Food & Farm News
» March 4, 2008 «
Honey production took a sharp drop in California last year, though nationwide production dropped only 4 percent. A newly released government report shows California honey output falling more than 30 percent, to 13.6 million pounds. California showed declines in both the number of honey-producing colonies and the yield per colony. Despite the decrease, California remained the number-two honey-producing state, behind North Dakota.
Honeybees will be busy this week in Central Valley orchards. The peak of the almond bloom has arrived in the central and southern San Joaquin Valley, according to a weekly crop report, and bloom in the Sacramento Valley has been progressing well. Almonds depend on bees for pollination, and observers say the weather has been excellent. Orchards of apricots, plums, nectarines, peaches and pluots have also started to bloom.
There's reason for optimism among raisin-grape growers, who learned they will earn higher prices for their crops this year. The Raisin Bargaining Association has announced minimum prices it has negotiated with raisin packers. The association says raisin sales have increased, particularly for export. Farmers have brought supplies down by removing thousands of acres of raisin-grape vineyards during the past decade.
Invasive weeds such as yellow starthistle, saltcedar and spotted knapweed have taken over large swaths of California. But what makes these invaders so successful? A Southern California university hopes to learn more about the biochemical differences between native and invasive species. Chapman University says such knowledge could help to control the invaders. The U.S. Agriculture Department said yesterday (Monday) it has provided a grant for the study.Top