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Iron Bacteria and the Problems it Creates in your Emitters

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

A slime invasion might make for a good horror movie, but no one wants to find one in their drip emitters. Iron-loving slime bacteria can cause severe clogging in drip irrigation systems. Iron bacteria is a filamentous amorphous gelatinous type of reddish-brown slime. When the bacteria, the most common is Gallionella Sp., reacts with iron through an oxidation process, iron is changed to an insoluble form. In this form, the iron is surrounded by the filamentous bacteria colonies creating the sticky iron slime that is responsible for clogging the dripper. Sarge Green, interim director of Center for Irrigation Technology at...

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FSMA: Preventative Controls for the Nut Industry

By Safe Food Alliance, Contributing Writer

For our second installment in this series on the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) series, we’re going to talk about the “Preventive Controls” rule, which is the main rule for food processors. It’s similar to the Hazard and Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), with some notable differences which we’ll address below, including some specific requirements that you may not have seen before. Who’s Covered In general, facilities which register with FDA under part 415 of the FD&C act (that is, food processors) have to comply with the rule, unless specifically given an exemption. There are...

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Insecticide Efficacy for Pecan Aphids

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

Aphid infestation and damage to pecans has become worse in the past five to six years.   Mild Winters Larry Blackwell, New Mexico State University researcher and program coordinator College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences, said that pecan producers in New Mexico are dealing with higher aphid numbers in their pecan orchards due to lack of freezing winter temperatures in recent years. “We have had really mild winters and thus no kill off,” said Blackwell. The high numbers of aphids in pecans is the result of the climate, and not just due to population build up, Blackwell added. This...

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What Walnut Growers Need to Know About Nutrition

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

Because of looming state regulations meant to protect ground water sources from nitrate contamination, California growers are being asked to re-examine how the amount of nitrogen (N) they apply compares with the amount they remove from their fields. Walnut growers are no exception. In order to use this nutrient more efficiently, growers and orchard managers may need to recalculate their application rates. Cost of over application is also a concern for growers. Ongoing research by University of California (UC) and University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) farm advisors, funded by the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) and the...

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The Ins and Outs of Pistachio Nutrients

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

Think of the nutrients in orchard soil as a ‘bank balance.” Tree roots access the ‘money’ in the soil, using water and oxygen as their passbook.   In a presentation at the 2017 Pistachio Short Course, University of California (UC) Davis plant scientist Patrick Brown explained the basics of plant nutrition including how nutrients are acquired by plants and the when and where of tree nutrition—basic principles necessary to crop production.   Nutrition 101   Nutrients are taken up in water only by active roots on trees with leaves. While the size of the nutrient pool is the bank balance,...

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Key Points to Ethephon Use in Walnuts

By Cecilia Parsons, Associate Editor

Use of the plant growth regulator ethephon can be an important management tool for walnut growers who want to maximize kernel quality and minimize navel orangeworm (NOW) damage.   California walnut growers are also using ethephon to better manage their harvest timing said Dani Lightle, University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) orchard systems advisor based in Glenn County.   Ethephon Ethephon has a long history of usage since its discovery almost 50 years ago and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registration in 1973. It is one of the most widely utilized plant growth regulators in the world. Besides use in walnuts...

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