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Organic Agriculture Seminar Series for Growers

Agenda and Recordings

(Scroll down for presentation recordings and summaries)

January 24 March 21, 2023

Tuesdays, 12 - 1 PM via Zoom

Please join us for a weekly lunch time seminar. We’ll be joined by a guest each week for a 30 minute presentation then open up the conversation for questions from the listeners. 

*These seminars are free to attend.*

The Zoom link will be the same each week. No pre-registration required.

Meeting link: https://ucanr.zoom.us/j/95260378391?pwd=TXNTNmtNalo5TzY0bjdISEszeXRXUT09

*Presentation will be recorded and made available, excluding Q and A.


Agenda en Español --> SPANISH_Organic Agriculture Seminar Series Flyer_2023 (1)




Tuesday, January 24 


Nitrogen Mineralization from Organic Fertilizers and Composts 

Joji Muramoto, Organic Production Specialist, UC Santa Cruz

Tuesday, January 31 


Tools and Approaches for Assessing and Improving Irrigation Efficiency on the Farm 

Michael Cahn, Irrigation and Water Resource Farm Advisor, UCCE 

Tuesday, February 7 


Organic Management of Nematodes  

Philip Waisen, Vegetable Crops Advisor, UCCE 

Tuesday, February 14

How to Identify and Scout for Insect Pests 

Alejandro del Poso, Assistant Professor of Entomology, Applied Insect Ecology - Turfgrass and Ornamentals, Virginia Tech University 

Tuesday, February 21 


Why, How and When to Choose Between Open-pollinated, Hybrid, and Land-race seeds?  

Charlie Brummer, Director and Professor, Center for Plant Breeding, UC Davis

Tuesday, February 28 


Management of Soilborne Plant Pathogens with Organic Amendments 

Amisha Poret-Peterson, USDA-ARS, Davis 

Tuesday, March 7 


Biology and Management of Thrips and the Diseases They Spread  

Daniel Hasegawa, USDA-ARS, Salinas 

Tuesday, March 14 


Weed Management on Small farms and in Organic Production Systems 

Jim Leap, Farm Manager, Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems, UC Santa Cruz 

Tuesday, March 21 


Recruiting Owls and Raptors for Pest Management 

Breanna Martinico, Human-Wildlife Interactions Farm Advisor, UCCE 



christof Berneu

Organic Seedling Production

Christoff, Center for Agroecology, UCSC

January 18, 2022




This discussion covered greenhouses for seedling production with a focus on system efficiencies. Drawing on decades of experience with organic seedling production, Christof Bernau addressed automated watering, seeding methods and expediting germination, soil quality and fertility, container choices and more.



Summary_Organic Seedling Production

MIchael Cahn


Water Management During Drought Conditions

Michael Cahn, Irrigation and Water Resource Farm Advisor at UCCE Monterey County

January 25, 2022



During drought conditions when water supplies are limited, understanding the water needs of the crops you would like to grow, your available irrigation supply, and best practices for efficient irrigation water application are critical. This seminar will focus on how to manage your irrigation practices during a drought. 



Summary- Irrigation Water Management during Drought Conditions


jordan updated


Seedbank Management and Physical Weed Control Strategies for Small-scale Vegetable Farmers

Rebecca Champagne + Jordan Parks, Gallandt Lab for Weed Ecology at The University of Maine at Orono. 

February 1, 2022



This webinar focused on weed management strategies for small-scale organic vegetable farmers. Topics will include seedbank management, such as tarping and flame weeding, as well as physical weed control. Hand tools, cultivation tool stacking, and optimization of tools will be discussed. 

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Organic Soil Fertility

Richard Smith, Vegetable Crop Production & Weed Science Advisor with UCCE in Monterey County.

February 8, 2022


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This webinar focused on organic soil fertility management strategies for small-scale organic vegetable farmers. Topics will include management of major and minor plant nutrients including nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, and crop fertility inputs. The talk will also cover fertility management based on soil test results and accounting for nitrogen in irrigation water. 

Fusuarium Wilt

Workshop:Management of Fusarium Wilt and other Soilborn Pathogens

Speaker Presentation Title


Cassandra Swett, PhD. UCCE Specialist in Vegetable and field crop pathology, UC Davis

Survival biology and host range of Fusarium wilt, with applications for crop rotation-based management in tomatoes.


Steve Koike, Plant Pathologist, TriCal Diagnostics

Challenges and limitations in diagnosing Fusarium wilt diseases


Kelley Paugh, PhD. Postdoctoral Scholar, Swett Lab, UC Davis

Developing best management practices for equipment sanitation.


Kelley Paugh, PhD. Postdoctoral Scholar, Swett Lab, UC Davis

How soil health management impacts survival of soilborne plant pathogens.


Peter Henry, PhD. Research Plant Pathologist, USDA-ARS

Managing losses to Fusarium wilt disease with resistant varieties


Margaret Lloyd, PhD. UCCE Small Farms Advisor for Yolo, Solano and Sacramento Counties

Grafting tomatoes for production in fields with soilborne pathogens.


Jesus D. Fernandez Bayo, PhD. Assistant Professional Researcher, UC Davis

Soil biosolarization as a tool for treating pathogen-infested fields using local byproducts


Joji Muramoto,PhD. Assistant Cooperative Extension Organic Production Specialist

Anaerobic soil disinfestation for managing Fusarium wilt and Verticillium wilt.


Hung Kim Doan, PhD. UCCE Small Farms & Specialty Crops Advisor San Bernardino & Riverside Counties

When and how to sanitize seeds to prevent the spread of soilborne pathogens on your farm.
Dan Chellemi, PhD. Director, Research and Development, Agricultural Solutions Biologically-based approaches for the management of soilborne fungal diseases: A case study of Verticillium wilt in the Salinas Valley.


Zheng Weng

So Many Products, So Little Time, So Much Confusion –Building Capacityfor Bigger Potential of Crop Biostimulants among Organic Small Farms

Zheng Wang Vegetable Crops and IrrigationAdvisorwith University of California Cooperative Extensionin StanislausCounty

February 2, 2022


This seminar will begin with an overview ofthe purpose of using crop biostimulants. Zheng will go over effective practices for selecting biostimulants to match the needs of your systemand successful ways to deliver biostimulants, using examples of microbial-based and other types of products. Finally, he will cover some basics for effectively measuring the value of bio stimulants for your farm production.


Tim bowles



Managing Mycorrhizal Fungi in Your Soil

Tim Bowles, UC Berkeley, assistant professor of agroecology at UC Berkeley. 

Janina Dierks, UC Berkeley, Postdoctoral scholar in the Berkeley Agroecology lab.

Yvonne Socolar, UC Berkeley, PhD candidate in the Berkeley Agroecology lab. 

March 8, 2022


Mycorrhizal fungi are often viewed as star players in sustainable agriculture, and for good reason. When they form intimate associations with crop roots, they can help increase nutrient uptake, help crops deal with water stress and possibly reduce soil borne disease pressure. In this workshop, UC researchers will share research and experiences about when and to what extent these benefits are seen in California vegetable systems. Come learn — and share your own experiences — about the multiple ways management could support (or not!) mycorrhizal fungi, from inoculation to soil health practices like cover cropping and reducing tillage. 


Previous Seminars


January 12, 2021
Bagrada Bug Community Forum:
Bagrada Bug is an imerging invasive stink bug pest in California, which preferentially feeds on plants in the mustard family (i.e. broccoli, kale, cauliflower, cabbage). It is a sucking insect and can cause severe yield losses, especially when it attacks young plants. On January 12, 2021 UCCE hosted a forum for Yolo, Sacramento, and Solano county organic growers to discuss their experiences with fighting bagrada bug. Paul Undehill and Andrew Brait led the discussion. 
January 26, 2021
Evaluating biochar for use in California agriculture
Dan Gelardi, PhD Candidate, UC Davis Soils & Biogeochemistry Graduate Group
IPM Screen Shot 2021-02-03 at 10.56.27 AM
February 2, 2021
Thrips, aphids, seed corn maggot and more: Managing insect pests in organic fields and vegetable production
Rachael Long, UC ANR Farm Advisor, Interim Director for Yolo, Solano, and Sacramento Counties
Indusced resistance
February 9, 2021
Plant Defense Mechanisms Part 1: Induced disease resistance and plant activators
Richard Bostock, Distinguished Professor, UC Davis Department of Plant Pathology
Plant defense - soil microbes (bottom up)
February 16, 2021
Plant Defense Mechanisms Part 2: How soil microbes defend plants from insect pests
Amelie Gaudin, Professor of Agroecology, UC Davis
post harvest
February 23, 2021
Post Harvest: The ABCs of keeping produce fresh and nutritious
Beth Mitcham, Director, Postharvest Technology Center and Cooperative Extension Specialist
Kat 2
March 2, 2021
Spring nutrient management in organic orchards
Katherine Jarvis-Shean, UC Cooperative Extension Orchard Systems Advisor for Sacramento-Solano-Yolo
March 16, 2021
Western striped cucumber beetle ecology and management for organic growers in the Central Valley
Jasmin Ramirez Bonilla and Ian Grettenberger, Grettenberger Lab, UC Davis Department of Entomology
Shackel_0226.06b cropped, resized
April 6, 2021
How are organic fertilizers effecting the soil microbe and what does that mean for your soil health?
Cristina Lazcano, Assistant Professor, Soil Ecology and Plant Nutrition
May 4, 2021
The birds and bees where the field ends - and their plant friends
Corey Shake, Senior Partner Biologist, Point Blue Conservation Science