Food & Farm News
» January 30, 2013 «
Trucks carrying beehives are crisscrossing the state in preparation for the spring bloom, but their cargo may be a little lighter. Beekeepers say their colonies are smaller, in part due to a poor winter last year that didn't produce enough food to keep the bees healthy. The U.S. Agriculture Department reports that the bees' annual work on the state's farms will begin in almond orchards, where 1.6 million honeybee colonies will be needed to pollinate the crop.
California farmers say they're encouraged by announcements made by the president and senators about plans for immigration reform. Farmers say they depend on immigrant employees to tend and harvest crops. California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger says the discussions in Washington show movement in the right direction toward an immigration program that works for farm employees and farmers alike.
Nearly half the fresh vegetables grown in the United States came from California, according to statistics for 2012 issued this week by the U.S. Agriculture Department. California also accounted for more than two-thirds of the processed vegetables grown in the nation. The report estimates the on-farm value of vegetables grown in the state last year totaled slightly more than $6 billion dollars, which was down about 5 percent from the previous year.
Orchard growers will soon have a new researcher working to help them protect their crops and farm more efficiently. The University of California Cooperative Extension says the new specialist will conduct research into diseases affecting nut and fruit trees, as well as production methods that enhance quality and help farmers conserve natural resources. The California Pistachio Research Board donated money to UC to support the new researcher.Top