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» September 17, 2007 «
A Mediterranean fruit fly infestation in Dixon has caused headaches for farmers nearby. Farmers who ship tomatoes to canneries outside of Solano County have been stopped from doing so, until shipping rules can be developed. The rules will be part of a quarantine to prevent the pest from spreading. Adult Medflies and larvae have been found in Dixon. An airplane released about a million and a half sterile Medflies there (Friday), to mate with wild flies and prevent new generations from breeding.
Better seeds lead to better crops, and scientists who study seeds meet this week to discuss research that benefits consumers and farmers. Seed biologists from around the world will participate in the meeting, which begins today (Monday) at the University of California, Davis. The conference coordinator says the meeting will focus on ways to translate fundamental research into practical uses that improve crop yields and nutrition.
The avocado season is winding down in the nation's largest production region. San Diego County farmers say they had a near-average sized crop, despite damage from the severe January freeze. About 15 percent of the trees were cut back severely after the freeze, a process known as stumping. Growers typically stump a few trees each season, but this year some farmers had to cut back their entire groves. It will take those trees two years to return to production.
With its parched hillsides and worries about water supplies, California could sure use a wet winter … and one long-term forecast indicates it may receive one. The editor of the Old Farmer's Almanac predicts above-average rain and snow this winter. The publication also says California will see above-average temperatures for much of 2008. The almanac's weather forecasters base their predictions on sunspot cycles, meteorology and historical weather patterns.Top