Food & Farm News
July 31, 2013
Citrus growers face quarantine
Within days, citrus-fruit growers in Tulare County will face new restrictions on shipping their fruit, in order to prevent the spread of a potentially dangerous insect pest. State and federal officials told farmers Tuesday that they will impose a quarantine in an area near Porterville, where six Asian citrus psyllids were trapped last month. The insects can carry a fatal citrus disease. The disease has not yet affected commercial citrus groves in California.
Groups urge immigration reform
To revitalize the economy, Congress must reform the nation's immigration system, according to business and advocacy organizations. More than 400 groups signed a joint letter to House leaders, urging immigration reform and warning that “failure to act is not an option.” Signers of the letter include a number of California farm groups, plus representatives of housing, retail, tourism and other sectors of the economy.
Bad weather elsewhere boosts vegetable demand
Demand has risen across the country for lettuce and other California-grown produce, as a result of weather-related problems in other states. Marketers say wholesale prices for iceberg lettuce are about double their levels of a year ago, and market watchers say prices have also risen for broccoli, cauliflower and spinach. Rain in the East and Southeast has slowed vegetable production there, so produce buyers seek to buy California crops to supplement supplies.
Event focuses on farmland conservation
Conserving farmland helps assure food production to sustain a growing population, but maintaining California farmland presents challenges. To assess efforts to keep farmland in production, the Napa County Farm Bureau and the American Farmland Trust will hold a statewide conference in Napa this week. Conference organizers say sessions will showcase successful farmland-conservation programs and identify obstacles to farmland protection.