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From the UC Blogosphere...

Summer—it’s a time for swimming, BBQs, camping, and eating invasive species

Last week during California Invasive Species Action Week (June 2 – June 10), we highlighted several pests, but there are many more invasive species out there. Now that you know about them, share your knowledge of invasive species with others. And no matter what your summer plans, here are some things YOU can do about invasive species from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and California Department of Food and Agriculture. 

YOU:  I'M TRAVELLING TO AMAZING PLACES

YOU:  I'LL BE WORKING IN MY GARDEN

YOU:  I'LL BE NEAR THE WATER OR ON A BOAT

YOU:  I'LL BE OUT AND ABOUT CAMPING, HIKING, OR RIDING HORSES

YOU:  I'LL DEFINITELY CONTINUE TO LEARN ABOUT INVASIVES

  • Get to know your local invaders.
  • Learn about California's invasive plants.
  • Find out which species are threats to California.
  • Learn alternatives to releasing unwanted fish, aquatic plants, and other pets.
  • Eat them. Yum. Check out these websites to find out who is edible and how to prepare them.

If you missed it this year, help in the fight next year by learning and participating during California Invasive Species Action Week.

 

Posted on Friday, June 15, 2018 at 7:42 AM
  • Author: Tunyalee Martin

On Flag Day, Both Flags and Monarchs Flutter

A majestic monarch butterfly, an icon, on an American flag. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Today, June 14, is Flag Day, a time when we celebrate and commemorate our American flag. Our Continental Congress adopted...

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 4:33 PM

UC ANR scientist debates conservation tillage practices with industry leader

Alan Wilcox of Wilcox Agri-Products and UC Cooperative Extension specialist Jeff Mitchell debated the challenges and opportunities for increased implementation of conservation tillage practices on California farms during the World Ag Expo in February, reported Alan Stenum in Farm Equipment magazine.

Wilcox said farmers are going to be resistant to anything they suspect will affect yield. Mitchell said creative innovation underway will have a big impact on some of the more challenging crops that are grown in California.

Alan Wilcox, left, and Jeff Mitchell debate the challenges and opportunities for conservation tillage. (Photo by Farm Equipment magazine, used with permission)

"This is a region where costs are high. The cost of doing business is high, and maximum yields on any crop are important to even break even," Wilcox said. "We're going to be intensely committed to water management and the maximum amount of water."

Mitchell said farmers in other parts of the U.S. started to switch to reduced disturbance no-till systems to conserve water.

"The recognition of the value of that opportunity to reduce soil water evaporation and have more water going through the crops through transpiration hasn't really sunk in here in California in large fashion," Mitchell said.

While Mitchell noted that water is essential to the discussion of conservation agriculture, there are other important aspects to consider.

"Biological cycling of nutrients in the soil, tightening up the system so there are fewer losses, either to the groundwater as some sort of pollution, or improving the overall soil function and nutrition provision capacity of the soil - that's not a small aspect of the overall system, nor are the opportunities for reducing costs," Mitchell said.

Wilcox said he would characterize the argument differently.

"The point is in all of our tillage strategies - and in every situation - we never compromise yield," he said.

Read the complete debate in Farm Equipment magazine.

More information about the use of conservation agriculture practices can be found on the UC Conservation Agriculture Systems Innovation website.

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018 at 8:46 AM

It Came Down to One Question to Determine the Championship Team

Ralph Washington Jr. captained the UC Berkeley-UC Davis Linnaean Games Team that won the regional championship at the 2018 PBESA meeting. He also captained the UC Davis Linnaean Games Teams that won the national championships in 2015 and 2016. (UC Davis Photo)

It all came down to a question about a Dutch scientist, a microscopist from the 17th century. Which team--the UC...

Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2018 at 6:09 PM

Pollinator Gardens Make Us Happy: Get Ready for National Pollinator Week!

This is an overview of part of Kate Frey's pollinator garden at Sonoma Cornerstone. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)

Are you ready for National Pollinator Week, June 18-June 24? A spectacular pollinator garden that's a "must-see" is Kate...

Posted on Tuesday, June 12, 2018 at 4:44 PM

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