Food & Farm News
» May 9, 2012 «
It's smaller than a sesame seed, but a beetle called the tea shot hole borer puts plant researchers on edge. The beetle carries a fungus that hurts fruit trees. The fungus has been discovered in a backyard avocado tree in Los Angeles County. Researchers are working to curb the pest and disease before it harms citrus and avocado groves. They ask residents with backyard avocado trees to keep watch for holes in the bark made by the beetles.
An apple a day keeps the workplace healthy, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. It reports a trend in businesses participating in “community supported agriculture” programs, with fresh produce delivered directly to the workplace. Farm Bureau says this “workplace wellness” trend provides employees with fresh fruits and vegetables and opens new marketing avenues for farmers. One California-based company provides boxes of fruit to thousands of American businesses.
Young homeowners are looking for low-maintenance landscaping, and rose breeders are hard at work to meet their needs. Roses are being bred on the University of California, Davis, campus to resist disease, require less pruning and be more water-efficient. Rose growers see the new varieties as a beacon of hope. Sales of rose bushes have been hurt by the recession, as the housing market collapsed and families spent less money on landscaping.
Most California raisins dry in the sun on paper trays, but the US Agriculture Department reports an increase in the number of raisin grapes grown and dried on the vine using a trellis system. Trellises now account for about 10 percent of the total raisin grape production. But during the past eight years, nearly one-in-three acres planted has used the trellis system, which allows for more machine harvesting and decreases the amount of work done by hand.Top