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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 …

Western Growers Statement on U.S. and Mexico Trade Deal

In response to the deal reached by the U.S. and Mexico to avert the addition of five percent tariffs on all Mexican goods, Western Growers President and CEO Tom Nassif issued the following statement: “We are pleased that this potential impediment to trade between our two countries has been avoided. Mexico represents one of the largest export markets for U.S. …

U.S. Organic Sales Break Through $50 Billion Mark in 2018

U.S. Organic Sales

Clean, transparent, fresh, sustainable. Environmentally friendly, animal humane, high quality, social activism. Those traits are all identified with organic, and in 2018 they all helped push organic sales to unprecedented levels. The U.S. organic market in 2018 broke through the $50 billion mark for the first time, with sales hitting a record $52.5 billion, up 6.3 percent from the previous …

Video Series on Vegetable Production of the Future

Video Series on Vegetable Production of the Future

A 26-episode weekly video series has debuted on YouTube to help train the next generation of vegetable crop workers and increase their use of effective stewardship practices in vegetable production. Projections for near-future retirements of people working in California’s agricultural production, marketing and post-harvest handling sectors indicate severe re-staffing needs in the coming years. Technological advances have reduced manual labor …

Duncan Family Farms Announces Two Key Additions to Executive Team

Duncan Family Farms

Duncan Family Farms, a leading family-owned, multi-regional grower of over 7,000 acres of certified organic produce, announced that Will Feliz has returned to the firm as president and Ryan Borer has joined as chief financial officer. Arnott Duncan, co-founder and CEO, said the appointments will accelerate the company’s growth and help it achieve its strategic objectives. “Will and Ryan bring …

Polyploidy – or how do we get seedless fruit?

Having an odd number of chromosomes can produce sterile – and seedless fruit. Spitting out watermelon seeds can be a summertime rite of passage for some folks. Others like their watermelons seedless. How did those seedless watermelons (and other plants) come about? The May 7th Sustainable, Secure Food blog explains the topic of polyploidy. “Plants can have multiple sets of chromosomes, which …

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