Food & Farm News
» June 22, 2011 «
Following a cool spring, California melon growers welcome warm weather and say harvests of cantaloupe, honeydew and watermelon will accelerate in coming weeks. Melon harvest has started in desert valleys and will begin early next month in the Central Valley, after the cool spring delayed it by up to 10 days. Farmers report better-than-average melon quantity and quality. Competition from other regions could mean a lot of options and lower prices for consumers.
It's National Pollinator Week, and researchers say there's a lot to celebrate about the contribution wild honeybees make to California crops. A University of California study estimates that up to $2.4 billion dollars in crop value results from wild bee pollination. Rangelands and other habitats provide a home for the wild bees, and researchers say their study emphasizes the need to maintain rangelands in the state.
If you bought California-grown flowers for your mother last month, you helped the state's flower growers to improve their sales. Eighty-three percent of flower growers noted in a survey that they saw increased sales for Mother's Day, with sales often up 10 percent or more. The California Cut Flower Commission attributed the upswing to a growing demand for locally grown flowers, as well as a smaller supply of flowers from other regions because of bad weather.
Because California has gone more than 14 days without a new diagnosis of Equine Herpes Virus-1, the California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced that the outbreak has been contained. The virus caused 22 illnesses in California and two horses had to be euthanized. State Veterinarian Annette Whiteford urged horse owners to remain vigilant and explained that there is always risk of disease when horses are housed together in one location.