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New Food Freezing Concept Improves Quality, Increases Safety and Cuts Energy Use

Shifting to a new food freezing method could make for safer and better quality frozen foods while saving energy and reducing carbon emissions, according to a new study by U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and University of California-Berkeley scientists. “A complete change over to this new method of food freezing worldwide could cut energy use by as …

California Processing Tomato Crop Forecast Below May’s Expectation

Contracted production for California processing tomatoes is forecast at 11.1 million tons, averaging 48.9 tons per acre. The current production forecast is 1.9% below last year’s contracted production, and 4.3% below the May forecast. The projected harvested acreage of tomatoes grown under contract is 227,000 acres, which 0.4% lower than in 2020. Drought concerns impacted planting decisions for the 2021 …

Giving Strawberry Growers a Ray of (UV) Light at the End of Their Pest Tunnel

For a few years, University of Florida (UF) plant pathologist Natalia Peres has used an ultraviolet light system to thwart strawberry pathogens. Peres even published a study this year that showed the system helps control powdery mildew. Two fellow researchers with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) have now used the same robotic UVC applicator to show that …

Study Shows Pest Attack-Order Changes Plant Defenses

The dining time of different insects impacts a plant’s defenses and nutritional quality—a complexity uncovered in new research with implications for pest management strategies. A piercing-sucking, virus-carrying aphid has long worried pea plant farmers, but a more innocuous-seeming weevil that only takes tiny bites from leaves was found to also play a significant role in plant health. Depending if the …

The Threat of Branched Broomrape for California Processing Tomato

Branched broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa), a parasitic weed that was the focus of a $1.5 million eradication effort four decades ago in California, has recently re-emerged in tomato fields in several Central Valley counties. Processing tomatoes are important to the California agricultural economy; the state produced over 90% of the 12 million tons of tomatoes grown in the United States in …

Field Bindweed Yield Impacts on Processing Tomatoes May be Less than Expected

Field bindweed (Convolvulsus arvensis) is considered by many tomato growers to be the most problematic of all weeds in California production areas. Indeed, field bindweed and the closely related morning glory weeds were ranked the 8th most troublesome weeds in North America in a recent survey by the Weed Science Society of America. The rapid adoption of drip irrigation and the …

Slowing the Onset of Alzheimer’s by Eating Berries

Americans are growing old and, sadly, the aging process for many means more than simply turning gray or thinning hair. According to the United States Census, in about a dozen years the number of Americans over 65 will outnumber children. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention project the number of Americans living with Alzheimer’s disease (AD) to nearly triple by …

2020 Vegetable Crops Chemical Use Report

The 2020 Agricultural Chemical Use Survey of vegetable producers collected data about pesticide use as well as pest management practices on acres planted to 22 different vegetable crops. NASS conducted the survey among producers in 18 states, focusing on the states that were major producers for the surveyed crops. (Fig. 1) Data are for the 2020 crop year, the one-year period …

Soil-Biodegradable Mulch In Strawberry Field Day, Aug 17

The UC Cooperative Extension, Washington State University and Monterey Bay Marine Sanctuary have been working together this past year field testing five different formulations of biodegradable bed mulch in strawberry.  See five types of soil-biodegradable mulches (BDMs) applied to strawberries in Salinas Valley. Learn what a BDM is, what it is made from, and comparative economics with traditional PE plastic mulch. See …

Ag Goals & Progress of Voluntary Agreements for Bay-Delta Flows

What is now being referred to as a 20 year drought in California has caused many problems for not only farmers, but all Californians and wildlife. In addition to the dire need for water infrastructure renovations, farming groups are also very focused on pursuing voluntary agreements for alternatives to the California State Water Resources Control Board plan for Bay-Delta flows. …

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