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USDA Announces Details of Support Package for Farmers

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue today announced further details of the $16 billion package aimed at supporting American agricultural producers while the Administration continues to work on free, fair, and reciprocal trade deals. In May, President Trump directed Secretary Perdue to craft a relief strategy in line with the estimated impacts of unjustified retaliatory tariffs on U.S. agricultural goods and other …

Soil Health Partnership Celebrates 5 Years of Growth and Collaboration

The Soil Health Partnership (SHP) has been fostering transformation in agriculture through improved soil health since 2014. This year, SHP celebrates its fifth anniversary and the foundational collaborations that developed the program. SHP was founded by a diverse group of organizations with a shared vision of developing a farmer-led research network to measure the impacts of implementing soil health practices …

New Studies Show Soil Health Practices Increase Farm Profitability

Today, American Farmland Trust(AFT), the organization behind the national movement No Farms No Food®,is releasing four case studies that show that healthier soil on farmland brings economic benefits to farmers and environmental benefits to society. These case studies were developed in partnership with USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS). AFT Water Initiative Director Dr. Michelle Perez, the lead researcher on the …

Weed Control in Lettuce

Weed control in lettuce and other crops is a key issue this time of year. Purslane is particularly problematic and is adapted to warm conditions and can grow very rapidly especially during July and August. At times growers and PCA’s are disappointed with the efficacy of Kerb on this weed. Kerb is effective in controlling purslane but it is readily …

Do Ladybugs Help Your Garden Grow? Depends On Surroundings

When cabbage looper moth larvae infest a field, sustainable growers will often try to control the pests by releasing large numbers of predators, such as ladybugs. That way they can avoid spraying expensive and environmentally harmful insecticides. Still, farmers have mixed results when they supplement their fields with beetles or other predators. A new study of cabbage crops in New …

UC Davis Releases 5 New Strawberry Varieties

The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, has released five new varieties that will help farmers manage diseases, control costs and produce plenty of large, robust berries using less water, fertilizer and pesticides. Two of the new varieties could increase yields by almost 30 percent. The Public Strawberry Breeding Program at the University of California, Davis, …

EPA Registers Long-Term Use of Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Pollinator Protection

Sulfoxaflor While Ensuring Pollinator Protection

Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is issuing a long-term approval for the insecticide sulfoxaflor— an effective tool to control challenging pests with fewer environmental impacts. After conducting an extensive risk analysis, including the review of one of the agency’s largest datasets on the effects of a pesticide on bees, EPA is approving the use of sulfoxaflor on alfalfa, …

Five Shades of Gray Mold Control in Strawberry: Evaluating Chemical, Organic Oil, Botanical, Bacterial, and Fungal Active Ingredients

Gray Mold in Strawberries

Botrytis fruit rot or gray mold, caused by Botrytis cinerea, is common fruit disease in California strawberries (Koike et al. 2018).  Botrytis cinerea has a wide host range infecting several commercially important crops including blueberry (Saito et al. 2016), grapes (Saito et al., 2019), and tomato (Breeze, 2019).  Fungal infection can cause flower or fruit rot.  Fruit can be infected …

UC Riverside Scientists Decode DNA of Black-eyed Peas

UC Riverside Scientists Decode DNA of Black-eyed Peas

UC Riverside scientists have decoded the genome of black-eyed peas, offering hope for feeding Earth’s expanding Understanding the genes responsible for the peas’ drought and heat tolerance eventually could help make other crops tougher too. Black-eyed peas are small beans with dark midsections. They’ve been a global dietary staple for centuries due to their environmental toughness and exceptional nutritional qualities, …

Fusarium Wilt in Garbanzos

Fusarium Wilt in Garbanzos

A little over a month ago, I visited some contiguous garbanzo bean fields in southern San Joaquin County, at the request of the grower. The grower observed that plants were yellowing and dying (Fig. 1) and wondered what might be causing the problem. The grower did not figure that he would be able to do anything about the problem in …

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