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Audio ActualitySan Diego County farmer about the county quarantine preventative program
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» August 11, 2010 «
They’re known as “specialty” crops, and a newly released study shows they’re a special boost for the state’s economy. The “California Grown” program analyzed the economic impact of 15 specialty crops and reported this week that their production generates nearly $16 billion in annual economic activity. The crops in the study included a variety of fruits and vegetables, plus flowers, dairy products and wine.
Farmers, nursery operators and gardeners face restrictions on moving crops and plants due to the discoveries of invasive pests. In San Diego County, some farmers participated in a program to certify their farms as pest-free in advance of potential quarantine. Now, the county could face restrictions from an infestation of light brown apple moths. Officials declared a fruit fly quarantine in parts of Los Angeles County this week.
Growers expect to harvest 350 million pounds of pistachios this year, according to the Western Pistachio Association. However, farmers won’t start the harvest until mid-September, about two weeks later than average. The cooler spring and summer caused the delay. Farmers say they worry that rain could reduce pistachio quality if rains start in late October as harvest winds down. Insects can also cause damage to a later-than-average harvest.
Bee pastures may soon dot the California landscape as beekeepers attempt to increase the number of pollinators. Agricultural researchers found that small patches of colorful wildflowers could cause pollinators such as blue orchard bees to increase their numbers more than fourfold. The research came in response to colony collapse disorder, a mysterious problem that has reduced bee numbers. At least two beekeepers have already developed bee pastures. Bees pollinate more than a third of the fruits and vegetables we eat.Top