from main campuses and other locations with zero travel time, and monitoring and optimizing Kearney well function.

Looking forward to this expansion of field Wi-Fi, Director Jeff Dahlberg anticipates, “Real-time big data collection on a field scale level.”

With all 330 acres of Kearney gaining Wi-Fi coverage soon, a whole new era of field research data collection may be coming.

Skilled Kearney personnel prepare the foundation then maneuver the tower into place.

 

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 11:21 AM

Summer—it’s a time for swimming, BBQs, camping, and eating invasive species.

Last week during California Invasive Species Action Week (June 2 – June 10), we highlighted several pests, but there are many more invasive species out there. Now that you know about them, share your knowledge of invasive species with others. And no matter what your summer plans, here are some things YOU can do about invasive species from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Food and Agriculture.

 

YOU:  I'M TRAVELLING TO AMAZING PLACES

 

YOU:  I'LL BE WORKING IN MY GARDEN

 

YOU:  I'LL BE NEAR THE WATER OR ON A BOAT

 

YOU:  I'LL BE OUT AND ABOUT CAMPING, HIKING, OR RIDING HORSES

 

YOU:  I'LL DEFINITELY CONTINUE TO LEARN ABOUT INVASIVES

  • Get to know your local invaders.
  • Learn about California's invasive plants.
  • Find out which species are threats to California.
  • Learn alternatives to releasing unwanted fish, aquatic plants, and other pets.
  • Eat them. Yum. Check out these websites to find out who is edible and how to prepare them.

If you missed it this year, help in the fight next year by learning and participating during California Invasive Species Action Week.

 

If you've got a great recipe for wild fennel, the website Eat the Invaders wants to know. Wild fennel is listed as moderately invasive by the California Invasive Plant Council (CAL-IPC). It came from southern Europe and the Mediterranean where it is used as a spice. (Photo: Joseph M. DiTomaso, UC Davis Dept. of Plant Sciences)
If you've got a great recipe for invasive brown garden snail, the website Eat the Inbaders wants to know. Don't bring snails and other animals into California for food! That's how the brown garden snail ended up here in the 1850's. (Photo: Jack Kelly Clark, UC IPM)

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 10:29 AM

Invasive species...not very a-peel-ing for citrus.

Citrus plants can be hosts for invasive pests. Knowing what pests are invasive and how to avoid them is an important part of nursery production. If you work in a citrus nursery, you play an important role in looking for invasive pests and protecting the nursery—and ultimately California's citrus industry—from invasion.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to prevent invasive pests and their harmful impact to agriculture. When pests or diseases are new to an area, we call them invasive. Many of the laws that are in place for citrus are to prevent new pests and diseases from establishing. 

Citrus nurseries that become infested with new pests may be quarantined until the infestation is gone, preventing the plants from being moved or sold. Sometimes it requires the plants to be destroyed. Sometimes it results in the loss of a business. 

You might have heard of some these invasive pests in California citrus—diaprepes root weevil, light brown apple moth, and red imported fire ant. Some invasive pests are diseases carried by an insect such as citrus variegated chlorosis spread by glassy winged sharpshooter, brown citrus aphid in Florida and Mexico making citrus tristeza even more problematic, and huanglongbing spread by Asian citrus psyllid. 

Learn more about these invasive pests and how to stop their invasion by viewing an online training for workers of citrus growing in protective structures by UC Cooperative Extension Specialist Beth Grafton-Cardwell. Citrus Nursery Protective Structure Worker Training provides information on growing healthy citrus plants in structures and protecting them from common insect pests and diseases, including invasive ones in Chapter 3. You can also find on UC IPM's online training webpage, training about Asian citrus psyllid and huanglongbing for retail nursery personnel and for UC Master Gardeners. 

When pests first arrive in California, an effort is made to detect them by searching the plants and by trapping them.  It is important for you to be a detective and help in this effort:

  • Watch for anything unusual and report anything new.
  • Keep yourself and anything you work with in the protected structure clean, disinfected and free of pests.
  • Keep the protective structure sound by fixing holes in screens, gaps in the structure, and unprotected vents.
  • Use good practices in the nursery such as planning your day to start indoors and finish outdoors so that you don't bring outdoor pests inside.
  • Don't bring in pests from other areas in budwood or fruit.

Californians can help in the fight against invasive species by learning and participating during California Invasive Species Action Week, June 2–10. 

During the week, spend your lunch with us learning the latest about invasive tree killing pests, aquatic nasties like quagga mussels and nutria, and how the invasive weed/wildfire cycle is altering our ecosystems! 

Adult diaprepes root weevil, an invasive pest in California citrus. (Photo: David Rosen, UC IPM)

Posted on Tuesday, June 5, 2018 at 5:20 PM

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