Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» May 7, 2007 «
Retail nurseries have been extra-busy these days. Mother's Day is always a peak time for sales of outdoor bedding and garden plants. But demand has been particularly high this year, because many gardeners still need to replace plants that were damaged by the severe January freeze. Nursery operators say their production of bedding plants has recovered from the freeze and they've been able to send bountiful supplies to retailers.
Natural enemies of two rose pests proved successful in protecting the blooms, according to research at the University of California, Davis. Flower-growing experts combined use of the natural enemies with changes in farming practices and selective use of pesticides ... and controlled the two pest species. The technique, known as integrated pest management, was tested on eight rose-growing farms in San Diego, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz counties.
As they work to keep a pest known as armored scale out of California, state inspectors say they continue to reject about 10 percent of the Mexican avocado shipments reaching the state. Authorities have rejected 33 truckloads of imported avocados they've inspected at border crossings at Blythe and Needles. California avocado farmers say armored scale will damage their crops if the insect becomes established here.
They want to have their cotton planted by now, and farmers in the Central Valley say they have met that goal. Cotton planting around California is virtually completed. Observers say early plantings thrived on the warm weather, but the crop's growth has slowed after temperatures cooled in much of the growing region. Farmers know it will cost more to grow cotton this year, in part because a dry winter will require them to pump well water. That costs more than surface water purchased from irrigation districts.Top