Food & Farm News
July 24, 2013
Almond harvest starts early
Warm spring and summer weather encouraged almonds to develop early, and farmers have started harvesting this week in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Farmers in Kern County say they're beginning almond harvest a week to 10 days earlier than usual. Almonds are California's most widely planted orchard crop and the state's top agricultural export. Forecasters predict farmers will harvest a near-record crop of more than 1.8 billion pounds.
Pest outbreaks confront California
Invading insects challenge farmers and gardeners in many parts of California. Crews are working to eradicate peach fruit flies in San Bernardino County, Oriental fruit flies in Orange and Los Angeles counties, guava fruit flies in Santa Clara County, and other pests that threaten crops. In Tulare County, authorities have restricted movement of citrus fruit and plants near an area where traps found an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid.
Deep-freeze method may preserve plants
To secure the future of citrus fruit production, researchers are deep-freezing plant cuttings to preserve them. So far, scientists have used the “cryopreservation” technique on cuttings of 30 citrus varieties from a collection at the University of California, Riverside. The cuttings are plunged into liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. The method could provide another way to safeguard plants important for crop production.
County Farm Bureau to mark centennial
The first county Farm Bureau in California celebrates its centennial this weekend. The Humboldt County Farm Bureau opened in 1913, in order to assure that local farmers had access to agricultural research from the new University of California farm advisor program. Humboldt County became the second in the nation with a local Farm Bureau. The organization celebrates Saturday with a family festival and dinner.