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Mike Burgess  |  Lucky Monkeys Ranch  |  Willits, CA

Subject: Steam Weeders - any good ?

With the current issues about fire, and air permits and insurance, we are going to have to move away from flame weeding.

Wondering if anyone has experience with steam as a weed top kill agent ? a couple weekly cycles and that should eventually starve the roots. Anyone have a system for hire, or maybe consider shared ownership or tool library. $17K for weeding 6x a year is steep..

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Comment 0
11/20/19
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Ben Lyons  |  Lockewood Acres  |  Vacaville, CA

Subject: Rust

I wanted to ask folks a couple questions about Rust in garlic. I treated early with Horticultural oil and sulfur. I even cut the heavy stuff out. But now two weeks later the whole patch is rusted! Question #1 Is there a PCA that specializes in organic solutions in the Solano/Yolo area. And question #2, at this late stage in the garlic life will it effect the final product. The plants are just now setting out flowers of which i will be cutting back. Thanks in advance.

ben

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Comment 1
05/21/19
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1.75

  |  Apricot Lane Farms  |  Moorpark, CA commented

Hi Ben,

I'm still a pretty novice farmer, so I wouldn't rely 100% on my experience, however, I have grow pretty nice garlic (inchellium variety/soft neck) the past couple years. Every year I get rust and it doesn't worry me a bit, it has never affected the final product for me. I have not done any treatment though of what you mentioned above (horticultural oil & sulfur) so I don't know how that would affect the crop differently? Mine are also not flowering, so you must be growing a hard neck variety?

05/26/19 6:08 AM

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Jeff Mitchell  |  UC Cooperative Extension  |  Parlier, CA

Subject: New video series to spark interest in vegetable production of the future

We are pleased to announce that a new series of 26 instructional videos on vegetable production is being launched through the University of California’s Agricultural and Natural Resources You Tube channel beginning this coming Monday, May 13th. We encourage you to sign up at the You Tube channel to begin receiving weekly reminders of new video “premieres” that will be released every Monday morning at 8 o’clock.

Professors from four California universities, UC Davis, Fresno State, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, and Chico State, at which vegetable production courses are offered, teamed up to prepare and produce the videos. The series covers a full range of related topics and while primarily focusing on California, also includes topics from beyond the State as well.

We encourage your help in getting the word out about this series.
If I can be of further help, please call me at (559) 303-9689.

Farm

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Water & Irrigation, Harvesting, Washing, Packing & Packaging, Waste Management, Food Safety, Equipment, Growing Structures: Greenhouses, Hoop Houses, etc., Facilities, Cooling & Energy Systems, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Weather & Climate Change, Urban Agriculture

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Comment 0
05/17/19
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Greg Nilsen  |  Wine Country Cuisine  |  Santa Rosa, CA

Subject: Pesticide alternative

I have read numerous papers about flame weeding over the years but never one about an important side effect. A few years ago, I had all of my chard beds ruined by black aphids farmed by ants who feed the honey dew to their young. Ants carry aphids down the rows plant to plant and fight off lady bugs and other beneficiaries. 100% crop loss. I took my propane torch and cooked all the beds. Killed everything - ants, aphids, slugs, diabrotica, mold, bacterial spot, caterpillars, egg masses - except the chard which grew back beautiful in four weeks. My collards were destroyed by slugs. Flamed the ground and lower leaves and the new leaves are clean. This is also great for trap crops. I grow arugula under row covers to keep out flea beetles. After harvest I can remove the cover and the flea beetles go nuts. Flaming takes them out with no resistance possible and no pesticide applicators license... Read More

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Comment 0
02/10/19
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Shelly Connor  |  Wild Farm Alliance  |  Watsonville

Subject: New Resource: Supporting Beneficial Birds and Managing Pest Birds

Hello everyone,

I work with an organization called Wild Farm Alliance. Our mission is to promote a healthy, viable agriculture that protects and restores wild nature. We just released a new resource to help farmers support beneficial birds and manage pest birds.

You can find the new resource here.

Birds can help on the farm to keep pest insects, rodents and pest birds at bay. When habitat is provided for beneficial birds, bringing them closer to crops, farmers may be able to reduce pest-control costs. Beneficial birds can help with production in the same way as beneficial insects. This new resource includes:

  • Colorful Accounts of How Birds Can be Beneficial in Crops and on Pasture
  • USDA’s Historic Economic Ornithology Division
  • How Best to Manage and Co-exist with Pest Birds
  • Why On-Farm Habitat and the Surrounding Landscape Influences Pest Control
  • What Farmers Can Do to Make Farms More Bird-Friendly
... Read More

In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Trees, Vines & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Farmland Conservation, Sales & Estate Planning, Wildlife Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers, Women in Agriculture, Weather & Climate Change

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Comment 0
01/30/19
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Brandon Sanders  |  RobinSong Farms  |  Templeton, CA

Subject: mice and voles

I'm curious what others do to control small rodents in crops, particularly in cucurbits. We already trap for gophers and squirrels, but we also have mice and voles spending a lot of time in our squash and melon fields. At the moment, I don't have much preference between deterrent or kill methods, but I'd like to hear examples of either. Long-term, we would like to focus on deterrents, but we would like to get a handle on them. Mowing the open areas does not seem to be increasing the amount of raptor kills by much (at least not noticeably in the rodent populations), so it is time to be more proactive... I'm interested in hearing any sort of suggestions...

In Topics Pest & Disease Management, Wildlife Management

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Comments 12
07/24/16

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  |  Humane Wildlife Control Inc  |  Moss Landing commented

Barn owls are a natural way to very successfully control gopher and other nocturnal rodents. We build and sell our boxes but will gladly send building instructions for free. Cats do too much damage to native wildlife and pollute the ecosystem with toxoplasmosis that can get into the watershed. We recommend against free-roaming cats. Also, we have had excellent success in wiping out gophers and ground squirrels using carbon monoxide (CO). It's safe and a humane death and does not risk poisoning predators.

01/25/19 9:55 AM

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Ben Lyons  |  Lockewood Acres  |  Vacaville, CA

Subject: Neem oil

Hello All!,

I am looking for some organic neem oil. My question is, what brand (is there any difference) and how much should i look to pay for it. thanks

Ben

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Comments 2
11/02/18

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  |  TD Willey Farms  |  Madera, CA commented

I used to purchase pure neem oil from this source and found the hands-on owner to be of high service, honest and reputable.

Contact:
Usha Rao
The Ahimsa Alternative, Inc.
Bloomington, MN 55437
952-943-9449 Tel.
877-USE-NEEM Toll Free
866-211-5460 Toll Free Fax
neemlady@neemresource.com

11/02/18 9:46 AM

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Laura Patterson  |  UC Davis  |  Davis, CA

Subject: For anyone in CA that raises at least 1 pig outdoors: fill out a survey & be entered to win a gi

Hello - I am a former small-scale California farmer and currently a PhD candidate in epidemiology at UC Davis. My thesis focuses on small-scale diversified farms, with an emphasis on the interface of feral pigs and outdoor-raised pigs. My advisor is Dr. Alda Pires, who is a University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) specialist of urban agriculture and food safety.

We recently created an online survey to identify outdoor-raised pigs in California as well as areas which are impacted by feral pig intrusions. This survey is appropriate for anyone that raises at least one pig outside including: pork producers, farmers, ranchers, backyard operations, 4-H/FFA members, pet pig owners, heritage pig breeders, pig rescue groups, etc.

Click here to take the survey.

Survey participation will help UCCE develop outreach and educational materials for all operations that raise pigs outdoors and/or

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In Topics Pest & Disease Management, Food Safety, Wildlife Management, Livestock

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Comment 0
09/11/18
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Flying V Farmers  |  Flying V Farm  |  Placerville, CA

Subject: Seeking Garden Symphylan Guidance

Hi all,

My name is Grayson, myself and three others started a diversified fruit and veggie farm in Placerville CA this January.

We are learning that we have a Garden Symphylan (GS) infestation in parts of our veggie field. I have found them on the roots of crop plants, as well as lured them with potato slices. They have seriously damaged patches of direct sown spinach, killing or stunting plants just after germination, seems to be stunting growth on transplanted parsley and currently are attacking our direct seeded squash as it germs, killing some before they break the soil surface. It is presenting in patches, and is especially hindering direct sown crops. I have found them in numbers up to five per plant in the bad spots, and 15+ on some of the potato lures. It's definitely impacting our yields and causing us to worry about the suitability of the site.

After reading though some literature on GS it

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In Topics Soil Fertility Management, Seed & Planting, Pest & Disease Management, Beginning Farmers & Ranchers

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Comments 19
06/02/18, updated

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  |  NCAT/ATTRA  |  Davis commented

So, I recall attending a Soil Food Web seminar back in 2002 in Santa Cruz, with Elaine Ingham, and we went to UCSC farm/garden, which has major symphylan infestation at the time, and Elaine claimed that the soil was "out of balance", and that symphylans only are primarily fungi feeders, which didn't match my, or Jim Leap's observations. I think symphs are opportunistic, feeding on fine plant roots and/or soil fungal mycelia, as the opportunities arise. Both Jim's and Mike M's experience underline the idea that incorporated cover crops provide large boost to population numbers, likely through symphs feeding on fungi, as well as the ease of transport in the upper layers of the soil, with so many transport routes (roots?) in the top soil layer from decaying cover crop residue. Because they migrate vertically in the soil profile, their population numbers can be pretty random, as Jim L mentioned. it's

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08/19/18 4:29 PM

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Team Bernier  |  Bernier Farms  |  Geyserville, CA

Subject: Rats on the farm

Hello fellow farmers,

How is everyone doing with their rodent population. It seems that we have more rats than usual and I have been setting traps with peanut butter, but my rats don't seem to go for it. We have tried the electronic or battery operated traps and those don't seem effective either. Any suggestions out there? Yael Bernier/Bernier Farms

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Comments 12
03/07/18

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  |  Strutz Ranch  |  Sloughhouse, CA commented

Placement is important And more traps.  Had I 1 or 2 traps in my attic, then. When I put 10 up there caught the rats quickly. Geotech supply is my pest control supplier very knowledgeable pest control supplier Good luckSent from my iPhone
08/18/18 5:54 AM

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