University of California Cooperative Extension Ventura County recently received some new equipment to help its research efforts. Ventura County Cooperative Extension Director Christopher Smith says the Extension is really excited about some new high-powered microscopes.
Shot hole borer remains a major concern for the avocado industry, which is a main crop for Ventura County. Little is still known about the pest’s behavior and Smith says this is where the microscopes will be able to help. “Having these high-end microscopes allow us to do some unique things in terms of creating three-dimensional images,” Smith says. “For example, how a shot hole borer bores into wood. If we take different sections and we compile each of the images, we create a three-dimensional image. We’re hoping to be able to trace and look at the timeline to get a feel for why and where it goes and if it’s looking for a particular site in the tree.”