Continuing Education Courses
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This online course covers the management of spray drift to minimize problems. Spray Drift Management (SDM) has been a critical element for Western agriculture for decades. Keeping crop protection chemicals on the crop for which they are intended has been a cornerstone of Western farming not only to protect neighboring crops, but to avoid wasting money by allowing products to drift off the intended target. Spray drift management has taken on greater significance as cities encroach upon rural areas. Every year, increasingly more houses and other types of developments are springing up in prime growing areas, oftentimes alongside fields, orchards or vineyards. This leads to increased concerns about the use of agricultural chemicals and the ways they are applied. This course will review many aspects of spray drift – from practical, hands-on ways to minimize drift, to the regulatory issues surrounding it.
When people hear the words, fungus or fungi, they tend to think mushrooms or, perhaps, molds, or yeast. While mushrooms, molds, and yeast do fall in the fungi family, the term actually refers to a much broader spectrum of organisms.
A fungus is a member of the Fungi Kingdom, a group of eukaryotic organisms (organisms whose cell nucleus is enclosed within membranes). Biologists have identified more than 100,000 different species of fungi. More than 1.5 million species are estimated to now exist on planet Earth.
Fungi are the number one cause of crop loss worldwide. Management and control of fungi is vital to the agriculture industry as well as to the grower’s harvest yield and marketability of the crop.
This course discusses types of fungi and appropriate biological controls.
Utilizing Potassium Nitrate as a Specialty Plant Nutritional Product that Protects Against Disease Organisms and Plant Stresses
Potassium nitrate is used in agriculture, industry, solar energy plants, food and pharma. In agriculture, the main uses of potassium nitrate are related to the supply of plant nutrients via fertigation, foliar and field applications. Potassium nitrate has also proven to be a valuable tool in crop pest and stress management and has shown positive effects on the control of plant pests and diseases when applied or as an additive to crop protection agrochemicals, thus allowing the grower to practice more effective and judicious use of pesticides. When used correctly, potassium nitrate can be a valuable and economic source in any Integrated Pest Management (IPM) strategy, not only for its effective and environmentally sensitive aspects, but for its effects on overall plant health, thus creating a stronger, more resistant plant. This is demonstrated in this course by a number of examples of pest management with potassium and nitrate sources. This course also has a section on the role of nutrients in IPM and is sponsored by SQM.
Monsanto is pleased to sponsor the Weed Resistance Management in Agronomic Row Crops, and Trees, Nuts, and Vines. The purpose of this training is to give you an overview of important management practices that can help avoid or delay the development of herbicide-resistant weeds. We will begin with a brief review of common weed types and herbicides, followed by factors that can influence the evolution of resistance in weeds, and methods for potentially delaying its occurrence in agronomic row crops and permanent crops. While weed resistance management guidelines may be introduced and discussed under a specific annual or perennial crop heading, many of the WRM techniques have cross-crop applicability. When using pesticides for resistance management, always check the label for specific registered uses and the Herbicide Group Number for Mode of Action (MOA), as well as contact your local University Extension Advisor, PCA, and/or manufacture representative.
In production agriculture, weeds or “misplaced plants” have a tendency to tolerate suboptimal conditions much better than most crops. However, they grow more and produce more seed under optimal conditions than they do under suboptimal. For example a nine-foot tall horseweed growing in a vineyard produces 800,000 seeds while a foot tall horseweed growing on a dry, hard road shoulder produces only about 1,000 seeds. Weeds are unwanted plants that compete with crops for nutrients, light and water, and can be detrimental to crop yields. Integrated weed management (IWM) programs and orchard cultural practices have been developed for specific orchard and vineyard crops. This accredited CEU provides information on economically and environmentally sound IWM practices. This course will provide an overview of important weed control and management practices as well as some insight into managing for herbicide-resistant weeds.
GM alfalfa has been back on the market for about four years, after a detour through the courts that began not long after it was first introduced in 2005 as the fifth glyphosate-resistant crop to be commercialized.
DuPont Crop Protection is pleased to sponsor The ABCs of MRLs CEU course. American agriculture exports 20 to 30 percent of its production annually. With many crops, like the specialty crops grown in California, the percentage of exports can be much higher. Like almonds, for example - more than 70 percent of this important California crop is exported annually. Although the pesticide registration process in the U.S. establishes acceptable pesticide residue levels for products used in the U.S., many foreign governments are increasing oversight and testing of imported food items for possible pesticide residues. When recommending and applying pest management products for crops, licensed Pest Control Advisers (PCAs), Certified Crop Advisers, consultants, applicators and farmers in the U.S. must be sure products applied are in compliance with Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) established by the governments of foreign customers. Failure to meet MRLs could be the loss of shipments and customers at considerable expense.
This course discusses mite control in major crops and is sponsored by BASF. Mites are small arthropods in the class Arachnida and the subclass Acari. Although they are related to insects, mites are in the arachnid class and are closely related to spiders and ticks. They are common pests in agriculture, landscapes, and gardens. Mite species are estimated to number nearly 50,000. They live in diverse habitats; in soil, water or plant matter. They eat living and dead plant material as well as fungi, lichens, and even carrion. Some are parasites on animals and others feed on mold. This course will focus on the mites that threaten nut trees, pome fruit, grape, strawberry, tomato, and citrus crops.
Almonds are California's number one agricultural export and the number one U.S. horticultural export. The first record of an almond orchard in California dates back to 1843. They were grown in the foothills of the Sacramento Valley. By the mid-1920s, one of these seedlings, the Nonpareil variety, had become established as the industry standard in the marketplace and in the orchard. Once proven, the almond industry grew steadily, and by the mid-1950s there were approximately 100,000 acres of orchard trees under cultivation. A period of rapid growth followed in the 1960s, '70s and early '80s and, now, there are approximately 750,000 bearing acres of almonds in the state. Non-bearing acreage totals 825,000 acres. Recent annual crops are estimated at almost two billion pounds. This course is sponsored by Western Farm Press and its purpose is to provide a review of some insects and mites that impact California almonds as well as some practical information on ways to mitigate orchard damage.
This course is sponsored by Western Farm Press. There are an estimated 150,000 named species in the insect group called Lepidoptera. Outnumbered only by the beetles, Lepidoptera represent the second-most diverse order of insect pests, and virtually every cultivated plant is attacked by at least one type. They are ready to defoliate and weaken plants or mine plant tissues, leaving holes and frass behind and rendering crops unmarketable. Their scientific name comes from the Greek Lepidos, for “scale,” and Pteron, for “wing”--literally “scale wing,”--because the wings of adult butterflies and moths are covered with microscopic scales. This course will specifically highlight six lepidopterous pests: the beet armyworm, cabbage looper, diamondback moth, tomato fruitworm, tomato pinworm and western yellowstriped armyworm. The course will also cover managing Lepidopterous pests in a wide array of crops and includes an additional section on Pesticide Safety.
Grape Powdery Mildew is the number one disease in California vineyards. More dollars are spent on powdery mildew control and, yet, this disease still accounts for more crop losses than any other grape pest. This course, sponsored by Western Farm Press, explores the different fungicide classes; treatment options for powdery mildew in California; resistance management, and regional differences in disease development. It also includes a detailed approach to using the UC Powdery Mildew Risk Assessment Index (RAI) to predict infections. Seasonal patterns of disease development differ from region to region (as well as year to year), and cost-effective management strategies must be based on local conditions that favor or inhibit pathogen reproduction. Season-long control depends on reducing early-season inoculum and subsequent infections with well-timed fungicide applications. Spray timing and frequency (and coverage) is everything; these vary depending on local weather, temperature, varietal susceptibility, vine growth stage and material choice.
Biopesticides are increasingly being recommended as components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in the production of non-organic high-value specialty crops like fruit, nut, vegetable, vine, ornamental and turf. There are about 430 registered biopesticide active ingredients used in a wide array of agricultural pest management products. Biopesticides are derived from natural materials such as animals, plants, bacteria, and certain minerals. Biopesticides are considered an effective pest control option for organic crop production. However, they increasingly are being recommended and used as components of Integrated Pest Management (IPM) programs in the production of non-organic high-value specialty crops such as fruit, nut, vegetable, vine, ornamental, and turf. This online CE course covers the principles for using the 430+ registered biopesticide active ingredients used in a wide array of agricultural pest management products. It is sponsored by Marrone Bio Innovations and includes a Safety Review at the conclusion of the course material.
California almonds are susceptible to many diseases, which can reduce crop yield and quality in both current and subsequent years. They also can weaken and, occasionally, kill trees. Almond diseases are caused by a wide variety of microorganisms including fungi, bacteria, and viruses. They also can result from certain environmental stresses or genetic disorders. Some occur only at particular times of the year; others remain in the tree and exhibit yearlong symptoms. Disease infections may be more or less severe depending on age of the tree, variety, and environmental conditions such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, soil type, and soil moisture content. In order to fully understand the impact of disease organisms and environmental conditions on almond trees, it's important to understand the tree's seasonal cycle, growth processes, and crop development. The purpose of this course is to provide an update on current diseases that occur in California almonds--everything from branch and root diseases to vascular disorders--and the latest disease management practices that can protect valuable orchards and crops.
Western Farm Press is pleased to sponsor this course on ant control, which is an important element of harvesting a high quality almond crop. More than 800,000 acres in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys are under almond cultivation. Almonds are the largest U.S. specialty export crop and the top agricultural export of the state of California. Protecting this highly valuable crop is a high priority each year. This course focuses on ant management and broadleaf weed control in California almonds. The two subjects are combined because they work together when it comes to protecting newly harvested almonds from ant damage. Ants feed on ground cover and in order to control ants, a grower and/or his PCA must create an environment where ants can be drawn to ant bait.
This course focuses on sustainable organic farming practices and cultural and biological pest management without the use of synthetic chemicals. This course will provide a general overview of the most common pests in organic/sustainable agricultural systems and current methods of controlling insect pests, weeds and diseases in a range of organic crops grown in the United States. Organic/sustainable agriculture is expanding rapidly in the US with an average annual increase of 12% during the last 15 years. In the early years, organic production was limited and typically meant small farms and roadside stands. Now, however, the growing demand for organic produce is attracting conventional producers and retailers. Organic product sales now exceed $32 billion in the US.
California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) on September 16, 2014.
As the name implies, the legislation created a framework for sustainable groundwater management, defined as: Management and use of groundwater in a manner that can be maintained during the planning and implementation horizon without causing undesirable results. This course was updated for 2019 to reflect current regulations.