Monthly news round up: February 2018
Flash bloom: Warm weather has all almond varieties blooming at the same time
(Chico Enterprise-Record) Steve Schoonover, Feb. 9
The warm weather we've been enjoying has produced what's called a “flash bloom” in almonds, with all the varieties blooming at once.
…The idea is to get what Butte County UC Cooperative Extension Farm Advisor Luke Milliron called “bloom overlap.”
…Glenn County Farm Advisor Dani Lightle said the weather has been good for bee flight, with warm temperatures and little wind.
“But with the crush of flowers all at the same time, can they get to them all?” she asked.
Farmers Can Put Themselves On The Map If They Complete The U.S. Agriculture Census By February 5
(Capital Public Radio) Julia Mitric, Feb. 5
…The once-every-five-year census also paints a picture that can help the University of California Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, which leads beginning farmer and rancher training programs.
Jennifer Sowerwine works on these programs through the UC Cooperative Extension at UC Berkeley.
"The Ag Census data is helpful in my work because we can see changes over time in the demographic profile of farmers [race, gender and size] that can help inform the type of training we offer," explains Sowerwine.
New frontiers await groundwater recharge projects
(Capital Press) Tim Hearden, Feb. 2
While California's groundwater reserves have been systematically depleted since the 1920s, the notion of recharge really took hold with the passage of the 2014 Sustainable Groundwater Management Act, which includes intentional recharge of farm fields as an available option, said Helen Dahlke, a UC-Davis hydrologist who has led some of the research.
UC scientists have been working with growers throughout the valley to find fields with soils conducive to recharge and set up pilot projects, as have groups such as the Almond Board.
The project is one of numerous efforts in various crop fields throughout crop fields being done with the help of UC Cooperative Extension advisers. In the Scott Valley in far northern California, for example, rancher Jim Morris obtained permission to take winter stormwater from a local water district's irrigation canal and apply different amounts of water to different sections of a field to test the tolerance of his alfalfa to the practice.
UC launches drought video series
Red Bluff Daily News, Feb. 3
Because periodic droughts will always be a part of life in California, the UC California Institute for Water Resources produced a series of videos to maintain drought awareness and planning, even in years when water is more abundant.
Shasta County wants to grow agritourism
(Redding Record Searchlight) Damon Arthur, Feb. 1
Penny Leff, agritourism coordinator for the UC Cooperative Extension, said agritourism has been going on for many years throughout the state.
“Agritourism is a supplemental business for a working rancher or farmer,” she said.
The California Agritourism Directory online listed eight destinations in Shasta County. However, one of them could not be reached because its phone service and website were no longer active. Another had quit the agritourism business.
Dixon Siblings Win Solano Co. 4-H Chili Cook-Off
(Dixon Patch) Susan C. Schena, Feb. 1
"The Chili Cook Off is a great hands-on opportunity for youth to build confidence and spark their creativity," said Valerie Williams, Solano County 4-H Program representative. " Chili team members build food preparation skills, learn food and kitchen safety, and use math and science concepts, as they develop their chili recipes."