Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» May 30, 2006 «
Strong demand for California walnuts encourages marketers, as farmers prepare for what could be another large crop. The California Walnut Commission says farmers harvested a record-sized crop last fall, but that additional demand has absorbed the increased supply. The commission attributes the strong demand to independent studies that describe the health benefits of walnuts. California farms produce all of the walnuts grown in the United States.
Mexican consumers now can purchase California-grown avocados. The U.S. Agriculture Department says the first shipments of California avocados have started to arrive in Mexico, under an agreement between the two nations. A number of packinghouses in Southern California have been certified to ship Hass-variety avocados to Mexico. The USDA estimates sales of California avocados to Mexico could reach up to $24 million dollars a year.
By learning more about a newly arrived plant pest, researchers say they'll be able to help farmers protect tomatoes, peppers and other crops. An insect called the "tomato psyllid" migrated from Mexico into California several years ago. University of California insect specialists say they have learned how high the pest population must build before the psyllids begin to damage crops. They say that knowledge will lead to improved crop-protection strategies.
A program that helps farmers overcome physical obstacles has earned renewed support from the federal government. Called the "AgrAbility" project, the program provides practical advice to farmers who face loss of hearing, loss of vision, arthritis or other disabilities. The University of California is one of 21 universities to earn the federal grants. California's AgrAbility program resides at UC Davis.Top