Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» May 5, 2008 «
We're about three weeks away from a peak time for beef consumption, and the California Beef Council says shoppers can expect to find adequate supplies for the Memorial Day holiday. That marks the traditional start of the outdoor grilling season and the biggest beef-consuming holiday on the calendar. The beef council says it expects retail prices to remain fairly stable at current levels through the summer.
The coming few days should bring the first California-grown apricots of the season into retail stores. Farmers in the southern San Joaquin Valley have started harvesting some of their early varieties. The Apricot Producers of California organization says fruit quality is excellent thanks to favorable weather through the season. The group says the California apricot crop appears to have avoided frost damage, though extensive freeze damage has been reported in Washington and Oregon.
Water worries compound frost problems for some farmers along the North Coast. In Mendocino County, for example, the agricultural commissioner says farmers have suffered the worst frost-related losses in 45 years. While using overhead sprinklers to combat spring frosts, farmers depleted holding ponds that they would typically use to irrigate vineyards and orchards through the season. Dry weather means those farmers could have no irrigation water unless they can find new sources.
By learning more about the chemistry of fruit ripening, researchers say they may be able to discover new ways to preserve the freshness of fruits, vegetables and flowers. A team led by a chemistry professor at the University of California, Riverside, has proposed a theory for how a particular compound works to slow spoilage in fresh produce. If they can confirm how the chemical compound operates, the researchers say they can design new compounds to treat more crops against spoilage.Top