Ag Innovations meeting in Santa Maria

Wednesday, March 26, 2014 • Santa Maria, CA

Past Event:

Ag Innovations Meeting

Santa Maria Elks Lodge

1309 N Bradley Rd, Santa Maria, CA 93454

26 March, 2014




8:30 Keynote Address: Science and Service – UC Cooperative Extension in California

Central Coast

Mary Bianchi, County Director and Horticulture Advisor, San Luis Obispo &Santa Barbara Cos

Outline: Local Cooperative Extension programs have been actively developing and delivering research and extension for more than 90 years. This presentation provides a brief history of our local programs.

8:45 Tackling Invasive Pest and Disease Challenges

Kathy Fisher, AG Commissioner, Santa Barbara County

Outline: Invasive pests and diseases are a continuous threat requiring collaborative efforts to educate the public and farming community to prevent the spread and limit the damage.

9:00 Thinking Outside the Box- UCCE Research and Extension

Surendra Dara, Strawberry and Specialty Crops Advisor UCCE Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo Counties

Outline: Microbial control in conventional agriculture; entomopathogenic fungi as plant health promoters; greenhouse strawberry production in Europe; research and outreach in handling invasive pests and diseases.

9:20 Advanced Mechanization and automation for Specialty Crops Production

Stavros Vougioukas, University of California Davis. Dept. of Biological & Ag Engineering

Outline: Current work at UC Davis focuses on two goals: first, to evaluate the harvesting effi-ciency of proposed mechanical harvesting systems in software, before building a physical machine, and second, to improve the harvesting efficiency of manual picking by developing teams of inexpensive, relatively small, harvest-aiding mobile robots.

9:40 Improving Crop Yield, Food Safety, and Farm Sustainability with Harvest-to-Harvest (H2H)

Daniel Morash, California Safe Soil LLC, Sacramento, CA

Outline: Using enzymes, heat and mechanical action in a 3 hour, controlled manufacturing process, the resulting fertilizer, Harvest-to-Harvest (H2H) has all the essential nutrients to stimulate growth of soil organisms, which in turn, improves crop health.

10:00 BREAK

10:15 Vertical Farming as Part of the Agricultural Supply Chain- How Does it Work and How Can it Help?

Milan Kluko, Founder and President & Dan Kluko, Research and Development Manager, Green Spirit Farms, New Buffalo, MI

Outline: Discussion of two systems: Vertical Growing Stations and Rotary Vertical Growing Stations, their benefits and how to develop a farming model to integrate these systems.

11:00 A Case Study in Lettuce- How Computer Vision and Precision Robotics are Raising Specialty Crop Yields 10%

Ben Chostner, VP Development, Blue River Technology, Mountain View, CA

Outline: We will share how Blue River is putting these capabilities to work in lettuce, and how that leads to an unprecedented opportunity to help every plant in the field reach its full po-tential.

11:20 The GIS Toolbox

Kevin Spry, GeoG2 Solutions INC., Moffett Field, CA

Outline: What is available and how to use the information. Remote sensing is one part of integrating GIS into farm management.

11:40 Vegetable Technology, Microbials and BioDirect

John Purcell, Technology Development Manager, Western U.S.

Outline: As Ag markets continue to grow, the need for crop varieties with improved yield and agronomic characteristics grows with it. The ability to effectively manage and protect a crop remains a key requirement. This presentation will focus on recent tools and traits which have been incorporated into vegetable seed, and, both near and longer term technologies.

12:00 LUNCH

1:00 Biobest’s Pioneering Flying Doctors and Additional New Systems

Kim Gallagher Horton, Biopest USA Inc., McFarland CA

Outline: Flying Doctors – a new tool in bio control. Review of other bio control options from Biobest.

1:20 DNA and RNA Multi-scan for Quick Diagnosis of Plant Diseases

Sukhi Pannu, director of Testing Services, CSP Labs, Pleasant Grove, CA

Outline: At CSP Labs, we provide crop specific DNA and RNA MultiScans to quickly identify bacterial, fungal and viral infections. Our quick turnaround time is helpful to growers to control diseases effectively.

1:40 Best Practices for Improving the use of Marrone Bio Innovations Products

Carlos Reyes, Vice President Product Development, Marrone Bio Innovations, Davis, CA

Outline: This presentation will provide information on best practices grower/PCAs can use to maximize the effectiveness of Grandevo applications. Actual examples, supported by data, that provide insight on practices that work, and practices that don't will be included, plus a product pipeline update on experimental materials.

2:00 Organic Pest Management in Strawberries and Caneberries: Available Materials from Biosafe Systems

Vijay Kumar Choppakatla, Technical Services Manager, BioSafe Systems, East Hartford, CT

Outline: In this presentation, safe and effective organic chemical control options from BioSafe Systems and their potential for integration with the existing methods for effective pest and disease management will be discussed.

2:20 BREAK

2:30 Torac 15EC- A new Insecticide for Control of Insect Pests on Leafy Green Vegetables

Greg Miller, Nichino Technical Sales Representative, Nichino America

Outline: We will discuss the technical background of the product and present efficacy da-ta on western flower thrips among other pests generated in the coast and other areas in CA and AZ where leafy vegetables are grown.

2:50 Update on Bayer’s Insecticides and Fungicides including a Brand New Product for 2015

Phil McNally, Bayer CropScience, Lake Forest, CA

Outline: The presentation will discuss Bayer’s new fungicide, Luna, as well as Bayer’s insecti-cides, Movento and a new one, Sivanto. Will also address AdmirePro and Scala/Flint as they are rotational partners with Movento and Luna, respectively .

3:05 Nealta: New Miticide for use in Grapes and Strawberries

3:20 Merivon and Priaxor: New fungicides for use in Strawberries and Vegetables

Sanjeev Bangarwa, BASF Corporation- Field Biologist (CA, AZ, NV)

Outline: The presentation will cover technical overview, research update and performance data, and overview of proposed use pattern for Nealta, Merivon, and Priaxor.

3:40 Syngenta Crop Portfolio Update

Jose Cabrera, Agronomic Service Representative, Coastal (CA/AZ)

Outline: Recent product additions/innovations, best use practices, and in some cases most recent performance data. Information will be focused on vegetables, strawberry and grape technologies among other high value crops in the area.

4:00 New Technology on Chemistry

Dwain Morton, Sales Representative, Dow AgroSciences, Arroyo Grande, CA

Outline: Update on new chemistries for disease and pest management on multiple crops

4:20 Brief survey 4: 30 Meeting concludes


4.5 hours of DPR and 6.5 hours of CCA CEU are requested

Light breakfast, lunch and snacks will be provided.

Spanish interpretation will be available courtesy of the Environmental Training Center, Hancock College

Many thanks to all meeting sponsors!


Seating is limited, so please pre-register by March 14 at

If you need additional information or assistance with registration, please contact Ingrid Schumann

at 805-781-5940 or

Location Details

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Santa Maria Elks Lodge
1309 N. Bradley Rd.
Santa Maria, California 93454
United States

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Ingrid Schumann

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