In a 1,000 year old village in Germany (Juehnde), methane is not a dirty word. The recovered methane from a manure-fueled bioreactor feeds the burners that heat water for every household in the village. The same hot water provides heating. These...
Richard Smith and Michael Cahn, UCCE advisors for Monterey and other Central Coast counties, have been conducting field trials for several years to determine volume data on fertilizer application. Once growers know exactly how much nitrogen their crop is absorbing, they can more precisely apply an appropriate amount.
Smith explained that baby spinach will absorb roughly 80 percent of the nitrogen it is going to take up in the final two weeks before harvest, making timing critical, Taylor reported. Spinach harvested a few days later, called "teen spinach" uses about 100 pounds of nitrogen per acre; larger-leafed spinach can used up to 120 pounds.
“No (previous) studies had evaluated high-density planting of clipped or bunched spinach grown on 80-inch beds,” said UCCE research assistant Aaron Heinrich. “Our study was specifically designed to provide data on the nitrogen uptake characteristics of spinach and to evaluate ways to improve nitrogen fertilizer management.”
"The toads use water areas and the cattle use drier meadow areas, which provide better forage," said Ken Tate, UC Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences at UC Davis.
The study, "Determining the Effects of Cattle Grazing Treatments on Yosemite Toads in Montane Meadows," found "no benefit of fencing to Yosemite toad populations." Researchers said their results "do not support previous studies that found a negative impact of grazing on amphibian populations."
The Yosemite toad was once among the most prevalent amphibians in the high Sierra including Yosemite National Park, where it was first discovered and after which it is named, according to a UC Davis news release. But its population and habitat has declined sharply since the early 1980s, disappearing from much of its historic range — meadows at elevations between 6,500 and 11,500 feet from Alpine to Fresno counties.
Besides grazing, other possible reasons for the amphibian's decline include habitat modifications, disease, invasive species, climate change and pesticides, the AgAlert article said.
Combined with other recent studies of water quality and meadow vegetation grazed areas, the research shows that conditions are improving and compatibility between livestock production and other ecosystem services provided by forests are increasing, Tate said.
More information about the studies can be found on the Rangeland Watershed Laboratory website.
As a member of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a great group of people – ranging from farmers to chefs to public health officials – on initiatives that connect Los Angeles consumers...
National Weather Service. With a hard freeze forecast, farmers and backyard gardeners are advised to prepare for temperatures that could damage their plants, reported the Sacramento Bee.
Homeowners should check for plants that are likely to be exposed to cold temperatures, said Judy McClure, UC Cooperative Extension master gardener coordinator.
“The lower spots in the garden tend to get colder than higher spots,” she said. “The bottom of the slope will be colder.”
McClure advises having a good supply of covers. She recommends against throwing a plastic tarp over trees, unless there is a frame to keep the plastic from direct contact with the tree. Contact with the plastic could cause damage by burning the foliage, she explained.
If the soil is dry, McClure said, it is best to water trees and succulents before covering them with blankets or frost cloths. When covering citrus trees, make sure the cover reaches the ground, she said.
The Fresno Bee reported that private meteorologist Steve Johnson has been tracking the approaching weather system since Nov. 25.
"The trajectory keeps it over land and it dries out," Johnson said. "This kind of thing doesn't happen very often. The pattern is very similar to what we saw in December 1998 and 1990."
For more on freeze protection from UC Cooperative Extension, review the following links:
- Citrus freeze protection (home)
- Methods of frost protection (orchards)
- Protecting avocados from frost