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UCCE has a new Horticulture Advisor


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Spinelli named UCCE San Diego's Production Horticulture Advisor

Gerardo Spinelli joined UC Cooperative Extension in San Diego County as a Production Horticulture Advisor on Oct. 12, 2020.  In San Diego, Gerry will work with nursery, floriculture and greenhouse growers on irrigation, water quality, pest management, nitrogen management, energy efficiency and agriculture/urban interface issues. 

Gerry’s goal is to have a meaningful impact on the industry profitability and sustainability through science-based information and effective problem solving. Gerry will collaborate with a team of diverse, passionate and successful colleagues dedicated to make a difference within the communities of California.

Prior to joining UCCE, Spinelli worked for the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz county since 2015 in irrigation and nitrogen management for strawberry and lettuce. He collaborated with Michael Cahn, UCCE advisor and technical expert for the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency's conservation program, to promote the adoption of CropManage to optimize nitrogen and irrigation in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties.

He has also worked on nutrient and pest management in vegetables, lettuce hydroponic production and anaerobic soil disinfestation in banana at the University of Hawaii, Manoa, and was a UCCE farm advisor for irrigation and vegetables in Stanislaus County. He also worked in Honduras on an irrigation development project providing technical assistance for smallholder corn and watermelon growers, and in London designing and installing landscape irrigation systems. He also lived in Lebanon, where he introduced integrated pest management in apple and olive production, rebuilt irrigation channels for tobacco and vegetable growers, began a queen bee breeding program and built sewage lines for the Wavel refugee camp.

Spinelli grew up in Italy on an olive and vegetable farm, on the hills, overlooking Florence and is fluent in Italian, English, French and Spanish.

He earned a B.S. in agronomy, an M.S. in tropical agriculture at the University of Florence, and a Masters of International Agricultural Development and Ph.D. in horticulture and agronomy at UC Davis, focusing on plant physiology and water stress in almond orchards.

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