October 2018 News Clips (10/1 - 10/15)
Chico State Hosts "Wildcats Vote" Campaign Forum
(Action News Now 12/24) Cecile Juliette, Oct. 15
… Ryan Cleland, 4-H Community Education Specialist, said voting is the best way to make a point.
"You don't have to engage in the conversations at Thanksgiving or the arguments on TV," Cleland said. "You can quietly vote and make your voice heard."
Don't Blame Storm Victims for This
(Gizmodo) Maddie Stone, Oct. 15
… Faith Kearns, a scientist at the California Institute for Water Resources, says she's seen victim shaming based on ideology become “increasingly common” as we wrestle with how to talk about climate change after a disaster. As an example she pointed to the massive wildfire that tore through Fort McMurray in 2016, which brought out the worst on social media, with some, including former New Democratic Party candidate Tom Moffatt, calling it “karmic” that a town in the Canadian oil-sands was devoured by a blaze likely exacerbated by climate change. A brief scan of responses to the recent Guardian article reveals there are indeed jerks who saw citizens of the red-leaning Florida Panhandle getting what they deserve when Hurricane Michael struck last week.
New outbreaks of sudden oak death in Marin despite drier weather
(Marin Independent Journal) Richard Halstead, Oct 12
New areas ripe for infection with sudden oak death have been identified in Marin County despite drier conditions that have helped check the spread of the disease statewide, according to a new survey by citizen scientists.
This is the 11th such survey conducted since Matteo Garbelotto, a forest pathologist with the University of California at Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory and one of the foremost experts on sudden oak death, organized the so-called sudden oak death blitzes in 2008 using volunteers.
UC grad students picked to help Global Food Initiative
(Western Farm Press) Pamela Kan-Rice, Oct. 12
Two University of California graduate students have been selected by UC Agriculture and Natural Resources as UC Global Food Initiative (GFI) fellows for 2018-19. Graduate students Melanie Colvin at UC Berkeley and Maci Mueller at UC Davis will work with ANR academics and staff to conduct and communicate about UC research for improved food security and agricultural sustainability.
Fighting fire with fire
(Calaveras Enterprise) Davis Harper, Oct 11
Landowners heard from personnel from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection personnel and the Stanislaus National Forest, in addition to foresters, ecologists and retired firefighters Oct. 4 during a prescribed burn workshop at Ebbetts Pass Fire District in Arnold.
The event was hosted by University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) – Central Sierra (El Dorado, Amador, Calaveras and Tuolumne Counties) Natural Resources Advisor Susie Kocher.
UC Davis geneticist Alison Van Eenennaam: The science advocate anti-GMO groups love to hate
(Genetic Literacy Project) Joan Conrow, Oct. 11
In the contentious arena of livestock breeding and biotechnology, Dr. Alison L. Van Eenennaam has emerged as a tireless advocate for getting the science right.
Whether she's conducting research in her role as a cooperative extension specialist in the Department of Animal Science at the University of California, Davis, where she runs the Animal Genomics and Biotechnology Laboratory, or crossing the globe to talk about the implications of her work, Van Eenennaam is committed to ensuring that scientific facts inform both her work and the surrounding conversation.
UC agriculture experts offer a webinar series
(Morning Ag Clips) Oct. 9
Continuing education credits required by the California Department of Pesticide Regulation will now be available from UC Cooperative Extension by participating in live webinars.
“Everybody is busy,” said Beth Grafton-Cardwell, UCCE citrus entomology specialist. “It's hard for people to get to meetings. Now, they can get some of the hours they need for updating their professional licenses from home or work, or even on their smartphones.”
2018 Wine Industry Leaders
(Wine Business Monthly)
…Anita Oberholster, cooperative extension specialist in enology, UC Davis
Making wine research useful
Dr. Anita Oberholster joined the UC Davis Department of Viticulture and Enology in 2011. Her research focuses on the influence of viticulture practices and environmental factors on grape ripening and wine quality. Dr. Oberholster has been effective in keeping current with fellow researchers and getting new research findings into the hands of practitioners who can make use of it. She earned her Ph.D. from Adelaide University in Australia.
…Hall of Fame: Linda Bisson, former professor, UC Davis Department of Viticulture & Enology
Advanced what we know about fermentation
Dr. Linda Bisson retired from the viticulture and enology faculty at the end of 2017. Through extension courses and professional organizations like ASEV, where she has been the science editor of the AJEV for many years, her research in yeast genetics is a scientific legacy that will not be surpassed easily. Most of the teaching material she used for the initial UC Davis Extension winemaking class is accessible to all and can be found on the UCD V&E website.
Moringa, the next superfood
(WaPo UC Davis sponsored content) Amy Quinton, Oct. 9
…“Moringa compared to other crops does very well in the Central Valley because of its drought tolerance,” said Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, a small farms and specialty crops advisor with the University of California Cooperative Extension in Fresno County.
Dahlquist-Willard is working with Xiong and other farmers to find an efficient way to dry and grind the moringa leaves into a powder. That would allow the farmers to sell year-round and tap into the growing health food market for moringa in the U.S.
Clean Water Act Dramatically Cut Pollution in U.S. Waterways, UC Researchers Say
(Sierra Sun Times) Kara Manke, Oct. 9
The 1972 Clean Water Act has driven significant improvements in U.S. water quality, according to the first comprehensive study of water pollution over the past several decades, by researchers at UC Berkeley and Iowa State University.
…“Water pollution has declined dramatically, and the Clean Water Act contributed substantially to these declines,” said Joseph Shapiro, an associate professor of agricultural and resource economics in the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. “So we were shocked to find that the measured benefit numbers were so low compared to the costs.”
OPINION: Legalized Eco-Bullying Crosses The Pond
(The Daily Caller) Henry Miller, Oct. 8
… USRTK has abused freedom of information laws to demand that academic institutions across North America turn over the emails of faculty members who have a positive attitude toward modern agricultural technologies.
… Other eminent academics, such as University of Illinois Professor (Emeritus) Bruce Chassy, University of Oklahoma Law Professor (Emeritus) Drew Kershen, Washington State University nutrition professor Michelle McGuire, University of California Davis animal geneticist Alison van Eenennaam, Cornell University Alliance for Science director Sarah Evanega, science writer extraordinaire Jon Entine have also been targeted.
California water and land use leaders aim to protect state's groundwater
California Economic Summit, Oct. 8
Since 2011, California has seen the whipsaw effects of drought and flood—from dam and levee failures and flooded neighborhoods to dry wells, parched fields, and trucked water programs to meet basic human needs. While experts predict that these fluctuations are the new norm, smart water leaders are considering new ways to slow down, capture, and store rainy day flows for the inevitable dry days that follow.
Last month, water and land use leaders met at the UC Agriculture and Natural Resources Center in Davis to discuss opportunities and challenges for protecting and increasing groundwater recharge.
Why This Town Is Rebuilding One Year After a Destructive Wildfire—Knowing Another Fire Will Likely Come
(TIME) Jennifer Calfas, Oct. 8
… “It's not our place to say you can't [rebuild],” says Max Moritz, a wildfire specialist at the University of California's Cooperative Extension. “But as a society we need to have a discussion about how much exposure we feel it's safe to have our citizens living in.”
…“Let's build in a way that is going to accommodate that inevitable occurrence,” says Moritz, the wildfire specialist. “Our land use planning should have all of this knowledge — we don't, but we could. That's the future.”
California Growers Adjust Safety Practices After Last Year's Deadly E. Coli Outbreak (AUDIO)
(Capital Public Radio) Julia Mitric, Oct. 5
A group that oversees food safety programs for big California lettuce growers has changed its protocols in the wake of an E. coli outbreak last spring which caused five deaths and sickened more than 200 people across 36 states.
The outbreak was linked to romaine lettuce grown in Yuma, Arizona. It was a deja vu moment for food safety specialists says Erin DiCaprio, a Food Virologist with the University of California Cooperative Extension.
“The romaine lettuce outbreak triggered some old memories of some past outbreaks,” says DiCaprio.
Moringa touted as next ‘super food'
(Capital Press) Padma Nagappan, Oct. 5
When researchers from the University of California's Department of Agriculture and Natural Resources found local Asian farmers growing it, and understood the nutritional value of this humble plant, they began to look for ways to promote it, so more farmers could grow it, and the public could learn how to use it. With the help of a state-funded grant, they're testing how much protein, iron and vitamins it contains, and have developed recipes in which the leaves and pod can be used.
“We found there was a market for the value-added product as a powder used in smoothies, savory dishes, oatmeal,” said Lorena Maria Ramos, new crop research associate with the small farms program at UCANR in Fresno. “It's versatile.”
In farmers' markets in the Fresno area, its leaves are sold for $1 a bundle. With encouragement and education from Ruth Dahlquist-Willard, a small farms advisor at UCANR who first recognized the potential of moringa, and help from Ramos, more local growers are beginning to plant and sell it.
4-H advisor to be inducted into national Hall of Fame
(Western Farm Press) Jeanette Warnert, Oct. 5
Richard Mahacek, UC Cooperative Extension 4-H youth development advisor in Merced County from 1976 to 2012, will be inducted into the National 4-H Hall of Fame on Oct. 19 for his lifetime achievements and contributions to 4-H.
…The crowning achievement of his career was the development of the 4-H Junk Drawer Robotics curriculum in 2011. The curriculum shows how to engage children in building robotic devices with rubber bands, Popsicle sticks, medicine dispensers and bamboo skewers – the kinds of things people already have around the house. The robotics program develops skills that go beyond science and engineering. The children learn communications, teamwork and critical thinking.
UC Cooperative Extension works in local communities to help Californians adapt to climate change
Valley News, Oct. 5
Californians received bleak news last month when the state released its fourth assessment of climate change in California. The report predicts severe wildfires, more frequent and longer droughts, rising sea levels, increased flooding, coastal erosion and extreme heat.
“It's great to be living in a state where science and facts around climate change are valued,” University of California Cooperative Extension specialist Adina Merenlender said. “But the recent forecasts may make you want to devour a quart of ice cream in a pool of salty tears.”
Modern civilization has changed the world climate, and even dramatic reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions at this point won't turn back the clock, according to Igor Lacan, UC Cooperative Extension adviser in the Bay Area of California, who said the warming now predicted by Cal-Adapt is likely already “baked in,” even with the best mitigation efforts.
L.A. councilman wants the city to take another look at its coyote policy
(Daily Breeze) Donna Littlejohn, Oct. 3
…“Wildlife relocation is not generally considered a good wildlife practice,” said Niamh Quinn, a coyote researcher at the University of California Cooperative Extension, in Orange County. “The relocation of coyotes could result in the death of that coyote.
“It would ultimately be more humane to euthanize the coyote.”
Late Season Pests Can Be a Challenge
(Cal Ag Today) Patrick Cavanaugh, Oct. 3
The 2018 cotton harvest will be starting in the southern part of the Central Valley later this month, and some growers will be facing pressure from pests.
California Ag Today recently spoke about the topic with Dan Munk, a UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor in Fresno County specializing in irrigation crop nutrient management and cotton production systems.
“The crop looks very good and loaded with cotton bolls. We don't have a lot of boll losses, and that's a real positive thing, so very excited about the potential for fairly high yields in the 2018 season. The biggest concern right now is pest management, press pressures as we approach the latter part of the season,” Munk explained.
Rain won't disrupt Sonoma County grape harvest
(The Press Democrat) Bill Swindell, Oct. 1
Sonoma County growers are nearing the halfway point of the 2018 grape harvest as light rainfall over the weekend has not so far disrupted picking.
The rain that fell in Santa Rosa, measuring only 0.11 of an inch, and a storm that's forecast to enter the area on Monday night should not cause significant problems with the harvest, local vintners said.
Rain can become a problem during the annual county grape harvest when it lingers and grapes aren't allowed enough time to dry, which could lead to fruit rot, said Rhonda Smith, viticulture farm advisor for the UC Cooperative extension in Sonoma County.
“It's significant rainfall that doesn't have a break on it,” Smith said of poor conditions that could lead to bunch rot.
Robots Head for the Fields
(Wall Street Journal) Jennifer Strong, Daniela Hernandez, Oct. 1
…“Each would do a task it's best suited for. So it's a symbiotic relationship” between people, crops and machines, says David Slaughter, an agricultural engineer, who heads the Smart Farm Initiative at the University of California, Davis. Right now, artificial intelligence alone “can't completely deal with the natural complexity of a farm,” he adds.
…Commercial orchards are moving “to very structured and geometric architectures that might look more like a factory in the future,” says Stavros Vougioukas, an associate professor of biological and agricultural engineering at the University of California, Davis.