California Agriculture, January 1969
Volume 23, Number 1
Crossbreding pays off
Predacious spiders in California cotton
by T. F. Leigh , R. E. Hunter
Results of this study indicate that a wide variety of spiders are present in California cotton fields. Several of these are abundant during the cotton growing season and appear to feed extensively on such cotton pests as the lygus bug (seen being attacked by a crab spider in photo to left). Differences were apparent in the portions of the plant that different species inhabit and the area of the valley they occupy.
Chemical thinning for shipping peaches, nectarines and plums
by J. Beutel , M. Gerdts , J. Larue , C. Carlson
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: CHEMICAL SPRAY THINNING has proved to be a promising way to reduce the costs and labor needed for thinning stone fruits. Dinitro materials like, Elgetol sprays and D.O.C. dusts have been used more than 25 years for thinning out heavy fruit sets in plums and peaches. To be most effective, dinitro materials must be applied during a one- to two-day period before full bloom (at 60 to 90 per cent of full bloom) when set is unknown and frost and rain are still crop hazards. The erratic quality of the thinning with dinitros plus the necessity for early season application has limited the use of these chemicals to extra heavy setting fruit varieties.
Hydrologic mini-cycle for soil moisture and salt control in irrigated agriculture
by Robert J. Miller
The method proposed here for soil moisture and salt control in irrigation utilizes solar energy and clear plastic to recycle water from irrigated furrows to adjacent seed or plant beds. The use of clear plastic canopies over the irrigated furrows prevents evaporation and maintains a moist seedbed for long periods of time. Harmful concentrations of soluble salts can also be redistributed within the bed by recycling water from the wetted furrow. Installation of the hydrologic minicycle system can be beneficial in seed germination and establishment of many of our high value crops. It can also be useful in areas of insufficient rainfall and high temperatures, especially where water is costly or of poor quality. Adaptation to nursery and greenhouse culture could greatly reduce the labor required by the frequent watering of plants. Warmer soil temperatures found in the plant beds beneath the edge of plastic canopies could facilitate early spring seed germination when solar energy is available but outside air temperatures are still too low for a normal seeding date.
Crossbred beef cattle are more profitable
by S. W. Thurber , Reuben Albaugh
Crossbred Angus-by-Hereford calves (seen in photo above, and cover, at the Albaugh Ranch, Shasta County) yielded a significantly higher return per head at weaning and at yearling age than straight Hereford calves out of Hereford dams of the same age, under the same environmental conditions. At weaning age, crossbred calves weighed 62 lbs more than the straightbred, and (at $27 per 100 lbs) were worth $16.74 more than the straightbreds. Yearling crossbred steers brought an income of $28 more than straight Hereford steers, and crossbred heifers brought $16 more than Hereford heifers.
A progress report… bee pollination in cucumbers for pickling
by W. S. Seyman , W. W. Barnett , R. W. Thorp , W. Stanger , P. B. Payne
Selective admission of bees to cucumber blossoms (through use of a field screening procedure) resulted in production of fruit yields roughly proportional to the length of time the bees were admitted and to the field activity level of bees during that time. In this experiment, the continuous increase in fruit yields with increased exposure to bee pollinating activity suggested that bee populations were inadequate to insure maximum yield on a once-over (single) harvest basis. The introduction of a supplemental source of bees tended to support this theory, but technical difficulties caused limitations of the differential effects and the data were not subject to statistically valid measurement. In general, however, the experiment upheld previous reports that the honey bee is extremely important to the pollination of the cucumber crop and that the major portion of bee pollinating activity occurs during the mid-day period.
Fungicidal control of Botrytis fruit rot of strawberry
by A. O. Paulus , V. Voth , F. Shibuya , H. Bowen , A. H. Holland
Abstract Not Available – First paragraph follows: BOTRYTIS FRUIT ROT, commonly known as gray mold rot, is the major fruit rot attacking strawberries in southern California fields, ft is caused by the fungus, Botrytis cinerea, which thrives in wet conditions and cool temperatures. Botrytis spores are produced in tremendous quantities and are carried by the wind. The fungus usually attacks through senescent dead petals, stamens, or other delicate plant tissue. Much of the infection of the fruit originates at the stem end, but the fungus is able to penetrate the unbroken skin of the berry.
Granular formulations of systemic insecticides for control of aphids on easter lilies
by F. S. Morishita , R. N. Jefferson
These experiments indicate that granular formulations of Temik and Furadan are promising insecticides for use in controlling aphids on lilies forced for Easter. Applications to the crown of the plants were as effective as when the granules were applied to the soil in the pots. Crown applications were also easier and thus required less time than soil applications. No phytotoxicity occurred on the varieties Ace and Nellie White. However, these insecticides need to be tested on a larger scale and on more varieties, before they can be recommended for commercial use.
Evaluation of computer-formulated least-cost concentrate mixes for dairy cows
by D. L. Bath , S. E. Bishop , G. A. Hutton , J. C. Oliver , R. N. Eide , G. W. Dean
The same milk production wai obtained in these tests from cows fed computerformulated least-cost concentrate mixes as from cows fed mixes formulated by hand. An average price reduction of $3.10 per ton resulted from feeding the least-cost mixes to 295 cows in five feeding trials.
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