August 2017 Volume 1, Number 2
The Vantage Point
Welcome back to Connected. We’ve had a busy month at UC ANR, particularly in the area of ag-tech innovation! In fact, that's the theme of this month's column.

First, we participated in The Mixing Bowl’s FOOD IT: Fork to Farm in Mountain View, where we announced The Verde Innovation Network for Entrepreneurship (The VINE). By bringing together resources such as small business development centers, community colleges, county cooperative extension offices, makers labs, incubators and accelerators, The VINE aims to cultivate regional innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in rural communities. 

Then, along with UC President Janet Napolitano, we spoke at the Forbes AgTech Summit in Salinas. “The Forbes AgTech Summit brings together individuals and institutions from two integral parts of California's economic engine — agriculture and technology,” President Napolitano said. 

Later in July, UC ANR, along with the USDA and the Governance Lab at New York University, hosted the two-week California Open Data STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture and Math) Summer Camp, where high school students took field trips and engaged in STEAM-based activities. 

Also last month, the UC ANR Informatics and GIS Program hosted a three-day DroneCamp in Davis, where 36 drone enthusiasts learned about using drones for a variety of real-world mapping applications.

Another event the Apps for Ag Hackathon saw more than 40 people compete for the $10,000 grand prize. A food and agriculture innovation event series, Apps for Ag is hosted by UC ANR and sponsored by IO Labs, The Urban Hive, California Community Colleges and the California State Fair. Dr. Green, a mobile app to diagnose plant problems designed by Sreejumon Kundilepurayil and Vidya Kannoly, took the top prize.

President Napolitano also attended our recent President’s Advisory Committee on Agriculture meeting and had great give-and-take with the committee members. In addition to noting UC ANR’s leadership in tech innovation and collaborative partnerships, President Napolitano stated that UC ANR is addressing issues of critical importance to California, such as water, wildfire, invasive pests, food insecurity and other challenges.

We invite you to read more about the important work that UC ANR does, and to collaborate with us. Please share Connected with colleagues who would be interested in receiving it, and please encourage them to subscribe.
Glenda Humiston 
Vice President
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources
Notes From the Field
UC has boots on the ground in an unrelenting search for Asian citrus psyllid
Joanne O'Sullivan is one of four scouts hired and trained by  UC Agriculture and Natural Resources  scientists to carefully and continuously monitor citrus orchards for  Asian citrus psyllid , an invasive pest in California that can spread the devastating huanglongbing disease.
UC ANR in the Media
San Jose Mercury News
“As migration drops, it becomes more important to keep the best workers around, so farmers are willing to do that,” said Jeffrey M. Perloff, a professor in the Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California at Berkeley....Meanwhile, companies that pay premium wages just pull workers from elsewhere, said UC Davis agricultural economist Philip Martin. “They tend to cream off the best workers….” Higher wages and rising labor costs are prompting farmers to pursue four strategies, which Martin calls “stretch, substitute, supplement and satisfy.”

Smithsonian
Looking for a sign of the apocalypse? Consider this: Our global obsession with guacamole and avocado toast has helped spawn record avocado prices, financial woes for millennials and even an uptick in avocado-related crime. Recently, three men were busted for selling off more than $300,000 worth of Hass avocados. They'd stolen the produce from the California agriculture firm that employed them, then passed them off at discount prices that seemed—and were—too good to be true. “Avocados are very subject to theft,” says Mary Lu Arpaia, a horticulturist and expert avocado breeder at the University of California at Riverside. “If you're not very honest, it's sometimes easy picking.” Call it Grand Theft Avo. 

Silicon Angle
The food supply chain is so intertwined and complex that making a meaningful change to it requires coordination, according to UC ANR vice president Glenda Humiston. “It really does take a systems approach. A great example is that UC Davis, my division and other parts of the UC system are working on a Central Valley agriculture plus food and beverage consortium,” Humiston said. “It’s looking at bringing around the table folks from R&D, trained workforce, adequate infrastructure, finance, supply chain and having them actually work together to design what’s needed.” This article features a 15-minute interview on The Cube with Humiston and Helene Dillard, dean of the UC Davis College of Agriculture and Environmental Science.

Wine Spectator
After years of drought, California vintners are enjoying wetter conditions this year. But that means vineyards are being plagued with a new problem: mildew. "If you don't find mildew in your vineyards, you haven't looked hard enough," said Glenn McGourty, a UCCE viticulture advisor for Mendocino County. Mark Battany, UCCE viticulture advisor for San Luis Obispo and northern Santa Barbara counties, says that cooler coastal areas in those counties have been ripe for powdery mildew this year. "We've also seen some limited downy mildew, a European import, in a few locations this season," he said. "Quite rare for California."

East Bay Times
For the past 26 years, Vernard Lewis has been a specialist at UC Cooperative Extension, University of California’s Agricultural Experiment Station. He retired from that post last month, but it’s no cause for termites to celebrate. “I retired from my academic position, but I didn’t retire from the profession,” said Lewis, who will stay on as an emeritus professor and consultant.

Fresno Bee
A prolonged drought, tall grasses, steep terrain and erratic winds made the Detwiler Fire in Mariposa County difficult to get under control. In addition, the fire isn’t “laying down” at night, which is critical for operations. “People keep saying the fire isn’t going down at night,” said Scott Stephens, UC ANR researcher and fire science professor at UC Berkeley. “That’s something we’ve been hearing from firefighters since 2008.”

Capital Public Radio
California wildfires have burned more than three times the acreage compared to this time last year, which is attributed to thick grass that grew after this year’s heavy rainfall. "I think that really hot June weather dried out the fuels much more quickly and made them available to burn," said Scott Stephens, UC ANR researcher and fire science professor at UC Berkeley. “Now we're into just the beginning of August, late July and we're seeing these types of fires."

Los Angeles Times
The $47-billion agriculture industry will have to remake its fields with more machines and better-educated workers, or risk losing entire crops, economists say. One crop mentioned in the story is raisins, which requires new varieties to accommodate mechanization. The Sunpreme, developed for “dried on the vine” production by a retired USDA plant scientist, may soon be widely available, said Matthew Fidelibus, UC Cooperative Extension specialist.

San Francisco Chronicle
The Sacramento Valley has nearly 50,000 acres of sunflowers and is the largest producer of hybrid seeds in the country, making up more than 90 percent of the U.S. crop, according to Rachel Long, a farm advisor with the UC Cooperative Extension based in Woodland. Most of the seeds in the valley are shipped to Russia, Eastern Europe, Canada and North and South Dakota, where they are used for sunflower oil production.
Engage with Us!
Drone Technology and Regulations for Natural Resources
September 13
UC South Coast Research & Extension Center
Irvine, CA
The UC ANR Informatics and GIS Program will present a one-day workshop providing an overview of unmanned aerial systems (UAS) technologies, regulations and best practices for natural resource monitoring. Designed for participants with little to no experience interested in exploring practical applications of UAS technology for natural resources and other related interests.
Become a Certified California Naturalist
Ongoing
Various California locations
The California Naturalist Program uses a science curriculum, hands-on learning, problem-solving, citizen science, and community service to instill a deep appreciation for the natural communities of the state and to inspire individuals to become stewards of their local resources. The California Naturalist Program collaborates with local partner organizations to deliver the certification course at a location near you. 
Spotlight on Practical Resources
Are you concerned about wildfire? The Center for Fire Research and Outreach's Fire Information Toolkit can help homeowners, community leaders and researchers better understand where wildfires occur and how to protect homes and neighborhoods. In addition, UC ANR wildfire experts are stationed around the state and can answer questions on a diversity of issues related to the prevention, impacts, aftermath, and generally, the science of wildfire in California.
Calendar of Events
The UC ANR Calendar lists events hosted by our programs throughout California. Find an event in a community near you! 

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Website:  ucanr.edu
Email:  connected@ucanr.edu