Also in the January–March 2012 issue of California Agriculture:

Farm-to-WIC study: The federal Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) now distributes monthly cash vouchers to low-income women with children to buy fruits and vegetables. UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE) researchers surveyed WIC participants in Tulare, Alameda and Riverside counties in 2010 to guide the development of a farm-to-WIC program that would connect local growers to the WIC market. Based on WIC participants’ produce preferences and buying habits, they developed a list of 19 produce items for possible inclusion in the program, including broccoli, cabbage, collards, nopales, sweet potato and tomatillo.

Preventing Fusarium wilt of lettuce: Caused by the soilborne fungus Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. lactucae, Fusarium wilt affects all major lettuce production areas in California and Arizona. In trials at UC Davis, lettuce cultivars differed significantly in susceptibility to the disease, with some leaf and romaine types highly resistant under all test conditions. Management of Fusarium wilt requires an integrated approach that includes crop rotation to reduce soil inoculum levels and the use of resistant cultivars during the warmest planting windows.

Also in the online-only E-edition of California Agriculture:

Biological control for citrus pests: In a spring 2010 survey and statistical analysis, growers with greater citrus acreage and more education were more likely to use biological controls for four important citrus pests (California red scale, citrus red mite, citrus thrips and cottony cushion scale). Marketing outlets, ethnicity and primary information sources also influenced the extent of reliance on beneficial insects.