Food & Farm News
December 2, 2015
Citrus fruit harvest gains momentum
They’ve had water shortages and pest problems—and they withstood a freeze scare during the Thanksgiving weekend—but California citrus-fruit growers say they anticipate better crops this season. Growers say harvest of navel oranges has been running about 10 days ahead of a typical schedule. Mandarins and lemons are also being harvested. Cold temperatures last weekend didn’t drop low enough to harm fruit, and instead may have helped it build sugar.
Farmers keep an eye on Congress
Congress has until the end of next week to act to avoid a government shutdown, and debate on spending bills could include topics important to California farmers and ranchers. For example, Congress might add language to the bills that blocks a controversial “waters of the United States” rule that would give federal agencies more control over farmland. Farm groups also want Congress to extend tax measures that affect farmers who buy new equipment.
Nut-theft summit to be held
To cut down on cargo-scale thefts of almonds, walnuts and pistachios, two agricultural organizations have scheduled an “emergency tree nut theft summit” in Visalia this week. The meeting, to be held Thursday, will feature presentations from sheriff’s deputies, agricultural shippers, insurance executives and others. Organizers say a “new and active theft ring” is stealing truckloads of nuts at a time, often by posing as legitimate trucking companies.
Peak period arrives for holiday floral sales
Strong initial demand for holiday flowers and ornamental plants encourages growers and wholesalers. Nursery operators say a generally improving economy and lower fuel prices in particular leave people with more disposable income to spend on holiday plants. Poinsettias remain the most popular holiday plant, but marketers say berry vines, fruit and nut trees, herbs and other edible plants have experienced sales growth during the holidays.