Food & Farm News
» August 29, 2012 «
Hoping to encourage people to eat more oranges by improving the fruit's sweetness, marketers say they'll use a new standard to judge the tastiness of navel oranges. The new California Standard measures differently the sweetness-to-acidity ratio in navel oranges. The grower group California Citrus Mutual says the result is an improved eating experience. The new standard for navel oranges will be applied in the coming harvest
Early varieties of almonds are being harvested in the Central Valley, and farmers say they're happy with the quality of the nuts so far. Growers welcome warm, dry weather at this time of year, because the temperatures help the almonds dry on the ground after they are shaken from the tree. The almond harvest is about one-third complete. Government forecasters have predicted a 3 percent increase in the state's almond production.
Apricot farmers say their orchards were able to produce enough fruit to keep up with demand, even though the total crop turned out to be smaller than last year's. With the California apricot harvest now ended, growers estimate it was about 12 percent below the previous season. Frost earlier in the year damaged some of the crop, and individual apricots turned out to be slightly smaller in size than in previous years.
While state pest-control officials battle a new fruit fly infestation in Southern California, they're being honored for slowing another invasive pest. Collaborative efforts in Northern and Central California have brought sharp population drops for the European grapevine moth … and the program will be honored by the U.S. Agriculture Department next month. Meanwhile, officials announced a quarantine to stop the spread of Mediterranean fruit flies after a discovery in Rancho Cucamonga.Top