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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

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

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

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

and Security. improving water and air quality. the US Census predicts a growth of nearly 100. and garden maintenance. Efficiencies within irrigation technology have increased. Working with Golden Valley Health Center. Although the use of broad spectrum insecticides will most likely continue within almond production. data collection. Quantity. strain on natural resources. after the first series of presentations. Presentations received a great review. I was able to create a working relationship in which they learned proper irrigation techniques while I learned more about orchard production practices. Problem: Does water use efficiency vary by almond variety? Project 4: Plant-based measures of water stress for irrigation management in multiple almond varieties. which changed the way we presented our material. Over 500 children and parents took part in the instruction. minimal differences between the varieties were observed. we were asked to continue the project for another two years. 21% of the population in Merced County is below the poverty line and 37.Program Narrative 5 David Doll percentage of Hispanics and women than other meetings. and food insecurity. poverty. Outcomes/Outputs. Working with the four orchard owners. Merced County has an estimated population of 251. Background and Rationale. Project 5: Extending information regarding the establishment and management of small home gardens. Topics ranged from understanding the information on the back of a seed packet. Several presentations were given at the Golden Valley Health Center Campus in South Merced. Follow up calls and ." Problem: Lack of knowledge regarding home food production. has convinced several growers to try newer ³softer´ insecticides and raised awareness about integrated pest management. Serving as a co-principal investigator. I developed a curriculum that was used to educate children and parents about the benefits of gardening. I was responsible for the experimental set up. socio-economic issues are very pronounced. and data entry. basic plant biology. In fact. Through this time period. All presentations were translated into Spanish so that parents and children could understand the material being presented. Most of them spoke very little English. it is critical for applications of water to be used in the most efficient way possible. Long term impacts will hopefully include the reduction of pesticide run-off into waterways and of volatile organic compounds. this project. Theme: Healthy Families and Communities.500. and environmental impact of the city. Census Bureau) and California Health Interview Survey. Background and Rationale. 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. This experiment will be repeated in 2011 to determine consistency in results. increasing the city size. which include unemployment. Over the course of the season. Extension/Creative Activity. Many growers question if the tree needs more water due to higher densities and increased yields. With water being a limited resource. Furthermore. thus providing support to further investigate total water use. but the differences were found to be consistent across locations. an underrepresented community. as monitored through post activity surveys. we translated a basic gardening information sheet with information localized for Merced County.S.3% of the adult population is classified as ³food insecure. while water application timing has yet to be refined on a varietal basis. respectively. Being a valley county. Theme: Improved Water Quality. An estimated 52 inches of water are applied per acre of almonds. According to the Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates (U.000 residents. experiences in regards to water management using plant based measurements will be shared with growers at local meetings. Extension/Creative Activities and Outcomes.´ Food security is defined by the World Bank as ³Access by all people at all times to enough food for an active. we established field trials in four orchards to determine water use differences amongst almond varieties. healthy life. Working with Ken Shackel (UC Davis). By the year 2020.

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