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» November 14, 2008 «
Three wild Mediterranean fruit flies have been detected in El Cajon in San Diego County. California Department of Food and Agriculture crews today will begin releasing sterile Medflies over the area where the flies were found. They will also apply an organic compound on the ground in a 200-meter radius of the find. The Medfly can infest more than 260 types of fruits and vegetables and could cost California agriculture nearly $2 billion in annual losses if not eradicated.
Nurseries are reporting more orders from farmers for pistachio trees this season. In part that may be because pistachio trees can tolerate brackish irrigation water and prices for the nuts are strong. Growers are also ordering almond trees to meet the increasing demand for those nuts. About half of the almond tree orders are for trees in containers. Those trees can be planted any time of year and get into production faster than bare root varieties.
Cuties are a branded version of California-grown Clementine mandarins that are now on the market. Harvest of the Satsuma variety has been going for about a week and other Clementines will hit the retail market in volume next week. Growers say the amount of fruit per tree is a little less than last year. However, because more acreage is coming into production, the total output will be about the same as last year. Fruit quality is reported as good.
Researchers are studying how several pollinators do their work in an effort to preserve thousands of plant varieties. Periodically they plant seeds from more than 49,000 plants. This is to preserve the seed of these plants. The scientists are using pollinators such as the alfalfa leaf cutter bee, bumble bees and blue bottle flies to see which are the most efficient pollinators. The work is being done by scientists with the Agricultural Research Service.Top