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

Kearney News Updates

UC ANR will participate in the 2017 World Ag Expo in Tulare, CA.

UC ANR is participating in the World Ag Expo, held February 14, 15, and 16, 2017. Statewide programs, UC Cooperative Extension, and the Research and Extension Center System will have booths and personnel available for the entire show. We have booths 1411, 1412, 1512 and 1513. Wilcox Agri Products donated some space for an UC ANR conservation tillage tent in the M48-53 area. UC ANR will also have people participating in the newsmakers conference as well as providing seminars.

File photo of the World Ag Expo.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 10:36 AM

UC ANR IPM academic coordinator is based at Kearney.

UC ANR IPM academic coordinator is based at Kearney.

Lori Berger is the new academic coordinator for the Pests, Pesticides and IPM Project. Berger joined ANR in 2014 to coordinate a program to identify and manage critical uses of chlorpyrifos in almonds, citrus, cotton and alfalfa. Berger has worked extensively with the regulatory community in developing science-based approaches to pest management and agricultural production, sharing her expertise on pest management, pollinator protection, international MRLs, water quality and soil health.

Based at the Kearney Agricultural Research and Education Center in Parlier, Berger holds a Ph.D. in entomology and is a licensed pest control adviser as well as a certified crop adviser. Read more.

Lori Berger, academic coordinator for the pests, pesticides and IPM project.

Posted on Tuesday, February 14, 2017 at 9:57 AM

The South San Joaquin Valley Region Invasive Aedes Workshop was held at Kearney Jan 20, 2017.

First reported in California in June 2013, the invasive mosquito Aedes aegypti can vector four viruses: yellow fever, dengue, Khikungunya and Zika. Moderated by entomologist Anthony Cornel, Ph.D. at Kearney Agricultural Research & Extension Center and the entomology department at UC Davis, the workshop's agenda included

  • Programmatic updates and discussion on surveillance, control, public outreach activities, and research efforts in greater Los Angeles County Vector Control District and the Consolidated Mosquito Abatement District of the South San Joaquin Valley Region
  • Evaluation and discussion of surveillance techniques and integrated vector management approaches to control invasive Aedes in areas where established and newly invaded
  • Public outreach and community involvement
  • Response plans: discussion of how plans address the invasion/expansion of invasive Aedes, the mosquito control efforts in response to imported disease cases, and the response to autochthonous transmission of the disease
  • Discussion and summary

Many informational posters from the California Department of Health were available. There was also a sample of a screened storm water drain to exclude Aedes from underground egg laying locations.

An example of how to screen stormwater drains to exclude the Aedes mosquito from potential underground egg laying areas.

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 4:10 PM

Is your pesticide safety training in compliance with the new Worker Protection Standard?

We are in the midst of a new and changing era of Worker Protection Standards (WPS). The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) recently published the revised WPS, which is meant to increase protections for agricultural fieldworkers and pesticide handlers from pesticide exposure when they're working in farms, forests, nurseries and greenhouses. The changes are already affecting California agriculture!

What major regulatory changes have already gone into effect?

Several changes are required to have been in place as of January 2, 2017. These include:

  • All 417,000 fieldworkers in California must attend annual pesticide safety training.
  • Records of all fieldworker pesticide safety trainings must be kept on file for 2 years.
  • Fields must be posted when the restricted entry interval (REI) exceeds 48 hours.
  • “Application-exclusion zones” must be implemented to prevent the entry of anyone into areas up to 100 feet from pesticide application equipment.
  • Instructors previously qualified via a DPR-approved Instructor Training programs (Train the Trainer) are qualified to train through 2017. If you wish to be qualified to train fieldworkers and handlers after December 31, 2017 using this qualification, you must complete an updated, DPR-approved Train the Trainer workshop.

Now is the time to make sure these changes are put in place!

What major regulatory changes are still in store for us? When will they happen?

The regulatory changes that must be in place by January 2, 2018 include: 

  • Additional training topics for fieldworkers and handlers have to be added to the curriculum.
  • Handlers have to suspend an application if anyone enters the application exclusion zone. 

Who do these changes affect?

Many people who work in the California agricultural community will be impacted by the WPS revisions. These include fieldworkers, pesticide handlers, farm labor contractors, private and in-house safety trainers, growers, farm managers, licensed pesticide applicators (private and commercial), pest control advisors (PCAs), and crop consultants, to name a few. 

How do I know if I am qualified to train? 

If you attended one of the DPR-approved Train-the-Trainer programs you are qualified through 2017. However, if you wish to continue training after the end of the year, you must complete a DPR-approved Instructor Training Program, which includes the 2018 training topic requirements. 

If you maintain certain licenses/government designations, including PAC, QAC, QAL, PCA, and certain County Biologist licenses you are qualified to train. UCCE Advisors are also qualified to train.  

How can I get qualified as a trainer? 

To become a trainer, take an Instructor Training program that is approved by DPR for 2018 topics. The University of California Pesticide Safety Education Program (part of the UC Statewide Integrated Pest Management Program, UC IPM), in partnership with AgSafe, will offer multiple workshops this spring that cover the new federal requirements for fieldworker and handler training. You can reserve your spot now. At the end of the training you will be a certified pesticide safety instructor.  

If I am currently qualified, how can I make sure I stay up to date on all the new requirements? 

If you are currently qualified as a trainer because you maintain a California PAC, QAC, or QAL, or if you are a PCA, you can attend an Instructor Training Program this spring to learn about the new WPS requirements and additional training topics. While a certification may qualify you, an Instructor Training Program will prepare you to train! Register today!

New Worker Protection Standard training dates and locations.

Posted on Thursday, February 2, 2017 at 1:55 PM
  • Author: Lisa A. Blecker
  • Contributor: Sarah Risorto

Interest in Kearney tea plants mentioned in the local abc 30 news broadcast Jan 2nd, 2017.

On January 2nd, 2017, abc 30 news aired a story on the 50 year old tea plants at UC ANR Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center. When the 1967 20-yr long Lipton tea project ended, some of the top two cultivars were kept in the general landscaping. The Global Tea Initiative at UC Davis learned that the tea plants survived for fifty years without any special treatment. The initiative plans to do some studies on these plants.

A blossom on a 50 year old tea plant at Kearney.

Posted on Tuesday, January 3, 2017 at 10:30 AM

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