Food & Farm News
» March 27, 2013 «
The future looks bright for young people entering farming, ranching and food production, said experts presenting at this year's California Young Farmers and Ranchers Leadership Conference. The three-day event in Santa Cruz included seminars about finances and agricultural issues, plus tours of nearby farms and ranches. Organizers say the Young Farmers and Ranchers program plays an important role by helping young professionals network, gain leadership skills and business insights.
When surveyors visit the Sierra on Thursday for their monthly reading of the mountain snowpack, they'll likely see only half of average snow for the end of March. Remote sensors measure the snowpack at 54 percent of average now. Weather watchers say the first three months of this year may set records for lack of moisture. The state's two largest water projects announced last week they will cut water deliveries to farms and cities as a result.
Can you tell the purity of extra virgin olive oil by putting it in the refrigerator? That was the recommendation from the Dr. Oz television program, which said the cold air causes pure oils to solidify. But the Olive Center at the University of California, Davis, says it doesn't work and calls the “fridge test” unreliable. The olive center advises shoppers to look for oils with certification seals for chemical and sensory tests.
Bursts of warm spring weather in parts of California mean that aphids and other pests are appearing at farms and gardens. But the ladybug is right behind to help keep aphids at bay. According to researchers, one ladybug can eat 5,000 aphids in its lifetime. Farmers have incorporated ladybugs into their farming practices to combat aphids. A Cornell scientist has created the Lost Ladybug Project to help track and study North American ladybugs.Top