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» August 18, 2008 «
Seven Oriental fruit flies have been found in a residential neighborhood in Lakewood in Los Angeles County. The California Department of Food and Agriculture begins an eradication program today (Monday). The fly can infest more than 150 plants including backyard citrus, apples, tomatoes and avocados, and the same crops in farm fields. However, the eradication program is efficient in eliminating the insect
Consumer food prices are expected to level off next year, according to American Farm Bureau economists. Meat may be the exception as supplies shrink because of drought, which may cause some consumer price hikes. Farmers will see continued strong grain prices, but margins will be challenged by higher input costs for fuel and fertilizer. Economists don't expect cereal prices to increase, and milk prices should plateau.
Twelve additional California counties have been declared natural disaster areas because of drought. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has added Amador, Kern, Kings, Marin, Mariposa, Merced, San Joaquin, Santa Clara, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tulare and Yolo as drought disaster counties. Stanislaus and Yolo were also added due to freezing weather in April. Dry conditions have damaged at least 30 percent of farm crops in those counties. Disaster declarations provide some government programs to help farmers and ranchers.
Green dates? They're described as tasting like an apple or jicama, and aficionados await their short season each summer. Coachella Valley residents have acquired a taste for green Barhi dates, while they've long been popular with some ethnic groups. Harvest lasts only a few weeks. Barhi dates not picked in the next two weeks will be left until they are ripe in September. The overall date crop is reported as heavier than last year.Top