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» April 20, 2007 «
As they harvest this year's crop, avocado growers continue to evaluate how the January freeze may affect next year's production. Avocado trees are blooming now, and farmers say it remains too early to tell how much of the coming crop has been affected by the freeze. Some growers cut back their trees in an effort to save them, and won't have a crop from those trees next year. But trees that were lightly pruned to remove freeze-damaged limbs are producing blossoms now.
A disagreement about an avocado pest could end up in court. California inspectors have turned away about 10 percent of imported Mexican avocados entering through Arizona. The state says the shipments contained a pest called armored scale that would threaten California avocados. But avocado groups say they fear federal inspectors aren't checking for armored scale on fruit entering directly from Mexico. Growers have sued to stop the imports until the problem is resolved.
Strong winds through the Sacramento and San Joaquin valleys this week toppled almond trees in both regions. It's something farmers come to expect. Almond trees have shallow roots, making them vulnerable to high winds ... especially just after a rain or an irrigation, when soil is wet. Farmers sometimes try to replant younger trees that are blown over. The overall tree losses will be a small percentage of the state's almond acreage.
On average, each American ate 145 pounds of fresh vegetables last year ... but that was down 2 percent from the year before. A government report issued yesterday (Thursday) says analysts expect vegetable consumption to rebound this year. Despite the overall decline, consumption rose in 2006 for crops including cauliflower, garlic, snap beans and bell peppers. The report also noted a slight decline in use of the most-consumed vegetable, potatoes.Top