Food & Farm News
» November 24, 2005 «
Thanksgiving kicks off the main sales season for poinsettias, and nursery producers say they have a large crop this year. Growers report excellent quality and say early sales have been strong. Conditions have been good for poinsettia growth. But growers say they've experienced shrinking margins. They're not able to pass along double-digit cost increases in natural gas, diesel fuel, peat moss and plastic pots.
Projects aimed at cementing relations between rural and urban Californians have won national honors for two county Farm Bureaus in California. Judges honored the Orange County Farm Bureau for a program that turned an empty lot in Santa Ana into a three-acre community farm. A Tulare County Farm Bureau program educated city and county planners, whose actions directly affect family farmers. The two projects will be honored at the American Farm Bureau annual meeting in January.
In an effort to prevent the spread of damaging fruit flies, researchers have developed a new method to stop the flies before they enter the country. A joint project between the U.S. Agriculture Department and a Riverside-based company aims to produce a more efficient lure to trap fruit flies. The new traps will be used in South and Central America, where "Anastrepha" fruit flies attack crops. The traps could help agricultural officials in other countries control the flies, so they won't spread.
On California's few chestnut farms, growers report a hurried harvest this fall. Chestnuts ripen individually, so growers wait for the nuts to drop and then pick them up for harvest. This year, farmers say the nuts seemed to drop all at once … so they had to scramble to gather the chestnuts before they were damaged. Growers say there seem to be more larger-sized chestnuts this year, and that they expect ample supplies for the holidays.Top