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Audio ActualityAsian citrus psyllid and citrus greening disease
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» March 10, 2010 «
Artichoke farmers say the spring harvest has started. Wet fields have slowed the pace some, but artichoke lovers can expect to find bigger supplies. Farmers expect production to increase quickly as fields dry. One farmer said the best tasting artichokes of the year will be available for the next six weeks or so. Since the development of the annual artichoke plant, supplies of California-grown artichokes have been available year-round.
Wet fields are slowing vegetable planting in the Salinas Valley. Farmers say they need to plant lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and celery to meet contract demands to provide vegetables to buyers later this spring. While acknowledging rain is needed to replenish reservoirs, they hope for a few dry days so they can plant. Equipment moving through muddy fields causes ruts, which can slow harvest operations later.
Portions of Napa, Sonoma and Solano counties have been placed under quarantine to halt the spread of the European grapevine moth, which was detected in Napa County last fall. The quarantine prohibits farmers and the general public from moving host plants from the 162 square-mile zone. The pest attacks grapes and other fruit. One grower in the Oakville area lost his entire crop to the moth last fall. At the same time, traps to catch the moth are being installed all over the state to check for any additional infestations.
They're attacking it wherever it's found, as authorities work to reduce populations of Asian citrus psyllids in Southern California. The invasive insects can carry a plant disease that kills citrus trees. Historically, trees in urban areas have been the first to be attacked, before the disease reaches commercial citrus groves. The California Citrus Research Board says the disease has not shown up in California, but it has been spreading northward in Mexico.Top