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» February 17, 2009 «
Asparagus growers in the Sacramento delta region who raise their crop on peat ground are expected to begin harvesting this week. Production will be light, but consumers may see California-grown asparagus in the markets. Full production isn't expected until the first week of March. The California Asparagus Commission expects an acreage reduction of about 10 percent this year, but that should place supply and demand about equal. Both consumers and farmers should see good prices during the season.
A University of Texas study has determined that the sack lunches adults pack for young children may not provide adequate nutrients for their growth and development. The study showed the lunches provided less than the minimum amount of several nutrients, including vitamin A, calcium, iron, zinc and dietary fiber. Dietitians suggest that adding nuts and fruits—dried or fresh—is an easy way to increase the nutritional value and appeal of sack lunches.
Peach growers have a new tool to use in their fight against the oriental fruit moth. Pheromone mating disruption hangers treat a larger area of the orchard for a longer time period. Farm advisors tell farmers to install the hangers early before the moth-breeding season begins. The new procedures are more environmentally friendly and growers are ensuring they won't run afoul of water quality regulations. Hangers remain effective for up to 180 days.
Even though the job does not exist, a UC Davis graduate student has been nominated to be "White House farmer." An Illinois author suggested the job, and a Web site was created. Margaret Lloyd is one of four people named as candidates on the site. Before she entered grad school, Lloyd operated a business training individuals to become farmers. She is now studying plant pathology and international agricultural development.Top