County of Monterey Agricultural Conference Center
1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, California 93901
This seminar will provide an overview of bagrada bug biology and management for both organic and conventional vegetable production. The presentations will cover the approaches taken by the researchers and strategies adopted or practiced by the growers to manage bagrada bug. The major goals of the seminar are to identify knowledge gaps and prioritize the shorter and longer-term research needs. The presentations can be viewed through a webinar and growers can interact with the speakers.
Organizers: Bagrada bug working group: California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF), University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), University of California-Davis (UCD), University of California-Riverside (UCR), University of Arizona (UA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Please pre-register here. Sign-in is from 9:30 to 10:00 AM on 11 December 2015. There is no registration fee for this meeting. Lunch will be provided. Please call ahead (at least 24 hours) for arrangements for special needs; every effort will be made to accommodate full participation. For more information, contact Shimat Joseph (831-229-8985; 1432 Abbott Street, Salinas, California 93901).
Fresno Fair Helps Promote Central Valley Agriculture
Fresno Fair Helps Promote Central Valley Agriculture By Matthew Malcolm, Managing Editor
The Fresno Fair has come and gone, and in addition to providing fun and entertainment for the community, it provided a great opportunity to showcase the variety of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the County. During the past 22 years, more than 420,000 students and teachers have been educated about the agriculturally rich Valley through Fair Education. Free of charge to public school field trips, children from kindergarten through eighth grade students visited the fair and received mini-presentations about agriculture during the Fair Education Program days. Many fruit growers from the industry participated and brought a variety of fruits to display.
The following are some fun ag-related facts from the fair: 2,377 animals were exhibited and 678 were put up for auction; 36 pregnant sheep were brought to the 2015 Big Fresno Fair and 58 lambs were born on-site; six cows were milked at the Cow Palace Milking Demonstrations and 720 gallons of milk were collected during the 12 days of Fair; the largest pumpkin on display weighed 189 pounds; Sun-Maid gave away 2,700 boxes of raisins; the largest plant in the building was the Giant Cilantro Plant measuring 6 feet and 7 inches tall; there were 308-1 pound and 78-21 pound jars of honey sold during the Fair; and the Central Valley Beekeepers Association brought in 120,000 bees during the Fair.
PMA comments to USDA, HHS in support of 2015 Dietary Guidelines
PMA comments to USDA, HHS in support of 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s recommendations for increasing fruit and vegetable consumption
Responding to the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee, Produce Marketing Association (PMA) submitted written comments to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) supporting the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee’s (DGAC) call for a multi-component, collaborative approach to increasing fruit and vegetable consumption. Among its 10 specific recommendations, PMA also backed the advisory report’s conclusion for the need to lower Americans’ risk of cancer, heart disease and other illness by encouraging consumers to eat whole foods like fresh fruits and vegetables, rather than vitamin or mineral supplements. Read the full comments on PMA’s website.
“While the DGAC report is not a draft of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans policy, it does form the basis for federal health guidance and feeding programs,” said Kathy Means, PMA vice president of industry relations. “In combination with PMA and member activities, DGAC’s recommendations create a favorable climate for significant growth in fresh produce consumption and sales.”
PMA applauds the committee’s conclusion that new dietary recommendations must meet consumers where they are in terms of cultural and personal food preferences and must also emphasize the role the food environment and public policies play in the ability of Americans to follow dietary guidance. PMA agrees with DGAC that additional measures from a wide range of stakeholders are needed to drive consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
“Our comments acknowledge industry’s responsibility in a multi-component, collaborative approach to make healthy lifestyles and disease prevention top priorities,” said Kevin Fiori, PMA board of directors chair and vice president of sales and marketing for Sunkist Growers. “We also point out the produce industry’s already taking a leadership role by marketing fruits and vegetables differently, as demonstrated through PMA’s support of the eat brighter!™ movement and the FNV program.”
The 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (DGA) will publish later this year. While the MyPlate graphic will undergo review, experts anticipate it will remain the visual nutrition guide. When PMA board of directors established Issues Leadership as one of the four pillars resulting from PMA Strategic Plan 2.0, nutrition was identified as a key area of focus. PMA’s ongoing participation in the DGA development process aligns with this charge to support issues that build consumer demand and reduce barriers to consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
About Produce Marketing Association (PMA)
Produce Marketing Association is the leading trade association representing companies from every segment of the global produce and floral supply chain. PMA helps members grow by providing connections that expand business opportunities and increase sales and consumption. For more information, visit www.pma.com.
UC Strawberry improvement Program Releases Three New Cultivars
The UC Strawberry Improvement Program released three new, short-day cultivars: Petaluma, Grenada, and Fronteras. These cultivars are good for early fall planting and winter production and produce high yields. These cultivars are developed from crosses made in 2008 and have better fruit quality than Ventana and Benicia.
Petaluma has moderate plant vigor, compact plant size and good disease resistance profile. Fruit has very good flavor. Grenada has moderate to high plant vigor. Very early fruit load keeps the plant small early in the season. Large, firm fruit with excellent flavor. Disease resistance is variable and is susceptible to Fusarium oxysporum. Fronteras has high plant vigor with an upright plant structure. Fruit is large and firm with excellent flavor. It has good disease resistant profile.
NMSU Experts Expect Little Impact from Chile-Damaging Virus
NMSU Experts Expect Little Impact this Year from Chile-Damaging Virus
By Angela Simental, firstname.lastname@example.org
As chile production season approaches, three New Mexico State University professors say the danger of curly top virus is higher than last year, but still in the low percentage range.
The prediction for this year is that it is going to be a low year for curly top, said Rebecca Creamer, professor of plant virology, who has been researching the virus since 2001. We didnt have large amounts of fall rains, so it will be in the 1 to 5 percent range. Most growers will not have a major problem.
This tri-trophic disease, which affects mostly chile plants in New Mexico, has required NMSU researchers in different disciplines to work together to investigate the different aspects and cycles of this disease, including the biology of the leafhopper, biology of weeds and virology.
We need an integrated approach to research this virus, Creamer said. We have been trying to work out the parameters of where the insects are living and the ecology because that has a huge influence on the virus being transmitted.
Curly top virus is transmitted from the tiny beet leafhopper insect, which feeds on weeds and certain crop plants such as chile and tomato, passing the disease from weeds to crops.
The virus is a prevalent problem in arid regions such as California, New Mexico, Arizona, Washington State and other places around the world including Mexico and Iran.
The insect, in its immature stages, is practically confined to one plant, but as it grows and becomes an adult, it becomes mobile and begins colonizing new areas, said Scott Bundy, professor of entomology, who studies the biology of the insect.
The leafhopper has a different color for different times of the year. In the spring it is light green and as fall approaches, it becomes brown.
The greatest danger of curly top, Creamer said, lies in the weeds near crops because in southern New Mexico, the virus primarily lives on weeds.
I always tell growers that they should be aware of their weed populations because if we know the weeds are going to be good hosts to the leafhopper and the virus, we suggest they try to remove them, Creamer said.
Even though the virus is more prevalent as weather gets warmer, the problem exists year-round mainly because of the presence of kochia weeds, which grow in the summer time, and London rocket, which grows with moisture during colder weather. These weeds make excellent hosts for the leafhopper and the virus.
When the chile plants are infected, they become yellow, the leaves roll up and growth is stalled. The plant also becomes extremely stiff and it will not produce fruit.
The weeds, the virus and the insects have grown together, said Jill Schoeder, professor of weed science, who researches the biology of weeds. Unfortunately, the infected weeds do not show any damage from the virus so we have no way to tell which weeds are infected. It is impractical to think that we can control every weedy plant, but if we can understand where they are the biggest threat to our crop system, maybe we can do targeted weed management for growers and backyard gardeners.
In 2001, 2003 and 2005 the chile industry had huge economic losses due to curly top virus, Creamer said.
Chile is a major crop in our region, so when plants are infected, it can cause significant economic damage, Schroeder said. Every year local gardeners and community gardens are also devastated from infection from this virus.