Food & Farm News
» August 25, 2006 «
A bill clarifying the state's oversight role governing seeds and nursery plants has passed the state Assembly. The bill cleared the Assembly yesterday and returns to the Senate for a final vote. The bill's author, state Senator Dean Florez of Shafter, said it would allow California farmers to respond to customers' needs as quickly as possible, by insuring that new and innovative farm products can be grown in the state.
Fewer apples will be produced in California orchards this season, as a result of springtime rain and summertime heat. The California Apple Commission predicts the crop will be about 6 percent smaller than last year's. The commission reports that individual apples may be slightly smaller but will have excellent sugar content. California farmers will finish harvesting Gala variety apples next week, just as Washington farmers start sending their fruit to market.
A third round of treatments against a serious agricultural pest will begin next week in Santa Barbara. Three Oriental fruit flies turned up in traps late last month. The flies attack a number of California fruit and vegetable crops. State inspectors fight the fruit fly by applying bait, high above the ground, on trees and utility poles. The bait attracts and kills male flies, and has been successful in eradicating Oriental fruit flies in the past.
The cork in your bottle of California wine came from overseas, and that's likely to remain the case for the foreseeable future. Observers say cork trees would grow well in California, but it takes almost 50 years for trees to produce cork of quality high enough to close wine bottles. Farmers in Spain and Portugal are able to produce other crops in the cork forests before the trees come into production.Top