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Program Narrative 1 David Doll Program Narrative.

In March of 2008, I began my position as the 80% nut crop pomology/ 20% urban horticultural advisor for Merced County. Assigned to the crops of almond, walnut, and pistachio, I serve clientele that produce 331 million dollars in net agricultural receipts on an estimated 111,000 acres of farmland throughout the county. My assignment also includes responsibility of extending urban horticultural information to about 210,000 county citizens and the establishing and administrating of a new UC Master Gardener Program. The first review period, 2008 - 2009, saw through the start of several programs within Merced County: the re-development of the county¶s nut crop pomology extension program, the formation of a new urban horticultural program, and the creation of a UC Master Gardener Program. For the programmatic year of 2009-2010, priority was placed on continuing the development of the new UC Master Gardener Program, as well as establishing myself as a credible resource within the farming community. Much of my time was devoted to serving the almond growers of the county, as almonds are grown on 90% of my assigned acreage. Specific benchmarks that were accomplished within the past year include: y Organizing and delivering Merced County¶s first UC Master Gardener training, y Collaborating with United States Agency for International Development (USAID) with a project focusing on The Republic of Moldova¶s almond growers; y Participation in the Almond Board of California¶s Mentorship Program which included the mentoring a summer intern; y Establishment of a 17 acre field trial studying alternative fumigants to methyl bromide and fumigant alternatives; y The continuation of a weekly blog which serves as indirect extension for almond growers; y And increased contact with local growers, which included hitting a benchmark of 100 farm visits. Pomology Assignment. Accomplishments within the pomology position have revolved around increasing outreach to the clientele of the county and developing a research program. Outreach through traditional means of farm visits, phone calls, regional presentations, and hosting of meetings as well as nontraditional methods, which includes a weekly updated blog, have all been incorporated into the program. The successful establishment of my first field research project, and the continuation of a rootstock trial established by my predecessor has provided the first steps in the development of my research program. Both the outreach activities and the communications associated with the developing research program have continued to re-established connections with the local growing community. Urban Horticulture Assignment. Assigned to develop a program with only a designated 20% FTE, I have devoted most of my efforts into the establishment of a UC Master Gardener program. The program was slow in developing at first, as time was used to develop resources and networking with community groups. After training 12 volunteers in 2009 through Mariposa County¶s program, we decided to host the 2010 training within Merced County. 29 community volunteers participated, completing the 16 week training mid-April. With the membership of the program expanding to 39 volunteers, our outreach efforts have been significantly increased. During the past year, we have participated in over 50 community events, four school gardens, and made contact with over 2700 community members. It is important to note that the majority of the contacts came from minority groups. My involvement with the Master Gardener program has continued to remain even as the volunteers have completed their training. I have guided the volunteer group in forming a group structure, establishing goals and priorities, and beginning their first community projects. Collaborating with Golden Valley Health Center, I have begun the development of a community garden network, which will serve as a short-course on community gardening for the County. I have given talks and served as a representative of the UC Extension office on the Healthy South Merced Community Group. I have also assisted four other

Program Narrative 2 David Doll counties with their UC Master Gardener training, training an estimated 150 volunteers in plant pathology statewide. Even though significant advancements have been made programmatically, the other academic criteria have not been ignored. Specific accomplishments within knowledge extension, research and creativity activity, professional competence, and affirmative action are described below. Knowledge Extension. Modern Extension Methods. The use of an online newsletter in a blog-type format has proven to be beneficial for growers statewide. ³The Almond Doctor,´ ( is considered a resourceful site of information by my almond growing clientele. The weekly updating is time consuming, but appears to be aiding growers state-wide. This past year, an average of 150 people per week actively read the weekly updates, as determined by the bounce rate, totaling 7800 indirect contacts for the past year. The majority of these readers were hitting from IP addresses within California, but several readers from Australia, South America, Europe, and Asia frequently visited the site. To diversify website content, I have also included posters and presentations from conferences and local meetings to keep my clientele up-to-date with my efforts. Other ³modern´ extension efforts for 2009/2010 included the participation in weekly telephone interviews (20 total) for ³Almond Fax,´ an e-newsletter that is sent to 1000 growers and pest control advisors (PCAs) statewide. I have also used social media to help increase awareness of the blog, as well as to tie in my expertise with state regulators and law-makers. I have received a lot of positive feedback from growers, consultants, PCAs, and industry representatives about my blog and other efforts. Specifically, growers in counties without UC farm advisors (Fresno, Madera, etc) have commented favorably on the quality and accessibility of the information. Traditional Extension Methods. In 2010, I hosted four almond meetings, and one walnut-meeting. I also co-published four editions of Merced¶ County¶s pomology newsletter, ³The Tree and Vine,´ which were mailed or emailed to over 1,100 subscribers statewide. Several articles were publish in various mass media magazines and newspapers including Pacific Nut Producer, Western Farm Press, Merced County¶s Farm Bureau News, California Association of Pest Control Advisors¶s Review, The Almond Board of California¶s Outlook, and other county newsletters. I have maintained an active contact with my growing community, making over 100 farm visits within the past year. I also participated with other farm advisors, UC specialists, and non-government organizations in the ³Sustainable Cotton Project.´ My role within the project was to provide information to help growers transition cotton ground to almond plantings. Most of this extension work within this program was done in Western Merced, Madera and Fresno Counties. These areas are currently under-served by extension. Research and Creativity Activity. Forming collaborations with other UC Advisors, specialists, and faculty, four research projects have been initiated and two projects were continued within the 12 month period. Two of the six projects are researching alternatives to soil fumigants for control of Prunus Replant Disease and soil nematodes. A third long term project is studying the environmental and economic impacts of an alternative orchard removal strategy that grinds the old trees in place and then incorporates the tree mass into the soil. The other three projects focused on water and nutrient use and methods to improve water and nutrient use efficiency within the almond orchard. Taking on research projects has created the opportunity to form relationships with University Specialists and Faculty, USDA scientists, and the corresponding staff. Theme: Managing endemic and invasive pests and diseases of nut crop trees. Background and rationale. Merced County has many older almond orchard blocks that are declining in production. Growers maintain these blocks even though yields are low, as they are reluctant in replanting due to the high cost of land preparation, trees, and labor. Replacing an orchard block is the most critical time in orchard development, as numerous replanting problems may occur. These problems are addressed

Program Narrative 3 David Doll through prophylactic practices that involve a high labor and equipment expenses, applications of fumigants, and time. Prior to starting this position in March 2008, Merced County was without a full time nut crop advisor for 7 years. During this period of time, rapid changes in nut tree management have occurred. Research on planting densities, nutrient budgeting, pest control, and pruning techniques may have not been properly or adequately communicated during this period. Serving in the role as a liaison between the Land Grant University and the local growers, I am expected to communicate these technologies of orchard management to the clientele. Problem: Orchard removal and replanting. Project 1: Management of almond replant problems with fumigants and fumigant alternatives. Orchard removal and replanting is a critical time in orchard development and necessary for farm sustainability. When orchards are replaced, growth and productivity of the succeeding generations of trees are often suppressed by ³replant problems´ unless precautions are taken. Replant problems can result from interacting physical, chemical, and biological factors, but the biological aspects usually dominate. Growers can minimize physical and chemical contributions to replant problems by pre-plant ripping and other site remediation practices and amendments to insure good soil water drainage, good soil structure, and optimal soil chemical properties (e.g. pH, soil extract electrical conductivity, etc.). Biological factors, including nematodes, aggressive pathogens, and Prunus Replant Disease have been traditionally addressed by a year of cover cropping followed by pre-plant soil fumigation. Research. The pre-plant application of fumigants reduces the potential of disease and increases tree vigor and yield. Research investigating the efficacy of alternative fumigants and fumigant alternatives is being conducted in several field trials in Northern Merced County. Being the lead investigator on this trial, I have developed the experimental design, applied treatments, and have assisted the grower with many of the challenges of replanting. Collaborators are listed within the project summary table. Trial 1: This trial location in northern Merced County was an almond orchard for over 25 years. It contains high counts of ring nematode, which can kill or stunt the growth of young trees. In the summer of 2008, the grower and I began the process of preparing the field for a January 2010 planting. We established several experiments, which includes the influence of a sudan grass cover crop, comparing the growth response to soil fumigants, measuring the growth response due to soil tree site excavation (backhoeing), and comparing the tree growth of innovative fumigant alternatives which included spot applications of steam and brassica seed meal. Trial 2: This trial location fell into an area that was not able to be fumigated due to environmental regulations. The soil contains high counts of ring and lesion nematode. In February of 2010, I applied several treatments of various bio-control agents that are currently commercially available. These agents are thought to control nematodes and soil plant pathogenic fungi. Growth measurements and nematode samples will be collected to determine the effects of the treatments. Local assistance with the projects yielded some unexpected successes through the establishment period of the trials. Working with Steve Fennimore (UC Specialist, Salinas) and a local machine shop, a tree site steam auger was developed. This development was based upon research which has indicated that heating the soil above 55° C can kill problematic soil pests. This was the first time a tree site specific steam auger was developed for replant disease of almond in California. Extension/Creative Activity and Outcomes. Working with a grower whose soil is common through Merced County, it is my hope to demonstrate what fumigants are needed to ensure a successful planting, and to begin the process of developing economically viable fumigant alternatives. Successes within this

Program Narrative 4 David Doll trial will reduce volatile organic compounds within the San Joaquin Valley, thus improving air quality. Technologies will have application to an estimated 50,000 acres of almonds within Merced County over the next five years. As this trial progresses, field meetings will be hosted on location to discuss the treatments applied. Long term impacts will be the implementation of non-fumigant technologies into modern almond production. Project 2. Determining alternatives in orchard removal. The current strategies of orchard removal which include tree burning have face scrutiny due to increased environmental regulation. Recent state and federal air regulations have mandated a decrease in emissions of particulate matter and oxidative compounds. In order to meet these mandates, counties have limited the issuing of permits to growers preventing the legal burning of old trees. As a result, growers have been left with fewer management options when replanting an orchard. Research. Upon the decision to remove an orchard block, trees can be shredded in place by special machinery. This will reduce labor involved as the machine will remove and grind trees, and incorporate the materials into the soil. The effects of incorporating an entire orchard¶s organic matter into the soil are unknown and may have many benefits. Preliminary trials and observations from micro-plots suggest the ability to sequester carbon, improved soil structure, decreased nutrient leaching and runoff, and increased long term orchard sustainability. Working as a collaborator with Brent Holtz (UCCE San Joaquin), a long term field trial was established at Kearney Agricultural Center in the winter of 2008/2009. An experimental orchard on nemaguard rootstock, a common almond rootstock, was planted at the UC Kearney Agricultural Center, Parlier, CA. Treatments were either whole tree grinding and incorporation into the soil with ³The Iron Wolf´ (50-ton rototiller), or tree pushing and burning (completed March/April 2008). Subplots within these two main treatments above included tree site fumigation with Inline (61:33 ratio of 1,3-dichloropropene and Chloropicrin) through the micro-irrigation system versus a water nonfumigated control (completed October 2008). Extension/Creative Activity and Outcomes. It is widely believed by almond growers that whole tree soil incorporation will stunt or kill the next generation of planted trees. Preliminary data from this trial suggests that this is not true. As the plot matures, we hope to hold field meetings to change grower¶s attitude of tree incorporation into the soil. This technology will reduce particulate matter entering the air, improving air quality, while sequestering large amounts of carbon and nutrients into the soil. This incorporation may lead to less fertilizer and water inputs, decreasing waste and negative environmental impacts associated with their use. With over 800,000 acres of almonds planted statewide, this could add to the sustainability efforts of the almond industry. Field meetings will be hosted and results reported at the annual Almond Board of California conference, a meeting that attracts over 1000 growers statewide. Project 3: Demonstrating and extending strategies for insect pest management within almond orchards. Extension/Creative Activity and Outcomes. Currently, many almond growers rely on broad spectrum insecticides (organophosphates and pyrethroids) for insect control. Due to environmental concerns, the future use of these chemicals is in question. Narrower spectrum and lower environmental impact insecticides have been developed, but growers are unaware of effective application strategies. Working with the ³Sustainable Cotton Project´ and Walt Bentley (UC IPM), demonstration and testing plots within the area were established to show the effectiveness of these ³softer´ chemistries. Within the review period, I have participated in three field meetings and three indoor meetings within Fresno/Merced/Madera County area that discussed new strategies of pest management. I also have participated in state-wide meetings, giving presentations on ant, mite, and fungal disease management. All of these meetings were widely attended, received great reviews, and delivered practical, timely information. Through the course of the program, over 500 contacts were made, and attracted a larger

Program Narrative 5 David Doll percentage of Hispanics and women than other meetings. Although the use of broad spectrum insecticides will most likely continue within almond production, this project, as monitored through post activity surveys, has convinced several growers to try newer ³softer´ insecticides and raised awareness about integrated pest management. Long term impacts will hopefully include the reduction of pesticide run-off into waterways and of volatile organic compounds, improving water and air quality, respectively. Theme: Improved Water Quality, Quantity, and Security. Background and Rationale. An estimated 52 inches of water are applied per acre of almonds. Many growers question if the tree needs more water due to higher densities and increased yields. With water being a limited resource, it is critical for applications of water to be used in the most efficient way possible. Efficiencies within irrigation technology have increased, while water application timing has yet to be refined on a varietal basis. Problem: Does water use efficiency vary by almond variety? Project 4: Plant-based measures of water stress for irrigation management in multiple almond varieties. Working with Ken Shackel (UC Davis), we established field trials in four orchards to determine water use differences amongst almond varieties. Serving as a co-principal investigator, I was responsible for the experimental set up, data collection, and data entry. Over the course of the season, minimal differences between the varieties were observed, but the differences were found to be consistent across locations. This experiment will be repeated in 2011 to determine consistency in results. Extension/Creative Activities and Outcomes. Working with the four orchard owners, I was able to create a working relationship in which they learned proper irrigation techniques while I learned more about orchard production practices. The data we gathered in regards to the amount of water that was used by full canopied orchards was supportive of a previous preliminary study by other UC researchers, thus providing support to further investigate total water use. Furthermore, experiences in regards to water management using plant based measurements will be shared with growers at local meetings. Theme: Healthy Families and Communities. Background and Rationale. Merced County has an estimated population of 251,500. By the year 2020, the US Census predicts a growth of nearly 100,000 residents, increasing the city size, strain on natural resources, and environmental impact of the city. Being a valley county, socio-economic issues are very pronounced, which include unemployment, poverty, and food insecurity. According to the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (U.S. Census Bureau) and California Health Interview Survey, 21% of the population in Merced County is below the poverty line and 37.3% of the adult population is classified as ³food insecure.´ Food security is defined by the World Bank as ³Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active, healthy life." Problem: Lack of knowledge regarding home food production. Project 5: Extending information regarding the establishment and management of small home gardens. Extension/Creative Activity. Working with Golden Valley Health Center, I developed a curriculum that was used to educate children and parents about the benefits of gardening. Topics ranged from understanding the information on the back of a seed packet, basic plant biology, and garden maintenance. Several presentations were given at the Golden Valley Health Center Campus in South Merced, an underrepresented community. All presentations were translated into Spanish so that parents and children could understand the material being presented. Presentations received a great review. In fact, after the first series of presentations, we were asked to continue the project for another two years. Outcomes/Outputs. Through this time period, we translated a basic gardening information sheet with information localized for Merced County. Over 500 children and parents took part in the instruction. Most of them spoke very little English, which changed the way we presented our material. Follow up calls and

Program Narrative 6 David Doll visits to the presentation sites indicated the more frequent use of the garden by community members, questions from parent attendees regarding gardening, and community involvement within the garden. This suggests that parents are applying the information covered in the talks to their home. This will help reduce the amount of money spent on food, encourage a healthy diet, encourage child development and education, and increase the economic status of these families. This project also has helped tie us in with other community organizations attempting to accomplish the same goal of local food security. University and Community Service. I have attempted to take advantage of University and community service opportunities during this review period. I have found these events to be not only educational, but also rewarding. This past year, I was asked to travel to The Republic of Moldova to help local growers with almond production and processing practices. This project was through USAID, and I found the experience rewarding as well as educational. I look forward to the future impact that the lessons learned will bring to my assigned county and state. I also served on the advisory committee for the Fruit and Nut Research and Information Center, as the editor for the revision of the Almond Production Manual, as a mentor for a summer intern sponsored by the Almond Board of California, and have hosted a field tour for the graduate students in the Department of Plant Pathology at UC Davis. Within the community, I have participated in The Healthy South Merced Community Group, and have served on a committee to discuss the development of a local food bank. Professional Competence. I have participated in local and statewide conferences pertaining to my commodities and program assignments. These conferences include the annual Almond Board of California Industry Conference, The California Walnut Research Conference, Tri-County Walnut Institute, ³Topics in Pomology´ as organized by Dr. Scott Johnson, and the Pomology Extension Continuing Conference. I plan to continue the development of this are in the coming program year. Affirmative Action. Merced County is diverse. To ensure that my programs reach across racial, socioeconomic, and physical disability boundaries, I use electronic extension methods that are accessible at any time, from any location, and can even be translated to the language of choice. All meetings are held at a location easily accessible by people with physical disabilities, and I maintain my printed/mailed newsletter for people who are unable to access the computer. Within my website, I have begun to tag my articles with Spanish keywords to help Spanish speaking growers locate articles online. I have also begun an at-home Spanish course, and plan to take a local community college course in 2011. Loss of Advisors in Surrounding Counties. Madera and Fresno Counties are without pomology advisors. Growers within these counties often call for assistance. Over 100 incoming phone calls were received from these counties. Farm visits were minimal due to lack of support for out-of-county travel, but eight farm visits were made in Madera and western Fresno County. Program efforts to incorporate extension programming (i.e. ³Sustainable Cotton Project´) into these counties have been positively received by the attending growers. Although establishing a program within these counties is unlikely due to time constraints, I feel obligated to maintain ties between the farming community and the UC in hope of maintaining future UCCE support. Within the next two years, I hope to continue the progress I have made in research and extension. I am beginning to feel more comfortable with Merced County growers and have found the exchange of information to be rewarding. In time, I am confident that my research program will develop to help address the future needs of the nut crop industries. I also am excited to see the development of the UC Master Gardener program in Merced County. Even though a lot of effort is needed to direct this program, I feel that the long term benefits are worth the investments in time. Input from my colleagues and county director have indicated that my program is developing faster than expected, which has provided positive reinforcement during the decision of applying for this accelerated merit.