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» November 22, 2005 «
Members of the armed services stationed at Camp Pendleton will be receiving Christmas trees donated by members of the California Christmas Tree Association. Federal Express will pick up the trees Monday at designated locations throughout the state and deliver them. In addition, several individual members of the association are donating trees to service personnel in their counties. Nationwide, association members are donating more than 3,500 trees in a morale boosting effort by the farmers.
Farmers in many parts of California have banded together to develop agri-tourist regions. In Placer County mandarin growers are developing a program similar to what growers on Apple Hill in neighboring El Dorado County have done. They encourage consumers to come to their farms to learn about the tasty citrus fruit and make their purchases. Early results make farmers optimistic they are on the right track. There is a Mandarin Mountain Festival in Auburn each fall that draws more than 25,000 people.
New control measures have been found to use against a new variety of mealybug. Entomologists say the "gilli" mealybug can be eradicated in almond orchards with biological control and in pistachio orchards with a pesticide. The bugs suck carbohydrates from trunks and branches of trees preventing the trees from growing fruit or nuts. Simple cleaning of machinery and clothing of workers leaving infected orchards prevents the pest from spreading.
Warm fall weather is causing concern for brussels sprouts growers along the Central California coast. The crop is delicate and plants droop in the warm afternoon temperatures. Weather during summer was ideal for production of the vegetable. Harvest continues as California growers work to complete picking before the Mexican crop enters the market in February. Demand from Canada and the East Coast is strong now, as farmers in those regions have finished harvesting. Many consumers like brussels sprouts with their Thanksgiving meal.Top