Monthly Archives: March 2020

Navigating Irrigation Technology Overload

“Technology” has different meanings for different people (Figure 1). In irrigated agriculture we look towards technology to meet our changing needs and sustain our industry in the long run. However, with technology, “confusion” and a sense of overload can hinder our ability to learn and apply it. This article considers the abundance of irrigation technology and the challenges with its adoption. Some ideas are offered to cope with the sense of confusion and overload. Continue reading

New EPA Paraquat Restrictions

As the 2020 growing season approaches, California growers, PCAs and handlers will have new regulations to take into consideration. The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently announced the new requirements for handling paraquat (paraquat dichloride). The new EPA restrictions on paraquat aim to help protect Restricted Use Pesticide handlers, and others who may come into contact with these pesticides. However, these requirements will have a ripple effect on growers, distributors and the California agriculture community. Label changes emphasizing paraquat toxicity, restrictions and safe handling were completed November 2019. Continue reading

Autumn 2018 Freeze Event a Year Later

An autumn freeze event in November 2018 caused widespread dieback in both young and mature walnut orchards in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin Valleys. Following our initial diagnosis in April 2019 and our update on regrowth at the end of May 2019, we revisited several affected orchards at the end of the 2019 season, nearly a year after the freeze event. Continue reading

Young Orchard Weed Management

Weeds in young orchards compete with trees for orchard resources such as sunlight, water and nutrients. This can lead to reductions in growth and future yields. If weed stands are allowed to mature, not only are they harder to control via chemical and mechanical methods, but they can also create cover for voles and gophers, which can then damage tree trunks, root systems and irrigation systems. Continue reading

Emergency Registration Approved for Almond Bacterial Blast Material

Bacterial blast, although thankfully not a problem every year (hopefully including 2020), can be tremendously damaging to almond yields. Because Sacramento Valley almond growers were significantly impacted by bacterial blast in two of the last three years, crop loss data from Sacramento Valley counties supported a Section 18 emergency request for the use of Kasugamycin on almonds. Continue reading