UC Cooperative Extension specialist David Sunding and UC Berkeley professor David Roland-Holst estimate that one-fifth of cultivated farmland in the San Joaquin Valley will be permanently lost as groundwater plans take hold and water supplies are severely restricted, reported Todd Fitchette in Western Farm Press.
The report, Blueprint Economic Impact Analysis: Phase One Results, says statewide the losses could total about 992,000 acres of farmland, losses of over $7 billion from crop revenue and a loss in farm operating income of nearly $2 billion.
The Sustainable Groundwater Management Act (SGMA) was passed during the 2011-2016 drought to return California aquifers to sustainable levels after decades of over drafting. Local agencies will ensure that groundwater extraction matches groundwater replenishment by 2040.
The report says the rise in almond acreage across the state will soon need to end as farmers in the San Joaquin Valley fallow more than 325,000 acres of tree nuts. Two-thirds of that acreage will be pulled from Fresno and Kern counties.
The labor market will also take a hit.
"We calculate that the direct employment losses from SGMA plus anticipated surface water reductions will total 42,000 jobs on average," Sunding and Roland-Holst wrote. These employment losses ... total $1.1 billion annually in the San Joaquin Valley."
While you're sheltering in place due to the coronavirus pandemic precautions, not too many people are aware of a new faculty member in the UC Davis...
These redhumped caterpillars, to become moths, Schizura concinna, family Notodontidae, are dining on the leaf of a Western redbud, (Cercis occidentalis) in Vacaville, Calif. Emily Meineke, newest faculty member of the UC Davis Department of Entomology and Nematology, studies how climate change and urban development affect insects, plants, and how they interact with one another. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)
What's bugging you?
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This true bug is about 1/2" inch long, somewhat flat, elongated oval, black with lateral red markings. The nymphs look similar and are typically red with black pronotum and wings. They do not sting, transmit diseases and seldom bite. When kill or crushed they do not emit a foul odor. They are often mistaken for the Boxelder bug.
They are not known to cause damage to plants or vegetables and are usually considered a beneficial insect. They eat fallen seeds, other dead bugs and leaking tree sap. Their fancy seeds from the Golden Rain Tree (Koelreuteria paniculate). Using their beaks, nymphs and adults pierce the tough seed coats and probe the nutritious meat of the seed. Their digestive enzymes are pumped into the seed and break down the protein, fats and carbohydrates. Once liquified, these nutrients are sucked up their beak and into their gut, where it's converted into proteins. They can be seen year around in warm areas, such as California. They like to hang out in leaf piles, stacks of wood, rock piles and green plants.
They are known as the:
Red Shouldered / Soapberry / Golden Rain Tree Bug (Jadera haematoloma)
The event has been postponed until the fall. It will be an outdoor event if the weather cooperates.
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When you're sheltering in, you can still take the dog for a walk--and look for insects. We spotted this Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui)...
A Painted Lady butterfly (Vanessa cardui) flutters on ice plant in West Vacaville on March 20, 2020. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)