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Farm Labor in California’s Specialty Crops

October 20th, 2014
Farm Labor in California’s Specialty Crops

The Census of Agriculture (COA), which provides the most complete profile of the nation’s farming sector, highlights the importance of fruits and nuts, vegetables and melons, and horticultural specialty (FVH) crops in California. The farm value of U.S. FVH commodities in 2012 was $57 billion or 27% of U.S. crop sales, while California sales of FVH commodities of $26 billion were 87% of California crop sales. The importance of FVH…

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Introducing Dan Ostrowski

October 13th, 2014
Introducing Dan Ostrowski

Dan Ostrowski, of Wilbur Ellis, represented Lodi while attending an intensive and hands-on five-day spray application workshop where he learned about cutting edge pesticide spray technologies and practices. The workshop is part of a 2-year program funded by Western Sustainable Agriculture and Research that aims to establish a national network of personnel trained to deliver research-based information on the  fundamentals of safe, effective pesticide application. The workshop, which was held…

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Allocation-Based Water Pricing Promotes Conservation While Keeping User Costs Low

October 6th, 2014

The common approach for pricing water and other goods and services in a market economy is uniform pricing: each unit is priced the same regardless of the amount consumed and the characteristics of the consumer. Block (or tiered) rate pricing is where the cost per unit varies with the amount consumed. Increasing (decreasing) block rates refer to the case when the first units are priced relatively low (high) and subsequent…

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Leafroll 3 Virus Testing Reagent that Could Impact State Certification Programs

September 29th, 2014
Leafroll 3 Virus Testing Reagent that Could Impact State Certification Programs

Grapevine leafroll associated virus 3 (GLaV-3) is, arguably, the No. 1 most economically important virus in grapevine production and is designated as an exclusion pest in most certification programs. However, growers are often frustrated to find this virus in their vineyards and in certified nursery stocks.  Since GLRaV-3 is known to be genetically highly variable, we suspect that certain strains may have escaped detection during certification. “Such genetic variability has significant implication in the…

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Effect of Light Environment on Methoxypyrazine Content of Cabernet Sauvignon

September 22nd, 2014
Effect of Light Environment on Methoxypyrazine Content of Cabernet Sauvignon

Sunlight levels can affect a variety of fruit characteristics in winegrapes. This research focused on how light levels impact the presence of a class of aroma compounds, methoxypyrazines (MPs), which are responsible for vegetal aromas such a green bell peppers, green peas, and asparagus. This study examined the effect of light and/or heat on the accumulation of MPs in Cabernet Sauvignon. The results indicate that shaded clusters accumulated more MPs,…

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How Do Growers Sharpen Their Knowledge About Vineyard Management?

September 8th, 2014
How Do Growers Sharpen Their Knowledge About Vineyard Management?

Farming winegrapes is a knowledge intensive activity. Growers learn about vineyard management by accessing a wide variety of information resources, many of which come in the form of outreach programs provided by organizations like the Lodi Winegrape Commission (LWC) and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE). Effective grower outreach can help growers sharpen their knowledge about vineyard management and ultimately have a positive impact on the viability of their farming…

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Red Blotch Disease and the Virus Status of CDFA-certified Grapevine Stock

August 25th, 2014
Red Blotch Disease and the Virus Status of CDFA-certified Grapevine Stock

The Discovery of Grapevine Red Blotch-associated Virus (GRBaV, Red Blotch) in 2012 focused the industry on Red Blotch disease—an unknown condition with recognizable symptoms that growers had been aware of for some time. GRBaV has been found in new planting materials as well as in established vineyards in California and several other winegrowing states in the U.S. During the past 18 months, in an effort to curb disease spread, key stakeholders…

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Late-season Mite Infestations and Management

August 18th, 2014
Late-season Mite Infestations and Management

Every year in Lodi there are a few vineyards that have a late-season infestation of spider mites, especially the Pacific spider mite. By late-season I mean late August or September. Typically the grower’s attention during that time period is shifting to harvest and there is the question of whether or not the mite infestation needs to be treated. One might think that the mite population will continue to increase throughout…

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How California Farms Measure Up in the 2012 Census of Agriculture: Smaller in Size with Higher Value of Production

August 11th, 2014
How California Farms Measure Up in the 2012 Census of Agriculture:  Smaller in Size with Higher Value of Production

The 2012 Census of Agriculture was released in early May 2014. Average farm size continues to grow in terms of acreage and market value of production. However, this trend is not universal across crop category or geographic region. For the crop category of Land Used for Vegetables, the average acreage allocation per farm reporting production in this category decreased, while certain counties in California experienced an increase in the average…

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Regulated Deficit Irrigation – Part II

August 4th, 2014
Regulated Deficit Irrigation – Part II

Part I of this series presented basic concepts of regulated deficit irrigation (RDI), early season soil moisture management, and the vine component of the soil-vine-atmosphere moisture continuum. In this posting, we will explore the other components of the continuum and regulated deficit irrigation after vines reach full canopy. The dryness of the atmosphere, the second component of the continuum, drives vineyard water use by drawing moisture from the soil and…

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