Frank Zalom Lends Expertise on Central Valley Farming for Article on Aerial Applicators in Ag Aviation
May 7, 2012
|Frank Zalom is quoted in the May-June edition of Ag Aviation. (Photo by Kathy Keatley Garvey)|
DAVIS--Professor and integrated pest management specialist Frank Zalom of the UC Davis Department of Entomology is quoted in an article on aerial applicators in the current edition of Ag Aviation.
The 22-page article, titled "Bugging Out," leads with this teaser: "After one of the mildest winters in recent memory, aerial applicators could be in for some big bug runs this summer, right?"
Wrote author Jay Calleja, manager of communications: "The season formerly known as winter has a new moniker: whimper. It’s an apt description for this year at least, given that there was very little bark and almost no bite during the winter of 2011?2012. In March, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) confirmed what even the most non-fervent weather watchers already understood—that there really wasn’t much of a winter to speak of. Officially, NOAA has classified the 90-day period between Dec. 1 and Feb. 29 as the fourth warmest meteorological winter on record across the contiguous United States and the warmest since 1999?2000."
Calleja quoted Zalom on lack of precipation in the Central Valley. "Frank Zalom, a professor of entomology the University of California-Davis, said the lack of precipitation had a lot of farmers in the Central Valley concerned about not having enough water to produce annual crops. California typically gets very little rain from April to October, so a wet March was a welcome relief. 'This year we didn’t have much rainfall in the winter time, so we didn’t have a lot of the storm events that might cause a lot of the mortality in the winter,' Zalom said. 'I can’t project what it’s going to be like the next couple of months, but if it’s similar to the last couple of years where we’ve had rain lasting longer than normal, then that will slow everything down.' Zalom expects it to be a good year for farmers in terms of less insect pressure than usual. Exceptions could include crops like walnuts and olives where pests overwinter in old fruit. 'We may see a little bit more navel orange worm pressure on almonds and walnuts, because we didn’t have the winter storms that would knock down a lot of the old nuts where they were overwintering,' Zalom said.
"The same thing could happen with olive fruit flies," Calleja wrote. He quoted Zalom: “When the new olive flies emerge this spring there’s going to be a few more olives than normal left on the trees that they can infest.”
Zalom, former vice chair of the UC Davis Department of Entomology, and the new vice president-elect of the Entomological Society of America (ESA), is on the path to the presidency of the 6000-member organization, the world's largest organization of entomologists. After serving as vice president-elect and vice president, the UC Davis entomologist will become president at the end of ESA's 2013 meeting and then will serve as president at the 2014 meeting in Portland, Ore. The following year he will fulfill the duties of past president.
--Kathy Keatley Garvey
UC Davis Department of Entomology