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» July 30, 2007 «
Recent wildfires in forested areas have given emphasis to the need for managed forests. California's private forestland owners remove brush and thin trees so that the fuel for wildfires is less. Visitors to managed forestland find it easier to walk through the wooded areas, as the amount of underbrush is less. Fire fighters have a more difficult job containing fires in unmanaged forestland where small trees and underbrush have been allowed to grow wild.
California's olive crop this year will produce about 112,000 tons. That's what a recent survey of olive sector leaders shows. That is considerably more than the meager 16,800 tons last year. However, water is becoming an issue in olive groves south of the delta. Surface water allocations are about gone, and growers have been pumping ground water. Now the water table is dropping, and if water is in short supply, the final crop could be much less than the projected 112,000 tons.
DADS is what University of California researchers have named a natural fungicide they've developed that controls a fungus known as white rot. That soil fungus has caused garlic growers to abandon more than 13,000 acres of prime farmland, as there wasn't any way to control the fungus, which destroys both garlic and onions. As white rot spreads, more farmland has to be retired from production of those crops. The new material is to be tested this fall in commercial fields.
California apple growers are expecting a good crop. Good weather at bloom time, and adequate chilling hours over winter are cited as reasons. Growers are anticipating good prices, as there is very little carryover from the 2006 Washington crop, and apples from Southern Hemisphere farms should be sold out before California apples go to market. In addition export market demand for California fruit is expected to be strong.Top