California Agriculture, January-March 2008
Volume 62, Number 1
Better wines, more vines: California and the world wine revolution
peer-reviewed research articles
California wine industry evolving to compete in 21st century
by Rachael Goodhue, Richard Green, Dale Heien, Philip Martin
The California wine industry is growing and changing amidst a global revolution in grape growing, wine production, wine marketing and consumer tastes. California accounted for roughly 90% of the value of U.S. wine production in 2006. U.S. per capita wine consumption and the quality of wine consumed continue to rise. The largest California wineries have long accounted for most California wine shipments and continue to expand with respect to volume and number of labels. While small wineries sell most of their wine directly to end-users, many midsized wineries face challenges in an increasingly crowded marketplace.
Post-emergence herbicides are cost effective for vineyard floor management on the Central Coast
by Laura Tourte, Richard Smith, Larry Bettiga, Tiffany Bensen, Jason Smith, Daryl Salm
Central Coast growers are under increasing scrutiny and regulatory pressure to manage herbicide use because of their farmland's proximity to the Monterey Bay and National Marine Sanctuary. Vineyard floor management practices typically consist of a combination of weed control strategies, including herbicide use and cover crops. We evaluated nine combinations of vineyard floor management practices for their impacts on fruit yield, quality and costs. We found that compared to the grower standard, post-emergence herbicide treatments generally used smaller amounts of chemicals and were less costly, with similar yields and quality.
Minimum tillage could benefit California rice farmers
by Bruce Linquist, Albert Fischer, Larry Godfrey, Chris Greer, James Hill, Kaden Koffler, Michael Moeching, Randal Mutters, Chris van Kessel
Field research and grower interviews were used to evaluate the potential of minimum tillage for California rice systems. We found that by tilling only in the fall (instead of both the fall and spring), rice farmers can control herbicide-resistant weeds when combined with a stale rice seedbed, which entails spring flooding to germinate weeds followed by a gly-phosate application to kill them. Our results indicated that yield potentials are comparable between water-seeded minimum- and conventional-till systems. We also found that rice growers can reduce fuel costs and plant early. However, minimum tillage may require more nitrogen fertilizer to achieve these yields.
Postharvest survival of navel orangeworm assessed in pistachios
by Joel P. Siegel, L.P.S. (Bas) Kuenen, Bradley S. Higbee, Patricia Noble, Richard Gill, Glen Y. Yokota, Rodrigo Krugner, Kent M. Daane
Controlling navel orangeworm, a key pistachio pest, is problematic because the moth overwinters in “mummy” nuts. After harvest, there may be more than 30,000 pistachio nuts (mummies) left behind per acre. To provide better information for winter sanitation decisions, we investigated the number of available mummies and their levels of navel orangeworm infestation from winter through early summer in California pistachio orchards. Navel orangeworm mortality was highest from late December through mid-February, and was also higher on the ground than in trees. Mortality on the ground was highest when mummies were tilled or mowed with the groundcover than when nuts were left on the raised berm. Our data indicates that, in contrast to almonds, it is more productive to focus on clearing pistachios from the ground than on removing them from trees. However, winter sanitation procedures also should be augmented in order to destroy more overwintering navel orangeworm.
Bait formulations and longevity of navel orangeworm egg traps tested
by L.P.S. (Bas) Kuenen, Walt Bentley, Heather C. Rowe, Brian Ribeiro
Standardization of pest monitoring practices and materials to maximize sensitivity to pest populations in the field is a foundation of effective integrated pest management (IPM). In response to changes in the availability of commercial bait material for navel orangeworm (NOW) egg traps, we evaluated potential alternative bait materials for use in monitoring this key pest of almonds, pistachios, walnuts and figs. Navel orangeworm egg traps baited with uninfested nutmeats were as effective as almond meal plus 10% crude almond oil, whereas traps baited with freeze-killed, navel orangeworm-infested nutmeats were less effective. The use of nut mummies (culled during winter orchard sanitation) as trap bait may not produce consistent results since the level of navel orangeworm infestation of these nuts is typically unknown. Three seasons of field tests showed that egg traps baited with almond meal plus 3% or 10% crude almond oil received similar numbers of navel orangeworm eggs, and these traps were equally effective for at least 10 weeks.
Public work projects cultivate youth in workforce development programs
by David Campbell, Jean Lamming, Cathy Lemp, Ann Brosnahan, Carole Paterson, John Pusey
Using comparative case studies, we evaluated youth workforce development programs in California that are funded by the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) and implemented by local Youth Councils and Workforce Investment Boards. First, we identified a promising practice: skill- and pride-generating public work projects. Next, we identified three characteristics of these successful youth public work initiatives: (1) combining employment preparation with social services and personal support; (2) grouping youth in cohorts that work and learn together; and (3) providing caring adult supervision that combines discipline and support. Proactive investments in high-quality programs with these characteristics can reduce the growing number of out-of-school, out-of-work youth in California, save future public costs for the criminal justice and social service systems, and provide youth with meaningful employment opportunities.
editorial, news, letters & science briefs
UC know-how can boost California wine economy
by Andrew L. Waterhouse, Neal Van Alfen
From our readers
Laue leads Cal Ag into digital future
Service grants allow 4H-ers to build healthier communities
by Hazel White
Oiled birds cleaned up and sent home; research studies launched
by Robin Meadows
UC Cooperative Extension helps people cope with Southern California wildfires
by Robin Meadows
Trained ovines chomp on weeds, avoid vines
by Robin Meadows
Mapping shows continued vineyard expansion in premium wine-growing areas