Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» September 19, 2006 «
The leader of the state's largest farming organization says California spinach farmers are cooperating and doing all they can to determine why people fell ill from eating spinach. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar called the situation a "tragedy" and said farmers are working closely with health officials. Mosebar said farmers' main concern now is about public health and that he would not speculate about the long-term impact on the spinach market.
More than 2,500 Californians have responded so far, to the state's call for help in finding a serious agricultural pest. The California Department of Food and Agriculture sent postcards to thousands of residents, asking them to be on the lookout for the diaprepes root weevil. A department spokesman says responses to the postcards have come from all over the state. The insect can destroy more than 270 different plant species, but is especially fond of citrus fruit.
After being slowed by weather problems at times during the season, California strawberry growers are again on a pace to establish a new production record. Through the end of August, farmers had harvested more than 1 billion pounds of strawberries, slightly more than at the same time a year ago. Recent weather has been ideal for strawberries. Farmers in Southern growing regions are beginning to pick berries from summer plantings, while the Central Coast harvest produces large supplies of fruit.
In the Central Valley, grape growers are trying to find the best market for their crops. The group Allied Grape Growers says wineries have bid between $125 and $150 a ton. That's more than wineries offered last year, but the group says it remains below production costs for many farmers. Given that, Allied says, some farmers might choose to sell their grapes as raisins instead.Top