Newsline for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

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IN THIS NEWSLINE ISSUED APRIL 30, 2003:

  1. OLEANDER GALL
  2. FOOD RETAILING CHANGES
  3. NEW WEB SITE FOR MEDIA
  4. THOSE PESKY MOSQUITOES
  5. GREAT TREES NAMED AT UA
  6. THE RACE TRACK INDUSTRY PROGRAM
  7. HOMEOWNERS GET A PREMIUM FOR HOMES AND LAND IN RIPARIAN AREAS
  8. ARIZONA'S RIPPLE EFFECT OF CALIFORNIA'S WATER SAVING RULES
  9. A CENTURY OF RANGE RESEARCH SOUTH OF TUCSON
  10. INDIAN WATER RIGHTS--COURT RULING
  11. EVENTS

1 OLEANDER GALL

Oleander is one of the most popular evergreen shrubs in Arizona. The gall disease is widespread.

Oleander gall is caused by a bacterium. Galls occur on twigs, branches, leaves, flowers, and seedpods. Initially galls appear as small protuberances that subsequently develop into wart-like growths with roughened, fissured surfaces. Galls vary in size but average about 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter. Large galls are usually made up of several small galls that have grown together. Galls are the result of the growth and multiplication of the bacterium.

The bacteria enter and infect oleanders through leaf and blossom scars, wounds produced by pruning, frost injury, and natural openings. Rain, sprinkler water, and pruning tools can spread bacteria from diseased to healthy plants.

When purchasing oleanders, examine them carefully to be sure they are free of galls. The vast majority of nursery stock is free from the disease but prevention is always the most effective method of disease control. For diseased oleanders, prune out infected plant parts and apply disinfecting solution (a 10 percent solution of household bleach--one part bleach to nine parts water) to each cut surface. Always dip pruning tools in the disinfectant solution between cuts to reduce the possibility of spreading the bacteria.

Prune during the dry seasons to avoid infection of wounds. Avoid sprinkler irrigation.

Severe infection of large shrubs is difficult to control by selective pruning. If you cut down the entire shrub, the new succulent growth is extremely susceptible to infection. In certain situations, removal of the diseased plant and replanting may be the best method of control.

Mary Olsen, Department of Plant Pathology
"Diseases of Urban Plants in Arizona"
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/diseases/az1124.pdf


2 FOOD RETAILING CHANGES

The fastest growing food retail formats are those that are focused on a particular customer or a particular trip purpose.

The "Big 3" traditional grocers, Kroger, Safeway, and Albertsons, may have a combined 30% share of the US market, but their same store sales growth hovers in the low negative numbers! The problem for them: the average household shops their stores less often than they did five years ago.

Focused formats are the beneficiary of these trip losses, particularly those formats serving a specific consumer income level or trip-purpose segments.

Wal-Mart Supercenter, Dollar General, Food4Less, and Sav-A-Lot focus on serving an under-served segment of the population--the value-conscious, middle to lower income segments. Whole Foods and Wild Oats serve the natural and organic foods consumer. Whole Foods has focused even further by merchandising a variety of prepared and "cook-to-completion" products for the time-starved consumer. Whole Foods is a fun place to shop even for the consumer on the go, because their food offerings are imaginative and healthful.

We are only seeing what focus can do. Imagine food stores focused solely on the convenience-based trip, selling only the top few thousand convenience items, and other convenience-based trip items like gas and pharmacy. Imagine grocery stores that have restaurants or restaurants that sell food items that are complementary to their food offering. Today, all of these formats and combinations exist!

Richard Furash, Southwest Retail Center for Education and Research
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/fcs/srcer


3 NEW WEBSITE FOR MEDIA

The UA College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS)has recently developed a web site specifically for Arizona journalists. The site features easy access to current information about college programs and personnel at greater length than on CALS NewsLine. The new web site includes recent research activities and results, college publications, fact sheets and current news stories.

Recent news stories are also posted at www.uanews.org. Click on "Ag & Life Sciences."

Impact statements are brief reports on the benefits of CALS programs to society. See http://cals.arizona.edu/impacts.

The annual Agricultural Experiment Station Research Report is at http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/general/resrpt2002/.

To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/media


4 THOSE PESKY MOSQUITOES

Mosquitoes affect the health and well-being of humans and domestic animals worldwide. Even in Arizona's dry climate, more than 40 species thrive. Some don't affect humans; even those that do are mostly nuisance pests. However, 3 mosquito species can cause serious diseases.

The western encephalitis mosquito transmits the encephalitis virus to birds, horses, mules, and occasionally humans. The yellow fever mosquito causes dengue, which is not currently endemic in Arizona. The situation is likely to change because this mosquito is found throughout southern Arizona.

The southern house mosquito is mostly an annoying pest to humans, but it can transmit nematodes that cause dog heartworm, as well as viruses causing encephalitis.

Since many mosquito populations have developed resistance to insecticides, getting rid of breeding sites is the only long-term solution to severe mosquito problems. Usually community-wide efforts are needed. Repellents for personal protection and pesticides for population control are available, but effective mosquito control is often a complex, expensive job requiring professional help.

Henry Hagedorn, Dawn H. Gouge, Kirk A. Smith, Carl Olson, Department of Entomology
Paul Baker, Pesticide Information and Training Office
"Mosquitoes" http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/insects/az1221.pdf
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/general/resrpt2001/01.html


5 GREAT TREES NAMED AT UA

For the second year in a row, three unique trees on the UA campus have been designated Great Trees of Arizona by the Arizona Community Tree Council. They include a silk floss tree, an African sumac and a fever tree.

The designation refers to any individual tree or group of trees considered to be of local, state, national or international significance. Tree are selected based on criteria that may include a unique history, great age, extraordinary size, or because they are a rare or unusual species.

The silk floss tree is the largest and oldest of its species in the state, planted more than 70 years ago south of the Engineering building near Old Main. It measures 37 feet tall, with a 40-foot canopy and a trunk circumference of more than 10 feet.

The ancient African sumac, located between Maricopa and Yuma residence halls on the northern edge of the UA historic district, was the first in Tucson, planted in 1928 by Homer Shantz, a former UA president. The state's largest fever tree stands 38 feet tall, and is located at the southwest corner of Cochise Hall.

The Arizona Community Tree Council promotes preservation of Great Trees in Arizona. Nominations were made on behalf of the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum.

Elizabeth Davison, Department of Plant Sciences
To learn more: http://arboretum.arizona.edu/


6 THE RACE TRACK INDUSTRY PROGRAM

The Race Track Industry Program was set up at the University of Arizona in 1974 to supply the need for industry employees who were college educated, with business skills and an in-depth knowledge of all areas of the racing industry.

The bachelor of science degree program in Agriculture includes an overview of the industry, and courses in management and marketing, animal care and management, and legal issues/racing issues.

The demand for graduates is reflected by the 80 percent who are employed in the racing industry as soon as they graduate.

David Cox, Director, Academic Programs
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/impacts/6_6.html


7 HOMEOWNERS GET A PREMIUM FOR HOMES AND LAND IN RIPARIAN AREAS

Twenty-five thousand homeowners received a premium of more than $100 million when they sold homes located within 1.5 miles of riparian corridors. Riparian areas generate proportionately larger premiums for undeveloped land.

An economic study researched a portion of the metropolitan Tucson, but the economists believe property value premiums can be expected in riparian corridors elsewhere in Arizona's desert communities.

For property owners located in and near riparian corridors, proposed limits on new wells in riparian buffer zones will help assure landowners that when they refrain from drilling, others must also refrain. This can prevent landowners from inadvertently damaging riparian resources that benefit each of them, but which no individual landowner can protect alone.

Greg Fitzpatrick, Harry Ayer, Nancy Bannister, Satheesh Aradyula, Bonnie Colby, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics

To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/arec/pubs/pubs.html


8 ARIZONA'S RIPPLE EFFECT OF CALIFORNIA'S WATER SAVING RULES

California is adopting statewide water use standards for washing machines. That may be good water conservation, but unfortunately it can have unwanted affects in nearby states like Arizona. Unwanted ripple affects resulted when California adopted low-water use toilets.

Sounds like a good idea, but many manufacturers were caught flatfooted because they ended up with products in warehouses that couldn't meet the stricter engineering standards. Those products were quickly shipped to Southern Nevada and Arizona where they remained unsold.

The ideal solution is for the federal government to adopt uniform standards. That will take a while; in the meantime Arizona water conservation officials still fear the unwanted ripple affect from California.

Joe Gelt, Water Resources Research Center
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/AZWATER/awr/janfeb03/news.html


9 A CENTURY OF RANGE RESEARCH SOUTH OF TUCSON

Since 1903, University of Arizona scientists have traveled south of Tucson near the base of the Santa Rita Mountains to get a working knowledge of the 51,000 acres of land set aside for studying the affects of cattle grazing. One hundred years later, the Santa Rita Experimental Range is still providing information on carbon storage by plants, and the effects of fire, noxious weeds and overuse on public lands.

At the beginning, mesquite was largely restricted to washes; now it's everywhere. Lehmann Lovegrass, deliberately introduced in the 1930s from Africa, has been so successful that it is crowding out more desirable native plant species.

About 700 head of cattle are used in long-term grazing research studies to evaluate seasonal rotation of grazing and vegetation response to grazing rates.

The proximity of the Experimental Range to Tucson and the campus is a major advantage. "We can be on the ground and doing things in less than an hour, all year round," says one researcher.

Even NASA is interested in evaluating how land use practices affect the ability of plants to sequester carbon into the soil by pulling it from the atmosphere. Another project, funded by the National Research Initiative, is forecasting the effects various climate changes may have on vegetation.

The Santa Rita Experimental Range began a century ago, but scientists using it continue to look toward the future.

Mitch McClaran, School of Renewable Natural Resources
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/SRER


10 INDIAN WATER RIGHTS--COURT RULING

The Arizona State Supreme Court recently ruled that Indian water rights may be based on other criteria than the practicably irrigable acreage (PIA) standard in force since 1963. The Court stated that water rights allocations must respond to each reservation's specific needs.

Although the PIA standard may seem reasonable, The court stated that PIA has deficiencies. It overlooks geographic differences among reservations. Also the standard may create a temptation for tribes to "concoct inflated, unrealistic irrigation projects," the court said.

Quantification of water rights must still be based on the minimal need of a reservation that must satisfy both present and future needs of the reservation as a livable homeland.

Arizona Water Resource Newsletter, Volume 10, Number 3, Water Resources Research Center
To learn more: http://cals.arizona.edu/AZWATER/awr/janfeb02/leglaw.html


11 EVENTS

The 12th Annual Desert Horticulture Conference is scheduled for May 16th, Tucson Convention Center. Cost: $35 per registrant if received by May 1; after May 1, the fee is $75. For more information, go to http://cals.arizona.edu/deserthort

The week-long Natural Resources Conservation Workshop is scheduled for June 9-14 at Mormon Lake, Arizona. Contact Jill Rubio, jrubio@ag.arizona.edu or download applications at http://cals.arizona.edu/extension/plt

The Arizona Studies Academy at NAU offers a unique, integrated approach to teaching and learning about Arizona's natural resources from June 23-28, 2003. For more information, visit http://www.azstudies.org or call 602-266-4417.

An Arizona Firewise Communities Workshop is set for Thursday, October 16, 2003 at the Tucson Convention Center. For more information or to register go to http://cals.arizona.edu/extension/firewise and click on "Workshops" or contact arogstad@ag.arizona.edu.


To find out about available CALS publications and upcoming events, go to http://cals.arizona.edu If you have questions or comments about NewsLine, send an email to newseditor@ag.arizona.edu. Previous issues can be viewed at http://cals.arizona.edu/pubs/newsline/previous-issues.html

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