Food & Farm News
» February 20, 2013 «
A new Strawberry Sustainability Research and Education Center will take shape at the Cal Poly University campus in San Luis Obispo. The university and the California Strawberry Commission announced the plan Tuesday, to be funded by a $1 million-dollar gift from the commission. Officials said the center will focus on applied research about many aspects of strawberry growing and marketing, including water use, berry packaging and pest control.
As people around the world eat more pistachios, farmers from around the world have been increasing production to meet the demand. The U.S. Agriculture Department says global pistachio production will set a record in the current marketing year, with the United States continuing to lead the way. Nearly the entire U.S. pistachio crop comes from California. USDA forecasts increasing demand for American pistachios in China, Hong Kong and Europe.
The average size of a California farm remains significantly smaller than the national average, according to a report released Tuesday. The U.S. Agriculture Department says the average California farm totaled 316 acres, compared to the national average of 421 acres. The report listed the number of farms in California at 80-thousand-500, down slightly from the previous year.
Technical advances leave researchers hopeful of developing robotic machines to remove weeds from vegetable fields. University of California scientists have been testing several models that cultivate fields automatically. The machines use cameras to identify plants during a pass across the field, and use the information to remove the weeds while leaving the crop untouched. Researchers say the machines show promise but still need to be perfected.Top