Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityCitrus greening disease and the Asian citrus psyllid
mp3 | Real Audio (Real Player required)
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» December 16, 2009 «
Discovery of citrus greening disease in Western Mexico has California officials concerned it could spread here. The citrus-killing disease has done major damage to Florida citrus trees. Committees of those in the citrus sector are leading a major effort to suppress the Asian citrus psyllid, which can rapidly spread the disease from tree to tree. Those insects have been found in San Diego County. Government and private groups are intensifying their efforts to keep the disease out of California.
Food processors are no longer buying apples. California apple growers whose crop was ready for harvest early in the season had buyers and good prices for processing apples. However, they now share the fate of Eastern growers as the processing demand ends. Consumers can be certain there will be good supplies of apple sauce, apple juice and other processed food containing apples. According to the California Apple Commission, this was a challenging season for apple growers as some nations erected barriers to California-grown apple imports.
Consumers will find fresh pomegranates in retail stores through January. Farmers hired extra help in early December to pick fruit before predicted rainstorms. Pomegranates are like cherries when ripe in that the skin is thin and, when rain hits the fruit, the skin tends to split. Pomegranates do well in cold storage, so even though harvest has ended, consumers will find good supplies for several more weeks. Farmers say weather this year produced excellent quality fruit.
Weekend storms have increased the Sierra snowpack, and California Department of Water Resources officials say it is a good start to the season. However, they add this does not mean the drought has ended. The overall snowpack for the Sierra is 95 percent of average for this date. That compares favorably to the 17 percent of average last year at this time. The Pacific Ocean El Nino current gives hope to farmers and urban dwellers alike for above-average precipitation, at least in the Central and Southern Sierra.Top