In case you weren't able to attend the 61st Annual Weed Day hosted by the UC Davis Weed Science Program and the UC Weed Research and Information Center, here's what you missed:
As we normally do, we started the day with a field tour. Our first stop was the longest and most diverse of the four locations. First, David Slaughter (Biological and Ag Engineering), Steve Fennimore, and HannahJoy Pheasant (UCD Grad student) discussed current research related to robotic cultivators in vegetable crops. Although the most recent version of the cultivator was not available due to being in use in ongoing research, David's team demonstrated a piece of equipment set up to evaluate different ways machines can differentiate between crops and non-crop plants.
The final site at this stop was our herbicide symptomology demonstration. Brad Hanson introduced the demo this year which included 9 crop species treated with (mostly) sublethal doses of nearly 30 PRE and POST herbicides in order to compare symptoms as well as selectivity among different classes of herbicides and routes of exposure.
The USDA Aquatic Weed Research Facility was our next stop and provided a great mix of aquatic weeds and weed control research as well as refreshments. John Madsen welcomed us to the facility and explained some of the ongoing research at the lab a well as research being conducted around the western US by USDA-ARS researchers based at the Davis location.
Moving from the aquatic lab, we made two stops in perennial crops. First, John Roncoroni showed us a preemergence herbicide trial in wine grapes and also spoke about some of the more challenging weeds he's seeing in the northcoast and other wine production regions. After that, we moved over to an orchard site where Brad Hanson spoke about several preemergence herbicide trials in almonds and also demonstrated herbicide injury symptoms on almond and walnut.
After the final field tour stop, we returned to campus for a catered lunch and an afternoon session of speakers who discussed their off-campus or laboratory research:
- Ellen Dean and Jean Shepard went through the weed quiz (I think 14/15 was the winner this year)
- A self-introduction of the new chair of the UC Davis Plant Sciences Department, Gail Taylor
- Caio Brunharo (Hanson group) spoke about his work on glyphosate-resistant annual bluegrass
- Maor Matzrafi (Jasieniuk group) presented results of his dissertation work on detection of glyphosate-resistant amaranths in Isreal
- Lisa Blecker from the UCIPM program had a great interactive presentation about Personal Protective Equipment (complete with PPE models decked out in an array of Tyveks, gloves, and respirators)
- Maddison Easley (Sierra Foothills REC) spoke about the impacts of medusahead on rangeland productivity and economic effects on beef producers
- Scott Stoddard (UCCE Merced Co) represented his weed control research on sweet potato and melon systems
- Steve Blecker from CDPR gave an update on the status of metolachlor which has been under an extra review this year.
- Whitney Brim-DeForest (UCCE Sutter/Yuba/Capital Corridor) gave an introduction to a growing problem with weedy red rice
- Teresa De Leon (Al-Khatib group) spoke about the genetics of California weedy rice
- Rachael Long (UCCE Yolo/Solano/Sacramento) shared results of recent herbicide research in garbanzo bean
- Sarah Morran (Hanson group) updated us on her molecular genetics research on glyphosate-resistant junglerice
- Mariano Galla (UCCE Glenn/Butte/Tehama, also Al-Khatib and Hanson groups at UCD) spoke about the effects of simulated drift of rice herbicides on walnut
The Weed Research and Information Center greatly appreciates our sponsors: DowAgroSciences, BASF, Bayer Crop Protection, Brandt Consolidated, Marrone BioInnovations, Monsanto, Oro Agri, SummitAgro USA, Syngenta, UPI, Blankinship and Associates, DuPont Crop Protection, and Hedgerow Farms.
The next UC Davis Weed Day will be on July 12th, 2018. Put in on your calendar and we'll look forward to seeing you then!
Finally, we need to acknowledge Dr. Joe DiTomaso who this year after a 22 year career as a UC Cooperative Extension Weed Specialist and Professor at UC Davis. If you've been involved at all in weed science in California or in most Western States for that matter, you're probably familiar with Joe's work as both a scientist and leader in the discipline. Joe's list of accomplishments and awards is long and varied but to give you just a few examples he was interim department head of plant sciences for the past year, has been president or on the board of directors for the Weed Science Society of America, Western Society of Weed Science, Cal-IPC and has served in leadership roles for numerous UC and other organizations. He received the UC Meyer Award, was named Fellow of the WSSA and WSWS, was awarded at least 5 other awards with "excellence" or "distinguished" in the name.
Suffice to say, Joe has had a big impact on weed science in general and on California more specifically. Joe, we wish you the very best in your well-deserved retirement!