Growers, pest control advisers, and other industry representatives can gain the latest information about low-desert crop production in California and Arizona during the 2012 Fall Desert Crops Workshop Nov. 27, 2012 in El Centro, Calif.

Speakers at the 23rd annual workshop will discuss insect management in winter vegetables, the latest in leafy green food safety research, the future of weed control in vegetables, neonicotinoid use in melons, the Asian citrus psyllid and Huanglongbing disease in citrus, and other issues.

Eric Natwick and Khaled Bali of the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Imperial County, are the conference organizers.

Western Farm Press is the official workshop sponsor.

Tentative agenda

7:00 - Registration

7:10 - Welcome from Western Farm Press – Cary Blake, associate editor, Western Farm Press, Gilbert, Ariz.

7:15 – Invasive pests in Imperial County agriculture – Asian citrus psyllid, red and South American palm weevils - Rachel Nilson, entomologist-plant pathologist, Imperial County Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, El Centro, Calif.

7:35 - California ground squirrel – a new Imperial County invasive species - Reyes Treviso, agricultural biologist, Imperial County Ag Commissioner’s Office, El Centro, Calif.

7:55 – Insect management tips in vegetables – John Palumbo, University of Arizona (UA) entomologist, UA Yuma Agricultural Center, Yuma, Ariz.

8:15 – Disease and pest update for lettuce, okra, and peppers - Jose Aguiar, UCCE vegetable crops farm advisor, Riverside County, Indio, Calif.

8:35 – Impact of hydrogels on soil water retention and water conservation – Khaled Bali, UCCE irrigation-water management advisor and county director, Imperial County, Holtville, Calif.

8:50 – Is neonicotinoid use in melons harming bees?- Vonny Barlow, UCCE entomology/agronomy farm advisor, Riverside County, Blythe, Calif.

9:10 – The future of chemical, non-chemical weed control in winter vegetables - Barry Tickes, UA Extension weed science agent, YAC, Yuma.

9:30 - Break

9:40 – California leafy greens research program update – Mary Zischke, director, California Leafy Greens Program, Salinas, Calif.

9:50 – Crops, pests, and invasive species in China – Milton McGiffen, UCCE specialist and plant physiologist, UC Riverside, Riverside.

10:10 – Whitefly-transmitted viruses in desert crops – William Wintermantel, plant pathologist, USDA-ARS, Salinas, Calif.

10:30 – Latest developments in vegetable crop diseases - Steve Koike, UCCE plant pathology farm advisor, Monterey County.

10:45 – Pest management updates on crop production products – commercial sponsors

11:15 – Survival of E. coli and salmonella in contaminated soil and current research towards remediation; on-farm and post-harvest sources of listeria contamination – Trevor Suslow, UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences, Davis.

12:05 -Lunch (no charge for those who RSVP) – courtesy of Western Farm Press and commercial suppliers.

Note: All times are California Standard Time (Arizona times are one hour later).

The workshop will be held Nov. 27 at the House of Steaks and Antipasto, 201 N. Imperial Ave., El Centro, Calif. 92243. Park in the back of the building and enter through the rear entrance.

Four requested CEU hours for California, Arizona, and CCA.

There is no cost to attend. Advanced registration is recommended. Attendees can register at the door.

For more information and to pre-register, contact UCCE’s Annette Tietz at (760) 325-9474 or atietz@ucdavis.edu.