Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityComments from Rep. Dennis Cardoza about agricultural border inspections
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» October 4, 2007 «
As California battles high-profile pest infestations from the likes of the Mediterranean fruit fly, a congressional subcommittee heard testimony yesterday (Wednesday) that pointed to breakdowns in agricultural inspections at airports and other points of entry. A California congressman said he believes the federal Department of Homeland Security is "absolutely failing" at keeping pests and diseases out of the country. Farm groups want the U.S. Agriculture Department to resume that responsibility.
A change of seasons is coming in Central Valley orange groves. Farmers will end harvest of valencia oranges early next week, and will shift to picking Satsuma oranges shortly thereafter. Farm advisors say weather patterns benefit oranges now. Days have been warm, but not hot, and cool nights encourage oranges to ripen. If this weather continues, the Satsuma harvest may start sooner. Navel orange harvest should start about the end of the month.
Raisin growers continue to assess damage from rains that dampened their crop a couple of weeks ago. The Raisin Bargaining Association says more than two thirds of the crop was exposed to the two storms. Because of that, the association says as much as 15 percent of the crop may have been harmed. But weather since the rains has been nearly ideal, and that could minimize losses. Total numbers won't be known until harvest ends in about two weeks.
Riverside County has become the latest to be declared a drought disaster by the U.S. Agriculture Department. The designation makes affected farmers and ranchers eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans, to help them recover from drought-related losses. More than two-dozen California counties have received disaster declarations this year because of agricultural damage caused by the state's dry weather.Top