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» July 14, 2010 «
Like nearly every other crop in California, the fig harvest started a bit late this year because of the cool spring. Consumers should find plenty of fresh figs in stores through mid-December. Farmers expect to harvest nearly 12 million pounds this year, and the quality is reported as excellent. California is the leading fig-producing state in the nation. The state's fig advisory board says the soil and climate here are ideal for growing the fruit.
Some people in the almond business think the government forecast of a 1.65-billion-pound crop in California may be high. But, with increasing demand for almonds, a crop that size might be needed to satisfy it. China is buying more California almonds, and announced changes to their system of currency could make California produce more affordable there. Despite cooler temperatures earlier, current warmer temperatures are aiding almond development. California produces about 80 percent of the world's almond supply.
July is National Ice Cream Month, first proclaimed by then-President Ronald Reagan in 1984. The average American eats 48 pints of ice cream each year, and California is the biggest ice cream-producing state in the nation. The California Milk Advisory Board says it takes 12 pounds of whole milk to produce one gallon of ice cream. California ice cream makers produced more than 146 million gallons of ice cream last year. The Real California Milk seal appears on all ice cream products made with Golden State milk.
Why have honeybee populations declined in recent years? That's one question UC Riverside researchers hope to answer as they create a database consolidating nearly 1 million specimen records from 10 bee collections across the United States. The project is expected to take three years and is funded by the National Science Foundation. Honeybees pollinate one-third of the crops that provide our nation's food supply.Top