Food & Farm News
» June 29, 2011 «
An area within Santa Cruz County has been quarantined to stop the spread of European grapevine moth. Two moths were found inside insect traps near Aptos. A map produced by state pest fighters shows the 85-mile radius of the latest quarantine, which adds to the nearly 2,000 square miles already in quarantine around the state. Moth larvae feed on grapes, grape clusters and flowers, leading to rot, fungal development and decreased yields. European grapevine moths were first detected in California in late 2009 in Napa County.
Recent warm weather in the San Joaquin Valley brought nectarines and plums to their peak ripeness this week. Additionally, apricot growers in Southern California have reported that the previously mild weather allowed the fruit to reach full sweetness and flavor this year. Reports show that harvests for stone fruits, including peaches, nectarines, plums and apricots, were taking place across the state, while apples and pomegranates are still growing. Additionally, the report said the California cherry harvest has come to a close.
Carrot supplies have returned to more typical levels after five straight months of reduced harvests that led to higher prices. Carrots have been in reduced supply since mid-February, when a hard freeze hit fields in California. The U.S. Agriculture Department says a freeze in Mexico also cut carrot supplies. The USDA says about three-quarters of all fresh-market carrots are used to make baby carrots and other fresh-cut products.
To help educate people about safe food handling at home, government agencies are working with the Ad Council on a national media campaign. The Food Safe Families campaign was announced Tuesday morning by U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and includes English- and Spanish-language advertising, as well as a social media program. Timing for the first announcements has been set to coincide with the Fourth of July holiday, when barbecuing and handling of raw meat is common.Top