Author Archives: Sacramento Valley Orchards

It’s That Season Again: Growers Are Being Asked to Buy Products

Growers are faced with an ever-changing list of commercial “tools”, each with the promise of providing some advantage to the farmer. With the large number of new products available, and the number of salespeople promoting them, it is often difficult for growers to distinguish between products likely to provide real benefit, and those that may actually reduce the profitability of the farm. When approached with a new product or technology it is obligatory to challenge claims with the following questions: Continue reading

Observations from the Prune Rootstock Trial

As soil treatment options become increasingly limited, more restrictive and less effective, the priority to identify a genetic solution to solve or reduce the replant issue is of increasing interest. One genetic solution is to find or develop rootstocks to help manage soil related problems. Also of interest are root and tree characteristics imparting canopy size control, good anchorage and little or no root suckering. In 2011, University of California Farm Advisors and campus based faculty designed and planted 3 large rootstock experiments to evaluate 29 prune rootstocks. Continue reading

Feather Fingergrass: an Emerging Problem in Orchards

Feather fingergrass, a summer annual weed native to warm temperate regions worldwide is becoming more and more common in the Sacramento Valley. It can be found in agricultural fields, orchards, roadsides and canals. This tuft forming grass, can be 1.5 to 2.5 feet tall and forms umbel like inflorescence: a cluster of short stalks originating from a common point, somewhat like umbrella ribs. Continue reading

Soil Moisture Sensor Selection is Confusing

So, every few weeks the question comes up of whether to install soil moisture meters which leads to the question of which to buy and install or have installed.  And then come the questions of what do the readings mean and why aren’t the readings consistent?  Or maybe this question arrives after the grower has installed the sensors or system and the values don’t conform to a known or knowable pattern. Continue reading

Ethephon for Earlier Harvest

Ethephon, also known as Ethrel®, is an ethylene-based plant growth regulator applied at walnut maturity, or shortly thereafter, which accelerates hull cracking and separation from the shell. This advances walnut harvest by four to seven days, depending on the season and variety, and nut value is increased by lighter kernel color and possibly less insect damage. Continue reading

Are You In Compliance with the New Worker Protection Standards?

We are in the midst of a new and changing era of Worker Protection Standards (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. Keep reading to learn about current and upcoming changes, as well as information on Instructor Training Programs. Continue reading

Help Wanted: Join the Dialogue on Herbicide Resistant Weeds

Are you planning on attending the World Ag Expo? As part of a national effort on developing research and regulatory priorities related to the challenging problems of herbicide-resistant weeds, the Weed Science Society of America is sponsoring a half-day regional workshop to discuss the issues, potential solutions, and technical and economic barriers related to resistant weeds. Continue reading

Early Registration Ends September 1 for the Almond Short Course

UC ANR Cooperative Extension in collaboration with UC Davis is offering an integrated orchard management short course on all phases of almond culture and production on November 8-10, 2016 in Modesto. The program will provide participants the latest information and research from UC Faculty, Cooperative Extension Specialists, and Farm Advisors.
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