Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityWinegrape production and short irrigation water supplies
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» June 17, 2008 «
Animals made homeless by the last week's wildfire in Butte County found temporary housing at the California State University Chico farm. There workers provided the animals safe housing and food over the weekend. Monday, many owners were able to pick up their animals for more permanent housing. At the peak, the farm contained over 100 animals. There were 85 horses, along with sheep, goats, llamas, alpacas, pigs and a calf. The farm will continue to board the pets until owners can reclaim them.
Winegrape production may be lower than last year as a result of an April freeze and short irrigation water supplies. Faced with water availability of two inches per acre in June, July and August, some farmers are opting to provide vines enough water to survive but not produce a crop. This would protect long-term investment, but vines would not produce grapes this season. The water shortage is affecting farmers all over the state.
Artichokes will be available throughout the summer. Growers have achieved their goal of having them available year-round with the annual varieties that are now being picked. The green globe or perennial variety is now dormant until fall. Growing conditions for the annual artichokes have been good and quality is reported as good. The fall harvest of the green globe variety usually starts in late September. Meantime, consumers should find artichokes in retail outlets.
A new rust fungus that attacks wheat and barley has caused crop damage in Africa. However, scientists worldwide are working to find resistant grain plants. The rust disease started in Uganda, and spread to other African nations. Fear is it will spread worldwide. Initial tests show the disease has overcome resistant genes in more than 5,000 commercial wheat varieties. Scientists are now developing genetic resistance to rusts for use in future commercial wheat varieties.Top