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» April 16, 2007 «
An invasive pest that threatens dozens of California crops has expanded its range. Authorities announced (Friday) that the light brown apple moth has now been found in Santa Clara County. Detections in Palo Alto and Los Altos form the southernmost find of the moths. They've also turned up in four other Bay Area counties. To try to prevent the moth from spreading further, state officials ask residents of infested areas not to move host fruits and vegetables from community gardens.
Alfalfa growers look for a better year, which would also be good news for dairy farmers. The year's first cutting of alfalfa usually has the highest protein content, an important factor for dairy farmers. A year ago, spring rain ruined the first cutting. This year, growers working on the first cutting say the crop looks good. Government surveys show a slight reduction in the alfalfa acreage planted by California farmers this year.
Weather during bloom was excellent and last year's crop has all been sold, leaving California apple marketers to look forward to this summer's harvest. The California Apple Commission says farmers shipped more than 142 million pounds of apples last season. The commission says it's encouraged by a new study showing that children were less likely to suffer from asthma, if their mothers ate apples during pregnancy. The study was conducted in the Netherlands and Scotland.
Delayed by a couple of weeks due to freeze damage in the desert, the California sweet corn crop has begun reaching markets. The January freeze damaged the early plantings, which resulted in a late start to the season. Supplies are light, as is usually the case when harvest begins. California farmers expect to have a bigger share of the sweet-corn market in the coming week as production increases.Top