From the UC Blogosphere...
Chances are you're not thinking about spiders right now, but arachnid experts at the University of California, Davis,...
One of the forces driving agricultural experiments in California's fertile San Joaquin Valley is climate change, reported Mark Schapiro on Grist.org. Although some sources still don't feel completely comfortable with the concept.
"Whether it's carbon built up in the atmosphere or just friggin' bad luck, the conditions are straining us," said John Duarte, president of Duarte Nursery.
The state's fruit and nut orchards are taking the most heat as conditions change. A fruit or nut tree planted today may be ill-suited to climatic conditions by the time it begins bearing fruit in 5 or 10 years. Between 1950 and 2009, “chill” hours trees needed annually to reboot trees' metabolic system for the spring bloom had already declined by as much as 30 percent, according to a California Department of Food and Agriculture study.
“If trees haven't had that low-chill period when they wake up in the spring, it's like being up all night and then trying to go to work.” said Mae Culumber, a nut crop advisor with UC Cooperative Extension in Fresno County.
Researchers have already observed that cherry, apricot, pear, apple, pecan and almond trees are often less productive than they used to be.
The article said farmers may turn to pistachio trees to weather a warmer and dryer California. Pistachio trees require one-third to one-half as much water as almond trees. During droughts, pistachio tree metabolism slows and when water returns, they start producing nuts again. And they can produce nuts for 80 years or longer, almost four times the life span of an average almond tree.
For field crops, scientists are looking at improving the soil and transforming growing systems to help farmers adapt to the warming climate.
“When I drive to the Central Valley, I get goosebumps; I feel the urgency,” UC Davis agronomist Amélie Gaudin said. “I see an agriculture that is basically hydroponics. It's like a person being fed/kept alive by an IV.”
“What happens when you no longer have the sugar-water?” she adds.
Gaudin is focusing on using agroecological principles to develop efficient and resilient cropping systems. Planting cover crops and reducing tillage show promise for mitigating the impact of climate change in the valley.
Peach Tree By Andrea Peck UCCE Master Gardener Prunus persica Planting...
(Remember to add to our timeline. Enter the 40th Anniversary Photo Contest for a chance to win prizes and receive recognition among the UC Master Gardener community.)
Time to pull out your scrapbooks or cameras! The UC Master Gardener Program is holding a photo contest and you are invited to submit and vote for your favorite images.
Join us and share your favorite memory or what is special to you about being a UC Master Gardener volunteer. Enter and vote for your favorite images into the UC Master Gardener Program's 40th Anniversary Photo Contest. Photos can represent the UC Master Gardener Program history, events, workshops, volunteer activities, gardens, or anything that represents what it means to be a UC Master Gardener over the past 40 years.
Submit or vote for your favorite photo
So far the 40th Anniversary Photo Contest has received 134 inspiring entries and more than 1033 votes, but plenty of time still remains to enter and win! Check out current photos at http://bit.ly/40thPhoto and vote for ALL your favorites EVERY DAY until the contest closes.
Check out some popular photo entries that are a great representation of the photo contest theme:
“Lettuce Grow” by My Thanh K. (193 votes)
“Master Gardeners Teaching the Teachers” by Michele Y. (17 votes)
“Caretaker” by Leora W. (14 votes)
How to enter
Entry is free and open to all past and present UC Master Gardener volunteers. Entries must be submitted electronically by 11:59 PST on Wednesday, July 31, 2019 using the online photo contest submission form.
Please read and review the official photo contest participation guidelines before entering.
- Images must be smaller than 10MB
- No limit on number of images
- Winner selected by popular vote!
Photographs with the highest overall public votes will be designated as “People's Choice” winners. First, second and third place winners will receive prizes and be showcased on the statewide UC Master Gardener Program website, UC ANR Repository, UC Master Gardener social media channels, program marketing materials and the 2019 annual report. Winners will also be recognized by having their photo displayed in a gallery at the 2020 UC Master Gardener Program statewide conference.
Don't forget to vote for your favorite photos every day until the contest closes and share with family and friends on social media for additional votes!
Marketing Assistant, Statewide Office
Solar energy should not only be used to benefit global sustainability, but to protect our global ecological systems,...
Solar energy can be used to protect pollinator habitat, according to a research paper published July 9 in the journal Nature. This is Anthophora urbana, a ground-nesting solitary bee which has a broad distribution including the Mojave Desert. It is a floral generalist collecting pollen and nectar from many species of plants, says UC Davis entomologist Leslie Saul-Gershenz. (Photo by Leslie Saul-Gershenz)
Native bee Megachile sp. on Mentzelia flower in the Mojave Desert. (Photo by Leslie Saul-Gershenz)