Mark Bolda's Berry Blog
Still basking in the glow of having run a really good meeting last week. Great presentations with lots of new information presented clearly so everybody could understand.
Running a meeting like this is not something one can do alone! I owe the world to my Staff Research Associate Monise Sheehan, Sofia Hernandez and the Grower Education Team of the California Strawberrry Commission, in particular David McLaughlin, for taking on some pretty intimidating logistics yet making seem so easy. Great job everybody and so very much appreciated!
For those of you who like to follow up on something you may have missed in a presentation, or just weren't there, I'm posting the powerpoints of the presentations.
Strawberry N management 2018 final
Brennan - Discussion of Synthetic Nitrogen in Organic Agriculture
2018 Strawberry Meeting - CAC Schools presentation
Mark B. - Fume alt + LBAM
Peter H - Fusarium, ASG mtg 2018 final
Oleg Strawberry Meet doc
Soil Amendments and Strawberry
Had a friend deliver two clamshells of fresh picked berries from his farm yesterday. It's early February, so this is pretty early. Fully ripe, plump and sweetened by the sun. AWESOME flavor!
Anybody want to venture a guess from where these come?
Just started reading the book Machine Platform Crowd which is about the second phase of this machine age.
Great read, but what is striking is the summary of electrification and its initial slow uptake in factories. Why did something so obviously superior to coal fired steam power not get adopted the instant it was introduced?
There were actually a number of reasons. The adoption of electricity in factories was impeded by manufacturers who were reluctant leave to behind what they already were familiar with and knew well, and at the time electricity was only a marginally superior to coal anyway.
The real gains from electrification were to be made only when some manufacturers stopped just replacing steam engines with electric motors and redesigned the entire system - by placing electric motors on the conveyor belts, assembly lines and overhead cranes - and took full advantage of the new technology. The full potential of electricity now realized brought to bear huge advantages in price of production and flexibility, saturating the market with goods and hammering less able competition into the ground.
A lucid reading of the above should make us realize in the berry industry that in fact we are in a similar dilemma with our fitful advance on integrating automation into our agriculture. Really profitable automation simply doesn't mean replacing people with machines in the same fields as before. If we learn our lesson well from the transition to electricity from steam, we probably have to look at changing a lot about the production system itself.
With the retirement of Steve Koike on January 2, 2018, there may be some confusion regarding submission of plant samples to the UCCE Monterey County office for diagnostic services. Steve Koike addressed all plant disease samples that were submitted to our office for many years; however, a percent of the samples submitted for plant disease diagnosis were abiotic issues that were addressed by other advisors. UCCE Monterey County will continue to diagnose abiotic issues on vegetables (Richard Smith) and grapes (Larry Bettiga). Strawberry and caneberry abiotic issues should be directed to Mark Bolda at the UCCE Santa Cruz County office in Watsonville. We are willing to look at any samples you may have and can provide guidance on whether issues are biotic or need further confirmation by a plant pathology laboratory.
Just catching up on my reading, and ran across this little number concerning the production of seed propagated strawberries. To some extent, this is to provide an "environmentally friendly alternative to the vegetatively propagated varieties currently relied upon by the strawberry industry". One, seed propagation would mean less dictation of planting date by nursery harvest schedules and purchaser climatic region and two be able to eliminate the chemical inputs necessary in bare root production systems and avoid transmission of diseases by living plants.
I need some time to get my head around this.
Nice job btw by writer Lori Wright.