Wednesday, July 26, 2017
Farmers offer aid to fire victims
As fire crews work to contain the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County, farmers and ranchers in nearby counties offer aid to people in burned-out areas. County Farm Bureaus in Madera, Merced, Stanislaus and Tuolumne counties have issued calls to action to their members to help haul or house livestock displaced by the fire. The county Farm Bureaus are also accepting donations of feed for livestock and household items for people.
Citrus disease-fighting program to continue
A cooperative effort to fight a fatal disease of citrus trees has earned extension. California agricultural authorities decided to continue the program after hearing from citrus growers and packers. The program coordinates response to the plant disease HLB, which can be carried by an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid. HLB has ravaged Florida citrus trees but has so far been confined to backyard trees in California.
Research points to natural pest control
In research they say could lead to new natural management of crop and garden pests, scientists at the University of California, Riverside, have learned more about how microscopic worms called nematodes attack insects. Some nematodes feed on insects, and the UC research showed how they find new insect hosts. The scientists say the findings could eventually lead to biological insecticides to protect plants including oranges, tomatoes and peaches.
Drone helps specialist create ‘virtual orchards’
“Virtual orchards” created through use of a drone are helping researchers learn how best to care for trees–and could ultimately help farmers improve their management efforts. A University of California Cooperative Extension expert uses the drone to take specialized photos of orchards that show information invisible to the human eye. Analyzing the photos can help farm advisors judge an orchard’s health, and better manage water and fertilizer use.