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Figure 6 Actual SWP Measurement

(originally published September/October 2017)

Among the most basic observations that can be used to manage irrigation in orchard crops are visual cues of crop water stress. However, these cues can be somewhat subjective and are often expressed after plant stress is higher than desired. Measuring midday stem water potential (SWP) using a pressure chamber is a quantitative method for evaluating plant water status, and relationships have been established between pressure chamber measurements and tree growth and productivity. From these relationships, guidelines have been developed to assist growers in making irrigation scheduling decisions. 

Fotografie aeriana photo number 1

(originally published July/August 2017)

One of the most discussed precision ag technologies in the last 4 years has been Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS), not only because it is a “cool” technology, but also because there is confusion in its use or misuse.  Can I fly these without a license and if I’m not getting paid?  What do I do with all of this imagery?  Do we already have too much data?  This article will outline some examples of how West Hills College uses UAS in permanent nut and row crops while educating our students about UAS as tools for the grower.

Shade Trailer

(originally May/June 2017)

The busy season is now upon us and it is the time of year when we need to be vigilant in our efforts to keep our workers safe.  The incident trends from the summer of 2016 are a great indicator of where we saw our greatest issues, as well as feedback from the industry about the challenges they faced in protecting our workforce.  While some of these issues are emerging, many are the same struggles we have each year.  Regardless, it is critical that employers take the time now to evaluate their impending peak-season needs and plan accordingly to mitigate workers’ risk exposure.

oranges

(originally March/April 2017)

Citrus thrips is a common pest of California citrus, attacking leaves and the calyx end of newly forming fruit, when the epidermal cells are quite sensitive.  In leaves, this causes distortion of the leaves and light lines of scarring