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Pest/Disease Management

Plant, Insect Viruses Work Together to Spread Disease

In what may be a first for science, researchers with the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) have found an example of plant and insect viruses working together to increase their spread. Michelle Heck, an ARS research molecular biologist, was leading research into poleroviruses, a type of plant virus spread by aphids, when she and Cornell University graduate students Jenny Wilson and …

New CA Blackeye Varieties Show Resistance to Cowpea Aphid

Field trials in the Central Valley with two new varieties of blackeye beans, CB74 and CB77, show impressive resistance to cowpea aphids compared to standard CB46, CB5, and CB50 lines. Four varieties of blackeyes including CB46, CB77, CB74, and CB5 were seeded into a blackeye CB50 field, in single lines on 30-inch beds in the Sacramento Valley in May 2020 …

Broomrape: a Parasitic Weed in CA Processing Tomato

Branched broomrape (Phelipanche ramosa), a weedy parasitic plant that can cause devastating damage to many economically important wide range of broadleaf crops including tomato, cabbage, potato, eggplant, carrot, pepper, beans, celery, peanut and sunflower has recently re-emerged in fields in Central Valley counties in California. This weed utilizes a modified root, called haustorium, to fuse into a host plant root and …

Research Gives Possible Answers to Increase Pollinator Populations on Farms

Many living creatures live in soil. Though their sizes range from microscopic soil microbes to larger animals like gopher turtles, they all call soil their “home.” Included in these ground-dwelling species are bees – vital in the pollination cycle of about 90% of plant life. Rebecca Lybrand and her team at Oregon State University are studying the interaction between the …

Fusarium Root Rot in Seedling Lima Beans

In May, I looked at a lima bean field in the Sacramento Valley that showed poor seedling emergence scattered throughout the field (photo 1). I sent samples to the UC Davis Plant Pathology lab and the main pathogen consistently recovered from the roots was Fusarium root rot, a fungal disease caused by Fusarium solani f. sp. phaseoli. This pathogen is specific …

Recurrent Selection with Glufosinate at Low Rates Reduces Italian Ryegrass Resistance

Italian ryegrass is a major weed in orchards, vineyards, field crops, and fallow fields of California (Figure 1). Several different herbicides are used to control ryegrass and had been effective in reducing infestations until resistance evolved in many populations following repeated use of the herbicides. To date, resistance to glyphosate, paraquat, and some ACCase and ALS inhibitors has been confirmed …

Additional Commodities Eligible for Coronavirus Food Assistance Program

Today, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue announced an initial list of additional commodities that have been added to the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP), and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) made other adjustments to the program based on comments received from agricultural producers and organizations and review of market data. Producers will be able to submit applications …

Does Adjusting Soil pH Control Clubroot of Brassicas?

Clubroot disease  can be a serious production issue for broccoli, cauliflower, and other brassicas in the Salinas Valley. The disease  is caused by a unique organism (Plasmodiophora brassicae) that is closely related to ciliate protozoans but is classified in its own taxonomic group. It survives over 20 years as resting spores in the soil that are released as the clubbed …

PMA Launches the Essentials of Produce Safety — Online Professional Training Program

The Produce Marketing Association (PMA) has announced the launch of its eLearning certificate course Essentials of Produce Safety, an entirely online, affordable and in-depth program covering the key challenges and best practices in produce safety. The course is the first certificate program in PMA’s new educational platform offering, FreshEd Academy. The course was developed in partnership with Intertek Alchemy, the …

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