Food & Farm News
» August 1, 2012 «
With warm weather occurring in much of inland California this week, workplace safety officials reminded people who work outside to protect against the threat of heat illness. Safety efforts focus on providing water, shade and rest for people working outside on hot days. Farm groups, for example, organize training sessions, provide printed information and broadcast public service announcements to remind people about how to work safely.
Exotic insects from other parts of the world show up all too regularly in California, often hitchhiking with travelers who bring in produce from infested areas. The latest example comes from Santa Clara County, where the agricultural commissioner announced discovery of four Oriental fruit flies in the Morgan Hill area. Officials have already begun an eradication program. Invasive insects can damage both crops and native plants.
Forests create jobs and contribute billions of dollars to the nation's economy through restoration, tourism and renewable energy initiatives, according to the U.S. Forest Service. It says restoration efforts reduced the fire threat on more than 123,000 acres of forestland last year. The Forest Service says it is embarking on projects including one to increase the use of wood in generating renewable energy.
Peppermint harvest typically starts in July on farms near the Oregon border, but growers say a cool spring and late rains have delayed their crops until mid-August. Farmers harvest peppermint much as they harvest hay. After being cut, peppermint plants lie in the field for three or four days to dry. Because of the late harvest, farmers say they worry that rain or frost could damage the plants before the fields are cleared.Top