California farmers are experiencing many challenges; the agenda is designed to update attendees with current information to help meet these difficulties as well as look to the future.
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Monday, November 16

8:00am-10:00am General Session 

Three Important Challenges for California Ag

Farming is a challenging business in the best of times. Presenters in this session will discuss three particularly important challenges currently faced by California farmers and also implications for the future. They include: water availability and quality; access to affordable labor; and new federal air quality standards that may have significant effects on farming operations in the future, particularly in areas of the state where current air quality standards are being exceeded.

  • Dr. Jay Lund, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Center for Watershed Sciences, University of California, Davis
  • Bryan Little, Environmental Policy, California Farm Bureau Federation, Sacramento, CA
  • Representative,  from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 9, San Francisco, CA

10:00am-10:30am Break with Exhibitors

10:30am-12:00pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 DPR CE (other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Management of Mealybugs, Spotted Winged Drosophilia, and the Latest Information on some Important Invasive Insect Pests

This session will provide the latest information on managing mealybugs in vineyards provided by Dr. Kent Daane, one of the foremost experts on the topic. Additionally, Dr. David Haviland will provide current information on the impacts and management of Spotted Winged Drosophila, which has spread rapidly throughout California and is causing significant problems for certain fruit crops. The session will end with Dr. Dave Headrick updating attendees on other recent invasive pests that pose a threat to California crops.

  • Dr. Kent Daane, Cooperative Extension Specialist, University of California Kerny Ag Center, Parlier, CA
  • Dr. David Haviland, University of California Entomology and Pest Management Farm Advisor, Bakersfield, CA
  • Dr. David Headrick, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

10:30am-12:00pm Breakout Session B  (1.5 DPR CE (other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Floor Management in Perennial and Annual Cropping Systems

Floor management is a huge part of crop production. The goal of the session is to present an overview of floor management practices and detailed information on specific issues related to weed management, a very important component of floor management. Dr. Scott Steinmaus will discuss floor management in permanent crops, which has a significant influence on soil properties such as water percolation and organic matter content. Dr. Kurt Hembree will present on managing herbicide resistance, an issue that is quickly becoming critical in California cropping systems. The session will conclude with a grower panel discussing their ideas and opinions on effective floor management.

  • Dr. Scott Steinmaus, Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Kurt Hembree, University of California Weed Management Farm Advisor, Fresno County, CA
  • Grower Panel, Representatives TBD

12:00pm-1:00pm Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall

1:00pm-3:00pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 DPR CE (other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Virus Management in California Vineyards

Viruses have been and continue to be a very vexing pest problem for California winegrape growers and winemakers. The recent identification of Red Blotch associated virus and its distribution in vineyards is a great example. Red Blotch has been the topic of heated conversations in the wine industry due to the high value of winegrapes, the damage that the virus is causing in  vineyards, as well as the fact that the virus was only recently identified, yet has been spotted in vineyards for years. Furthermore, some misunderstandings about it have been circulating among some growers and winemakers. The goal of this session is to set the record straight on Red Blotch associated virus in California vineyards. Dr. Deborah Golino of U.C. Davis Foundation Plant Services will provide an overview of Red Blotch. Also, John Duarte will present the problem from the nursery industries perspective, Josh Kress will discuss what California Department of Food and Agriculture is doing about the problem, and John Crossland will present a grower’s perspective on the issue.

  • Dr. Deborah Golino, Director, University of California Foundation Plant Services, Davis, CA
  • John Duarte, President and CEO Duarte Nursery, Hughson, CA
  • Josh Kress, Senior Environmental Scientist, California Department of Food and Agriculture, Sacramento, CA
  • John Crossland, President, Vineyard Professional Services, Templeton, CA

1:00pm-3:00pm Breakout Session B  (1.5 DPR CE (other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Honey Bees and California Agriculture

California farmers have long recognized the importance of honey bees to California agriculture. This awareness is growing among consumers of those crops and all of us have seen the extensive media coverage of the decline in health of the US honey bee population. This awareness and decline in honey bee health is resulting in calls by some for regulatory actions by US EPA and California Department of Pesticide Regulation on pesticides that have the potential to affect honey bees. The purpose of this session is to update attendees with an overview of the honey bee situation in the US, provide information on some pesticide-related regulatory changes that have already been made and could possibly be made in the future, and a discussion of some best management practices farmers can use to ensure the continued health of honey bee colonies in their fields or in the region.

  • Dr. Brian Johnson,  Assistant Professor, Department of Entomology & Nematology, University of California, Davis, CA
  • Representative, from Project Apis m., Paso Robles, CA
  • Representative, from Department of Entomology & Nematology, University of California, Davis, CA

2:30pm-3:00pm Break with Exhibitors

3:00pm-4:30pm Breakout Session A  (1.5 CE CCA applied for)

Water Management in Permanent and Annual Cropping Systems 

Water management is on everyone’s mind nowadays due to the record setting drought in California. However, water management has always been a critical component of any irrigated crop in the state. There is always something new to learn or important established practices that we need to be reminded about. The first presentation in the session will be about the importance of and how to measure the performance of an irrigation system, a practice everyone knows is important but may not be done on a regular basis. This will be followed by the latest practices in irrigation scheduling in annual and permanent crops.

  • Michael Kahn, University of California Irrigation and Water Resources Farm Advisor, Salinas, CA; Irrigation scheduling in row crops
  • Dr. Andrew McElrone, Research Plant Physiologist, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Davis, CA; What is surface renewal technology and how can it be used for irrigation management?
  • Presenter, Measuring irrigation system performance
  • Tom Lorish, Pacific Gas & Electricity


3:00pm-4:30pm Breakout Session B  (1.5 DPR CE (other), 1.5 CCA applied for)

Disease Management in Vineyards - Powdery Mildew, Canker Diseases, and Bunch Rot

This breakout session will present the latest information on three of the most alarming diseases in California vineyards. Dr. Michelle Moyer from Washington State University will present some fascinating research being done on powdery mildew monitoring, detection and management. A great deal of new information has been developed over the last 20 years on vineyard canker diseases, much of it based on work done in Dr Kendra Baumgartner’s lab. Dr Renaud Travadon will discuss this work in his presentation. Larry Bettiga will end the session by talking about the latest approaches to bunch rot management in California vineyards.

  • Dr. Michelle Moyer, Professor, Department of Horticulture, Washington State University, Prosser, WA
  • Dr. Renaud Travadon, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Davis, CA
  • Larry Bettiga, University of California Viticulture Farm Advisor, Salinas, CA


Tuesday, November 17

8:00am-10:00am General Session 

Sustainability Initiatives in the Agri-Food Supply Chain - What Are They and Why Are They Important?

Over the last 10 years, members of the agri-food supply chain, particularly buyers, retailers, and consumers have become more and more interested in how crops are grown on the farm. To meet this demand for transparency, several sustainable farming initiatives have been established to document practices as well as some metrics for important inputs like water, energy and nutrients. It is important for farmers and others involved in decision making on the farm, such as Pest Control Advisors and other agricultural consultants, to know about these initiatives, why they were developed, and how they might impact farming. In this session, Andrew Arnold will provide attendees with an overview of the more important sustainable farming initiatives and representatives of two initiatives will provide a detailed view of their respective programs.

  • Andrew Arnold, Senior Sustainability Associate, SureHarvest, Soquel, CA
  • Allison Edwards, Project Director, Stewardship Index for Specialty Crops, c/o Ag Innovations Network, Sebastopol, CA
  • Representative, Whole Foods Market, Responsibly Grown Program


10:00am-10:30am Break with Exhibitors

10:30am-12:00pm Breakout Session A 

Sustainable Fertility Management

The recent passage and current implementation of the Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program (ILRP) for nitrogen management has put the spotlight on using a nutrient budgeting approach for crop nutrient management. The goal of this session is to remind growers and agricultural consultants the important processes and practices of fertility management of annual and perennial crops and to discuss some of the specifics of the ILRP for nitrogen management. Also in this session, the Almond Board of California for almond growers and agriculture consultants will present a nitrogen management decision support tool to use in developing a nitrogen budget for an almond orchard as well as creating a report for the IRLP program.

  • Presenter, to discuss the basic nutrient management practices and processes for annual and perennial crops
  • Perry Klassen, Executive Director, CURES, Dinuba, CA
  • Representative, from Almond Board of California, Modesto, CA


10:30am-12:30pm Breakout Session  B 

Measure-to-Manage - If You Can't Measure It, You Can't Manage It

One of the core goals of sustainable farming is to strive to continuously improve one’s practices and performance over time. A rule of thumb that will help a farmer achieve this goal is, ‘if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” In other words, if the goal is improvement in a practice or performance, a benchmark must be established so some time in the future it can be used to determine if improvement has or has not occurred. The goal of this session is to review the measure-to-manage approach to farming, present to the attendees some of the tools available to a farmer for capturing data and summarizing it, and present a case study of a farm that has put measure-to-manage into practice.

  • Presenter, Measure-to-Manage Overview
  • David Sypnieski, Athena, Elk Grove, CA
  • Presenter, Farm case study


12:00pm-12:30pm Lunch Break in Exhibit Hall - Boxed Lunches Available for Pre-Order

12:30pm-2:00pm General Session  (1.5 DPR CE, 1.5 CCA applied for)

Laws & Regulations 

The Laws & Regulations Session will address significant new changes to regulations regarding buffer zones, sensitive areas, and new closed system requirements.

  • Janice Campbell, San Luis Obispo Ag Department, San Luis Obispo, CA
  • Peggy Byerly, Department of Pesticide Regulation, Sacramento, CA


2:00pm Closing Remarks and Adjourn


Check back soon to discover the latest additions to the program!