California Agriculture, July-August 1991
Volume 45, Number 4
Pesticides and produce: How safe is "safe"?
peer-reviewed research articles
Pesticides and your food: How safe is “safe”?
by Gary A. Beall , Christine M. Bruhn , Arthur L. Craigmill , Carl K. Winter
While public confidence in the fresh food supply has rebounded in recent months, consumers still identify pesticide residues as a major food safety concern - and 8% of Californians say they buy less fresh produce as a result. This paper explains how pesticides in food are regulated, explores the effectiveness of these regulations, and offers alternatives to consumers who are not satisfied with the current process. It was prepared by four members of a diverse, UC-sponsored committee which met for 20 months to examine the university's food safety research and education. Appointed by Kenneth Farrell, Vice President of UC's Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources, committee members came from consumer and environmental groups, the California Legislature, farm and food industries, the public health community, the University of California, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, and Stanford University. Although the diverse membership did not reach consensus on all issues, members clarified their own understandings about food safety. The following article will be used by UC as an educational tool throughout the state.
Survey documents open burning in the San Joaquin Valley
by Bryan M. Jenkins , Scott Q. Turn , Robert B. Williams
Growers in the San Joaquin Valley were surveyed to determine what fraction of their crop residue is field-burned and during what seasons field burning commonly occurs for each crop. Survey results show that only four crops - rice, almonds, walnuts, and wheat — account for 88% of the crop residue burned in the San Joaquin Valley, and 95% of the crop residue burned in the state (exclusive of forestry). Rice and almonds respectively account for 64% and 18% of the residue burned statewide.
Tests compare fungicides for control of rust on greenhouse carnations
by Donald M. Ferrin , Roberta G. Rohde
Four fungicides were tested for control of rust on greenhouse carnations. The most effective fungicides were Plantvax and Systhane; the latter is not currently registered for control of this disease in California.
California almond markets and reserve strategies analyzed
by Julian M. Alston , Richard J. Sexton
Marketing strategies for California almonds are analyzed based on an econometric model of almond prices. The results indicate that diverting supply from the edible market will increase industry revenue. For the bumper 1990 season, diverting 8% of supply to an allocated reserve is indicated.
How disinfectants compare in preventing transmission of fire blight
by Beth L. Teviotdale , Monica F. Wiley , Dennis H. Harper
Clorox, Lysol, and Pine-Sol were superior to rubbing alcohol, Listerine, hydrogen peroxide, Agrimycin 17, or Kocide 101 in preventing transmission of fire blight bacteria. Spraying or soaking was more effective than dipping to surface-sterilize cutting tools.
Over-tree sprinkling reduces abnormal shapes in ‘Bing’ sweet cherries
by Stephen M. Southwick , Kenneth A. Shackel , James T. Yeager , Wesley K. Asai , Matt Katacich
The ‘Bing’ sweet cherry produces increased numbers of abnormal fruit shapes when grown in certain regions in California, rendering the fruit less marketable. Postharvest under- and over-tree sprinkler irrigation led to a reduction in the production of abnormal fruit shapes indicating that canopy climate modification maybe an alternative to growers producing ‘Bing’ cherries in those regions where these abnormal fruit shapes are prevalent.
Blackeye bean root rot diseases identified
by Donald C. Erwin , Rudolph A. Khan , Carolyn Ver Linden , Carol Frate , Douglas Munier
Premature yellowing, aging and crop loss in blackeye bean is associated with root rot diseases caused by Fusarium solani and Thielaviopsis basicola. Now a new root rot disease caused by Phytophthora drechsleri could become a problem in wet soil.
Water-efficient clover fixes soil nitrogen, provides winter forage crop
by William A. Williams , Walter L. Graves , Kenneth G. Cassman , Paul R. Miller , Craig D. Thomsen
The high yield and excellent protein content of ‘Multicut’ berseem clover make it a useful winter forage and cover crop option on Valley and foothill land where supplemental irrigation is available. This variety is a winter-and-spring annual that produces five or six cuttings from January to June if planted in October. Timing of the winter harvests is weather-dependent. Water use by berseem is about the same as for annual ryegrass pasture or oats grown for hay. Variety and nitrogen-fixation trials have been conducted at Davis since 1983. The help of Richard Caldwell, Lawrence Larsen, R. S. Loomis, Helena Marques, Dan Pantone, and Richard Snyder is gratefully acknowledged. Cultural practice recommendations for berseem clover were reported in California Agriculture in September 1987. Some of the nitrogen fixation data were published previously in the Journal of Agronomy and Crop Science 264:202–207, 2990.
editorial, news, letters & science briefs
Pest management: the search for alternatives
by Kenneth R. Farrell