Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityKeeping citrus greening disease out of California
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» June 18, 2008 «
Citrus greening disease has spread to Louisiana, threatening the state's $6-million crop. Although the disease has not been found in California, government and private scientists have a plan to control the disease should it arrive. Inspectors at California ports of entry report they have intercepted it on several occasions and are ready to implement plans to control and eradicate the disease should it appear in California and threaten the state's billion-dollar citrus crop.
California blueberry farmers are wrapping up harvest operations. The volume of fruit has reportedly declined and harvest is expected to end in about a week. Poor weather reduced production for some growers, but the California Blueberry Association says overall production should roughly equal last year's. Consumers may notice a supply gap for the next several weeks, as the harvest in Oregon and Washington will start later than average due to unusual weather in those states.
Peach, plum and nectarine growers on the east side of the San Joaquin Valley report the are making due with water supplies and should have enough to produce a crop. However, farmers on the west side are reportedly having problems because of cutbacks. The California Grape and Tree Fruit League says all farmers are concerned if there will be enough water to finish the season because of water rationing. Overall, consumers should find good supplies of the fruit in retail stores for now.
Public funding of agricultural research has declined, according to a study to be released today (Wednesday) at an agricultural symposium in Sacramento. Research declined from almost 2 percent of agricultural output for much of the 20th century to less than half a percent from 1991 to 2002. Experts say a renewed commitment of public support for research and development could restore farm productivity growth, which could provide relief from rising food prices.Top