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» December 1, 2010 «
Treatments begin next week in two Southern California communities where authorities found a dangerous pest that threatens citrus trees. The Asian citrus psyllid first appeared in California in 2008, and has since shown up in several areas … most recently in Upland and Montclair. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says it will treat infested properties there. The psyllid can carry a disease that kills citrus trees. So far, the disease has not appeared in California.
State officials have asked residents in Northern California counties to be on the lookout for an invasive plant called Japanese dodder. The plant acts as a parasite, and can kill trees and shrubs. It has spread to at least 14 counties. Authorities say the plant looks like a twisting, yellow-orange piece of spaghetti. They ask people who think they've found Japanese dodder to notify their local county agricultural commissioner.
Have you ever thought about going into the sheep business? A group called the Rebuild Sheep Committee hopes to attract ranchers who now raise other livestock, to consider raising sheep. The number of sheep in both California and the U.S. has declined for many years. But the group notes that prices for wool, lamb and mutton have all been strong recently, and wants to encourage livestock ranchers to diversify into sheep production.
Most California crops appear to have weathered the Thanksgiving-week freeze with little to no damage. Central Valley citrus fruit farmers say temperatures did not drop as low as feared, and that the cold will actually help the fruit increase its sugar content. Farm advisors in the Sacramento Valley say the cold temperatures may have damaged some young walnut trees. They recommend that farmers paint the trees white to protect against sunburn, which can occur even in the winter.Top