Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» September 22, 2006 «
Declaring war on food-borne diseases, fresh-produce groups say they will focus on what they call the "three Ws" ... water, the workforce and wildlife. Speaking in Salinas yesterday (Thursday), the groups outlined a plan that includes additional water testing, renewed concentration on worker training and preventing wildlife from reaching crops. Additional compost testing will also be undertaken.
The weather problems they've battled all year are becoming more obvious, as tomato growers harvest their crops. Typically, a fully loaded tomato truck holds 25 tons of fruit. But this season, a truck holding the same number of tomatoes carries as little as 18 tons of weight. The California Tomato Growers Association says that's because fruit that developed during the July heat wave isn't as juicy. Plants continue to process the tomatoes used for ketchup, salsa and other products.
They're already thinking about Halloween on California pumpkin farms, where the annual harvest has begun. One farmer says he has already shipped the pumpkins that will become jack-o-lanterns in Hawaii this fall. The July heat burned blossoms off of pumpkin plants in the Central Valley. That will reduce production somewhat, though farmers report that some plants blossomed again when weather cooled. They say there will still be plenty of top-quality pumpkins available for Halloween.
Gasoline and diesel fuel prices continue to decline this week, according to the California Energy Commission. Production remains higher than last year at this time. Gasoline prices have fallen for five straight weeks, and averaged $2.85 a gallon ... down 10 cents from the week before. Retail prices for diesel fuel dropped 13 cents a gallon, and averaged $3 a gallon statewide.Top