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» October 30, 2006 «
For the first time, Americans have consumed more than 1 billion pounds of Hass avocados in a single year. With the marketing year due to end tomorrow (Tuesday), the Hass Avocado Board says more U.S. households are using avocados. Sales have improved year-round, but consumers used a combined 100 million pounds of avocados at the two peak periods: Cinco de Mayo and Super Bowl Sunday. The board tracks sales of California-grown and imported Hass avocados.
People ate a lot more frozen strawberries, pushing overall consumption of frozen fruit up by 17 percent last year. Average consumption of fresh and canned fruit went down a bit, as did juice consumption ... in part because of smaller supplies. A new report from the U.S. Agriculture Department says the average American consumed nearly 282 pounds of fruit in all forms last year, down 2 percent from the previous year.
Warm October afternoons have helped farmers make the most of what has been a troubled crop of processing tomatoes. Those tomatoes ... used for salsa, ketchup and other products ... have been beset by weather problems all season. Dew settles on the tomatoes each morning now, causing some problem with fungal disease. But rain has held off so far. Farm advisors say farmers hope to harvest their processing tomatoes before significant rain falls, which would end the season.
Innovative pest-control projects on farms, golf courses, gardens and schools have received awards from the state Department of Pesticide Regulation. It presents awards for use of creative techniques known as "integrated pest management." Awards for on-farm projects included work to fight pests on winegrapes in Lodi, on pears along the North Coast, on tree fruit in the Central Valley and on crops grown by Southeast Asian farmers near Fresno.Top