UC sponsoring avocado exotic pest sessions

University of California is sponsoring two meetings in early May to provide California avocado growers a comprehensive review of invasive exotic species that attack avocados and the risks and impact of their potential introduction into California.

The focus will be on armored scale insect issues including scale biology, dissemination, damage potential and control strategies if introduced.

The first meeting will be May 2 at the South Coast Winery Resort and Spa in Temecula.

The second on May 3 will be held at the Residence Inn by Marriott in Oxnard.

Both meetings will run from 1-4 p.m.

Subjects to be covered by UC specialists include pest risk analyses and potential impacts of armored scale on California avocados; avocado fruit feeders, which are just across the Mexican border from California; genetic studies of avocado thrips and armored scales

Also, Ted Batkin, president, Citrus Research Board, will lead a panel discussion among growers, county ag commissioners, CDFA pest exclusion officials and UC farm advisors on the impact of these exotic species.

There will also be a demonstration of various stages of the life cycle of scale plus specimens of avocado pests collected in Guatemala. Meetings are free, but contact Diana Nix, UC Kearney Ag Center, Parlier, Calif. Phone: 559-646-6526; FAX: 559-646-6593 or [email protected] to register.

Registration deadline is April 27.

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