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Research and IPM

Grants Programs: UC IPM - UC SAREP Educational Events

2001-2002 Reports

Noxious Weeds Management Workshop

The Noxious Weeds Management Workshop, held October 24, 2001 in the Embassy Suites, Lompoc, Calif., focused on heightening awareness of the problems that exotic, invasive weeds cause in Santa Barbara County, and to discuss management methods for two of the more common, high-interest, problematic weeds: yellow starthistle, Centaurea solstitialis, and giant reed, Arundo donax.

David Chang, supervising agricultural biologist, Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, representing the Santa Barbara County Weed Management Area.

Santa Barbara chapters of the Native Plant Society and Audubon Society.

The workshop drew 103 persons from the agricultural and horticultural community: 37 local government agency representatives; 14 pest control consultants or pest control advisors (PCAs); 14 members of nonprofit organizations; 13 state or federal agency representatives; 11 farmers or ranchers; 7 suppliers; 3 county Cooperative Extension advisors; 2 Resource Conservation District (RCD) field staff; and 1 university representative.

The UC Statewide Program provided $900. Other sponsors were the California Department of Food and Agriculture and Santa Barbara County. The funds allowed "our weed management area to demonstrate that we have successfully obtained additional funding beyond the Senate Bill 1740-provided funds," said coordinator David Chang. He attributed the workshop funding as one of the factors in receiving increased state funds.

David Senzai and Ross O'Connell, agricultural biologists with the California Department of Food and Agriculture, presented a Noxious Weeds Overview of California's regulatory weed program and the rating of weeds. Their talk, describing the exotic, incipient, and pestiferous nature of the two weeds, set the tone for the event.

Dr. Joseph DiTomaso, extension specialist with Vegetable Crops and Weed Science at UC Davis and a recognized expert on yellow starthistle, discussed Yellow Starthistle Management. One of the highlights of the workshop, his talk focused on effective tools for yellow starthistle management, including controlled burns, competitive vegetation, biocontrol agents, and selective herbicides.

Carl Bell, regional advisor for invasive plants, UC Cooperative Extension, San Diego County, discussed Arundo (Giant Weed) Management. He told of the impact of giant reed on riparian systems. Giant reed is not found in or near all rivers in Santa Barbara County, he said. His talk offered insight on improving the response to incipient infestations, and receptiveness to local treatment projects.

Jerry Davidson, entomologist with the Santa Barbara County Agricultural Commissioner's Office, presented his talk on Biological Control of Weeds in Santa Barbara County. He discussed the biology, morphology, and distribution of some of the biocontrol agents used in yellow starthistle control, and gave an overview of the biocontrol program in Santa Barbara County.

Don Hartley, professor at Santa Barbara City College, discussed Principles of Habitat Restoration. His talk emphasized the systems approach to habitat restoration and conservation, including the human systems of regulations and organizational roles.

Dr. Chris Gillespie, botanist, and Craig Nathe, range management specialist, Vandenberg Air Force Base, spoke on Habitat Restoration and Range Management at Vandenberg Air Force Base. They presented an overview of the noxious weed problems on the base. Gillespie discussed the species, their distribution, and base politics relative to habitat restorations. Nathe discussed the artichoke thistle problem. (A field trip to Vandenberg Air Force Base was canceled due to security concerns at the field site.)

Forty of the 103 participants submitted evaluation forms. In general, the participants were very satisfied with the workshop. Twenty-eight rated the workshop as excellent, and 14 as good. Comments ranged from "best training yet" to "great job organizing this event."

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Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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