Blogs: Agriculture and Natural Resource

Mark Bolda's Berry Blog
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    UC Agriculture and Natural Resources - Dig Deep for Santa Cruz County 4H

    June 5, 2019 has been designated by my organization UC Agriculture and Natural Resources "Big Dig Day", which basically means dig in the soil, dig in your heart and dig in your wallet for the programs you care about. Sure we have people doing a lot of...


    By Mark Bolda
    Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries
  • Typical basket composition for Monterey fruit picked May 20, after an inch of rain and evaluated May 22..
    Water Damage on Strawberry

    The fairly heavy rains over the past weekend (1.06" from CIMIS station #111 in Watsonville), have given people concern about what sort of damage our strawberry crop has sustained.  Indeed, a front page above the fold article in the Santa Cruz...


    By Mark Bolda
    Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries
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    Big, Bigger and Biggest: Early Season Strawberries

    Strawberry season has started to kick into high gear on the Central Coast (at least until this spell of rain), and inevitably comparisons arise of fruit sizes.  The posting of a 154 gram fruit by the CalPoly Strawberry Center on their Facebook page...


    By Mark Bolda
    Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries
  • Mark's Interview with UC ANR Spanish Language Service

    If you read Spanish and want to know more about Botrytis in strawberry with a focus on this year, I include for you below my interview with UC ANR's Spanish language service.  If you listen to Spanish radio, you will have occasion to hear...


    By Mark Bolda
    Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries
  • Painted lady adult.  Photo courtesy Kathy Keatley Garvey.
    Painted Lady Butterflies Just Passing Through

    A number of you have checked in about large numbers of larvae and or butterflies that haven't been very common in the past years.  We find them a lot on cheeseweed (Malva), but there is some damage on berries as you can see from the pictures...


    By Mark Bolda
    Author - County Director, Santa Cruz County and Farm Advisor, Strawberries & Caneberries
Livestock and Range Update Blogs
  • Register Now! Deadline to Reg. for Prescribed Fire Workshop is May 30

    There's less than a week left to register for the prescribed fire workshop in San Benito County! The workshop is June 5 and 6. Registration is $30. If you are a local rancher and are willing to bring a full tank of water on the back of your pickup...


    By Devii R. Rao
    Author - Area Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
  • Prescribed Fire
    Prescribed Fire Meeting in San Benito County - June 5 and 6

    Would you like to see more prescribed fire on San Benito and Monterey County rangelands? Come learn how on June 5 and 6. On June 5 you will learn about options for prescribed fire on private lands, including details on regulations and permits, unit...


    By Devii R. Rao
    Author - Area Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
  • Wildfire Impact of Livestock Survey

    The University of California Davis School of Veterinary Medicine is investigating how California livestock (cattle, horse, sheep, goat, pig, llama, alpaca, bee and other) producers have been impacted by wildfires in the last 10 years.  The following...


    By Devii R. Rao
    Author - Area Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
  • Photo Credit: © 2005 Kim Cabrera
    Ranch Needed for Ground Squirrel Study

    Do you have a ranch in San Benito County or Monterey County with ground squirrels? I'm doing a study looking at the economic impacts of ground squirrels to ranching operations and I'm looking for three ranches to be study sites. At each ranch, I will...


    By Devii R. Rao
    Author - Area Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
  • Prescribed Burn Meeting Wed 3/13 in Hollister – Reminder

    Greetings This is a reminder that UC Cooperative Extension and San Benito Working Landscapes Group are co-hosting a prescribed burn meeting on Wednesday, March 13th from 2:30-4:30 pm at the Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito Street, Room 218, in...


    By Devii R. Rao
    Author - Area Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor
Salinas Valley Agriculture
Small Farm News
Bug Squad
  • Gloria Gonzalez, superintendent of McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fair, holds a bee-themed quilt with assistant Jarod Fernander of Vallejo, 15, a student at the Pleasant Hill Adventist Academy. The quilt is the work of Tina Frothy of Vallejo. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Hear That Buzz at the Solano County Fair?

    Hear that buzz? Honey bees own the flower beds at the Solano County Fair, 900 Fairgrounds Drive, Vallejo. But bees and other insects claim the exhibit halls, as well. They're depicted on everything from quilts and photos to graphic arts displayed in...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • A crab spider dines on a green bottle fly in a lavender patch in Vacaville, Calif. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    What's for Dinner? How About a Green Bottle Fly?

    What's for dinner? A crab spider, camouflaged in our lavender patch, didn't catch a honey bee, a butterfly, an ant or a syrphid fly. No, it nailed a green bottle fly. We couldn't help but notice. The fly's metallic blue-green coloring stood in sharp...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • The six-acre lavender fields on the Araceli Farms, on the outskirts of Dixon, glow during the Lavender Festival. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Lovin' the Lavender

    Lovin' the lavender... If you attended the Lavender Festival last weekend at the six-acre Araceli Farms at 7389 Pitt School Road, Dixon, you were in for a real treat. Planted in April 2017, the fields glowed with seven varieties of lavender: Grosso,...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • Wendy Mather (left) program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program, explains the life cycle of bees to a group of third graders from Amador County. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
    Third Graders Learn About Pollinators

    (June 17-23 is National Pollinator Week.) "How many species of bees are there in the world?" asks Wendy Mather, program manager of the California Master Beekeeper Program (CAMBP), as she greets a group of third graders at the Häagen-Dazs Honey...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
  • A female Trichonephila clavipes (formerly Nephila clavipes) is a giant compared to her small male (below). The research covers a complex pattern of sexual size dimorphism in this group of spiders, family Nephilidae. (Image copyright by Chris Hamilton, University of Idaho)
    Golden Orbweavers Ignore Biological Rules

    Size does matter. Have you ever wondered about sexual size dimorphism in the tropical spiders, the golden orbweavers? The females are sometimes 10 times larger and 100 times heavier than their male counterparts. And the webs that the females ...


    By Kathy Keatley Garvey
    Author - Communications specialist
Food Blog
Blog de Alimentos
Forest Research and Outreach
Oak Conservation