Al Murphy, first superintendent of the Hopland Research and Extension Center, died in December.
Hopland special issue
My father, Alfred Murphy, was superintendent of the Hopland Field Station for more than 30 years. We were all very excited about the special issue (November-December 2001). I grew up on the Field Station and have very fond memories of those years. We plan to share the issue with family and friends. I even have a copy of your July 1976 special issue on the station's 25 years of research.
You may not be aware that my father passed away on Dec. 22 in Cartersville, Georgia. We both missed California very much and Hopland even more.
Peg (Murphy) Baron
The issue devoted to the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center is excellent, with much good information. I've worked closely over the years with researchers at UC Davis/Hopland and value the contributions they have made to sheep research.
David L. Thomas
Professor of Sheep Genetics and Management
University of Wisconsin, Madison
BIOS cost data
I really enjoyed the recent article about almond management (“BIOS and conventional orchard management compared,” September-October 2001). It seemed to me to be solid evidence for the viability of less insecticide use. I wonder if you have cost data that correspond with these treatment years, such as what's the difference in investment in insecticides versus not doing so. The last paragraph was a little unsettling: “Many growers will not stop applying the broad-spectrum insecticides,” “until reliable predictive techniques are identified.” If this study doesn't persuade people, perhaps information on the cost differential will provide a needed “assist.”
Dean, UC Davis Extension
Author Walt Bentley responds: No one has yet performed a comprehensive economic analysis. With fewer input costs, BIOS methods would appear to be more profitable. However, that doesn't take into account bonuses paid by processors for damage of 2% or less (up to 10 cents per pound). Many growers may use insecticide sprays to achieve this goal.
Agricultural easements cover
I am very concerned about the cover of your magazine (January-February 2002). The pictures were spliced together to depict homes encroaching on virgin land. You have planted the seed of urbanization encroaching on this land.
Editor's response: We juxtaposed two images on the cover, identifying them in the caption and demarcating them in the composite image itself (with a light green line where the houses “broke” and the green trees began). We made a composite of these images intentionally to dramatize the two forces at work in California, the movement to preserve farmland and natural lands, and the movement to develop those lands. Our intent was to provide an arresting and thought-provoking image that would motivate readers to examine the contents and draw their own conclusions.