Food & Farm News
» June 8, 2011 «
Warming temperatures predicted for the rest of this week will be welcomed on most California farms and ranches. Many California crops have been delayed and sometimes damaged by lingering spring rainstorms and chilly weather. A crop weather report says the spring weather has hurt cherries and onions, delayed crops such as cotton and tomatoes, and brought worries about pest and fungal damage.
Cows and toads can co-exist in the Sierra, according to results of a five-year study. University of California and government scientists determined that a decrease in the population of Yosemite toads is not linked to the presence of cattle in Sierra meadows. The meadows are used for livestock grazing and also serve as toad habitat. Forest managers will use the findings to develop plans that allow grazing while conserving the toads.
Here's another impact of the recession: Thieves have been stealing avocados from California groves … and people who report thefts can now reap greater rewards. The California Avocado Commission has increased its maximum reward to $5,000 for information leading to a felony arrest and conviction. An avocado theft reporting hotline is available via phone or via email at AvoTheft@avocado.org.
As part of a loan program to help people buy their own farms and ranches, the U.S. Department of Agriculture reports success at reaching women, ethnic and minority farmers. In California, the USDA approved $117 million in loans last year, with nearly 40 percent of the loans benefitting minority or “socially disadvantaged” applicants. The USDA said it hopes the programs help reverse a decline in the number of farmers and ranchers.Top