Food & Farm News
September 7, 2011
Pistachio harvest kicks off
After waiting a couple of weeks because of a cooler-than-average growing season, most California pistachio growers will kick off their harvests this week. Harvest of early varieties started at the end of August. The American Pistachio Growers organization calls the crop's condition and quality good. California accounts for more than 98 percent of U.S. pistachio production and this year's crop will be slightly smaller than last year's.
Walnut farmers expect second-biggest crop
Mild spring and summer weather has helped the quality of California-grown walnuts. The California Walnut Commission says it anticipates the quality to be very high. Quantity will be down slightly, off about 4 percent from last year's record walnut crop but still the second-largest in history. A government report described the growing season as “very similar to 2010,” with another cool summer that will delay harvest about two weeks later than average.
Weevil threatens Southern California palms
An aggressive trapping program has begun at golf courses, nurseries and other areas with high palm-tree concentrations, after nine South American palm weevils were discovered in San Diego County. According to an official description, South American palm weevils are difficult to detect because they nest in the crown of the tree. The insect's larvae eat a palm tree's new growth, ultimately killing it. The weevil has already entrenched itself in Mexico.
September marks California Wine Month
Coinciding with grape harvest, a month-long celebration marks California Wine Month during September. The Wine Institute says events have been scheduled in numerous wine-growing regions. In his official proclamation, Governor Brown commended the wine business for its contributions to the state, as well as bringing nearly 21 million visitors to California each year. California vineyards account for about 90 percent of the nation's wine production.