Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» December 19, 2007 «
Keeping invasive pests out of the country protects crops and the environment … and the Department of Homeland Security has agreed to focus more of its resources on agricultural border inspections. Farmers say those inspections have dropped, since DHS assumed responsibility in 2003. Under an agreement announced by Senator Dianne Feinstein, the department will appoint an official to assure that agricultural border inspections remain a consistent priority.
Additional pest inspections within California would occur, under programs included in an appropriations bill approved by the U.S. Senate. One program would train more "sniffer dogs" to check packages at post offices and shipping terminals. The dogs recognize banned plants or meat that could carry agricultural pests or diseases. Another program helps pay for insect traps and other tools to monitor pest infestations.
After a surge in production this year, acreage of processing tomatoes will likely decline in 2008. A government report issued yesterday (Tuesday) forecasts at least a 10 percent drop in acreage. This season's near-record California tomato harvest boosted supplies of many tomato products. Forecasters say the larger inventories, lower product prices and expected water restrictions will be among the factors encouraging lower tomato acreage.
Fresh, "nuevo" olive oil has become available in some retail stores. The California Olive Oil Council says many producers now market their oil this way, urging consumers to use olive oil while it's young. Olive oil production has been increasing, and the council says as much as 750,000 gallons may be made in California this year. More young orchards dedicated to olive oil production have come into maturity, and new plantings continue.Top