California Agriculture, November-December 1996
Volume 50, Number 6
Celebrating 50 Years: 1946-1996
peer-reviewed research articles
Crew workers split between hourly and piece-rate pay
by Gregory Encina Billikopf
When properly managed, piece-rate pay can result in enhanced wages for crew workers and increased productivity for growers. Despite the benefits of piece rate, crew workers were evenly divided between those who favor hourly pay and those who prefer piece-rate pay. Crew worker concern about how piece rates are determined played a key role in the unexpectedly low preference for piece rate. Suggestions are offered for establishing piece rates as pay incentives.
Vegetables, fruits and nuts account for 95% of organic sales in California
by Karen Klonsky , Laura Tourte
A total of 1,159 organic farmers sold over 70 individual commodities, grossing $75.4 million from 45,493 producing (physical) acres in 1992–93. All but 5% of the growers raised some fruit, nut or vegetable crop. Organic production in California is highly concentrated: The largest 7% of organic farms claimed three-fourths of the total gross sales, while half of the farms were smaller than 5 acres with annual sales of under $7,500.
Radio is effective in teaching nutrition to Latino families
by Joan Wright , Eunice Romero-Gwynn , Anne Cotter , Carol Powell , Constance Garrett , Myriam Grajales-Hall , Saundra Parnell , Gwendolyn Stanford , Barbara Turner , Norma Wightman , Eunice Williamson
A series of five nutrition education lessons was broadcast over Spanish-language radio in a major metropolitan and a semirural area of southern California. Pre- and postbroadcast interviews with a random sample of enrollees were used to examine differences in nutrition-related knowledge, practices, and frequency of eating selected foods. In both broadcast locations, knowledge and practice gains were significant, but reported food-frequency patterns did not reflect change. Listeners liked the lessons and home-study guides, and identified specific ways they had applied the information. Spanish-language radio appears to be an effective medium to deliver nutrition education to Latinos.
“Resistance-breaking” nematodes identified in California tomatoes
by Isgouhi Kaloshian , Valerie M. Williamson , Gene Miyao , Dennis A. Lawn , Becky B. Westerdahl
Resistance to root-knot nematodes in tomato is conferred by the gene Mi. We have identified two field populations of Meloidogyne incognita that parasitize tomato plants containing the Mi gene. This necessitates the use of planned crop rotation practices and the incorporation of other resistance genes into cultivated tomato.
editorial, news, letters & science briefs
Division changes with the needs of Californians
by W.R. Gomes
UCB Library to preserve ag literature
by Kimberly A. Crum , Karen Watts
50 Years: California Agriculture
California Agriculture time line
Q & A: Harry Agamalian, Monterey County farm advisor
by Jeannette Warnert
Harry Agamalian is a pioneer in the discipline of weed science. He joined the Monterey County UC Cooperative Extension in 1955 as an agronomy farm advisor, but soon advanced to become the county's first weed science advisor. He began working with weeds when the first herbicides were being developed, a time of dramatic change in the agricultural industry. Agamalian earned a bachelor's degree in agronomy from UC Davis in 1955 and a master's degree in weed science from the University of Arizona while on sabbatical leave in 1964. Agamalian retired in 1991; however, he has continued his research and extension activities as an advisor emeritus.
Q & A: Jack Dibble, Entomologist
by Jeannette Warnert
Jack Dibble was one of the UC scientists who built the Kearney Agricultural Center's reputation for first-rank agricultural research. Dibble began his career at UC Berkeley in 1955. Fourteen years later, when the University was establishing the Kearney Ag Center near Parlier, Dibble was reassigned. Though Dibble said he was hesitant at first, “It was the best thing I ever did.” During his 36-year career in entomology, Dibble's work has emphasized the screening of pesticides to determine how much and when to make applications for effective pest control. He also studied application techniques and integrated pest management. Dibble retired in 1991, but is still working on several studies at the Kearney Ag Center.
Q & A: Pat Snow, Home Economist
by Jeannette Warnert
Pat Snow had just earned her bachelor's degree in home economics at UC Berkeley in 1949 when she applied for the position of 4-H home advisor at the Monterey County Cooperative Extension office. “When I first got the job, I told myself I would leave after 2 years if I didn't like it,” Snow said. She retired in 1991 after 42 years. Snow taught clothing construction to women during the early part of her career. She later took on additional home economics and 4-H duties.
Q & A: Henry Vaux, Sr., Former Dean of Forestry
by Ken Hall
Henry Vaux, Sr., a native of Pennsylvania, graduated from Haverford College in physics, then shifted gears and came to Berkeley in 1933 as a graduate student in forestry and later earned his Ph.D. in agricultural economics. Vaux joined UC Berkeley's forestry faculty in 1948. He was appointed Dean of the School of Forestry in 1955, after serving for 10 years, he returned to the faculty until he retired in 1978. Since Vaux came to Berkeley, the School of Forestry has gone full circle — from a division of the College of Agriculture, it separated into its own department and later school, then merged with College of Agricultural Sciences to create the College of Natural Resources.
Q & A: Mary Ann Williams, Nutritionist
by Ken Hall
Mary Ann Williams came to UC Berkeley in 1951 as a graduate student. In 1955, she joined the faculty of the Berkeley department of nutrition and home economics, primarily studying essential fatty acids and their metabolic functions. She retired in 1991, but continues to teach part time at UC Berkeley.
Q & A: George Zentmyer, Plant Pathologist
by Kathy Barton
George Zentmyer, professor emeritus of plant pathology at UC Riverside, received his Ph.D. in plant pathology from UC Berkeley in 1938 and joined UC's Citrus Experiment Station in 1944 as a plant pathologist. Zentmyer, a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, is a leading authority on plant diseases caused by the fungus Phytophthora, particularly Phytophthora cinnamomi, which causes severe root rot of avocado trees. His work has focused on root diseases, soil fungicides, biological control of soil pathogens and diseases of avocado trees and other subtropical and tropical crops. The studies have provided a multifaceted approach to control plant diseases that threaten the multimillion dollar avocado industry.
Q & A: Jim Meyer, Former UC Davis Chancellor
by Pat Bailey
Jim Meyer joined UC in 1951 as an instructor of animal husbandry at the Davis campus. He was appointed chair of the Department of Animal Science nine years later and in 1963 was named dean of the College of Agriculture. He went on to serve as chancellor of UC Davis from 1969 to 1987. During his tenure as chancellor, four new campuswide divisions and the Graduate School of Management were established, and enrollment jumped from 12,000 to nearly 20,000 students. Retired since 1987, Meyer is now actively researching what the future may hold for Land Grant colleges of agriculture.