Food & Farm News
March 4, 2015
Snowpack could be ‘alarmingly low’
It’s historic, officials say, and not in a good way: When state surveyors measured the Sierra Nevada snowpack Tuesday, it stood at its lowest point ever for early March. The snowpack reached only 19 percent of average for the date, statewide. The state Department of Water Resources, which conducts the survey, said California will end the winter with an “alarmingly low” snowpack unless strong storms reach the Sierra this month.
Water cutoff leads to hard choices
Farmers who face another water cutoff from the federal Central Valley Project say the shortage will force them to cut production and make other difficult choices. The CVP said last week it would likely deliver no water to most farm customers for a second straight year. Affected farmers say they will likely channel whatever water they can find from other sources toward orchards and vineyards, and sharply cut plantings of melons, tomatoes, onions and other crops.
Campaign aims to reach backyard citrus growers
Public awareness could be key in fighting a plant disease that attacks citrus trees, according to a growers organization. California Citrus Mutual says it will partner with Bayer CropScience on a campaign aimed at reaching homeowners with backyard citrus trees. Growers say that to protect commercial groves, it will be key to protect backyard trees from an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid, which can carry a fatal plant disease known as HLB.
Awards honor young farmers, ranchers
A young farmer from San Joaquin County earned honors this week for service to agriculture. Tyler Blagg of Lodi received the “Star YF&R” Award during the annual Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference in Sacramento. The San Joaquin County young-farmers chapter received the group’s Committee of the Year award for its service activities, and a student from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Kenna Lewis, won the Collegiate Discussion Meet competition at the event.