Cooperative Extension offers webinars on valley crops

The University of California Cooperative Extension-Sutter-Yuba-Colusa is hosting a series of webinars in September and October regarding research updates on some of the Sacramento Valley’s major crops.

The classes are primarily focused on pest management and pesticide safety, which is relevant to growers throughout the state.

The next webinar is planned for Sept. 16. Amber Vinchesi-Vahl, vegetable crops advisor for UCCE, will provide information on pest issues in vegetables and the latest research updates on disease and weed management in processing tomatoes and cucumber beetles in melons.

After that, the next webinar will be Sept. 30 and will feature Whitney Brim-DeForest, rice and wild rice advisor and local director of the UCCE branch.

“The webinar will provide an opportunity for discussion and interaction about weed identification,” Brim-DeForest said in a press release. “We will also cover the latest research updates on specific weed species, resistance management, and new herbicides in rice.”

The final webinar in the series is planned for Oct. 7 and will feature Sarah Light, agronomy advisor. Topics discussed will include opportunities to decrease environmental risk through pesticide selection and application, accurate diagnosis, and reduction of loss to the environment.

Enrollment is limited, so those wishing to participate are encouraged to register early. The cost is $20 for one webinar, $35 for two, or $50 for three. For more details or to register, visit Continuing Education credits are available for participants.

– Appeal Staff Report

California prune harvest wraps up on schedule

Despite facing many challenges related to wildfires and market disruptions caused by the pandemic, the California prune harvest wrapped up on schedule this year. 

According to a release issued by the California Prune Board, growers and handlers are anticipating a production of 45,000 metric tons this year, a decrease of 37 percent from last year. 

Despite that fact, data reported to growers and handlers at the conclusion of the 2019 crop year on July 31 seemed to underscore consumer desire for California prunes, it was stated in the release, as shipments to export markets jumped 17 percent and domestic shipments improved by 12 percent compared to 2019.

While the pandemic has fueled consumers’ focus on healthy foods, the California Prune industry regularly promotes the nutritional profile and invests in nutrition research that elevates the health benefits of prunes,” said Donn Zea, executive director of the California Prune Board. “We are grateful that so many consumers have chosen California prunes during this time. We plan on doing everything we can to earn and keep their trust.”

– Appeal Staff Report

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