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Audio ActualityProblems flower and foliage growers experienced in hot weather
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» July 31, 2006 «
The peach fruit fly quarantine in Fresno and Madera counties has been lifted by the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The early end was the result of the heat wave. The insects' life cycles are shorter in hotter temperatures. Growers will now be able to ship produce freely. The quarantine began May 24. Intense trapping for the insect will continue until September to make certain it is eradicated. The peach fly is native to Asia and causes damage to many different fruits and vegetables.
Flower and foliage growers report some damage to their crops, but say it is minor. It is a slow time for them so inventories are low. Blooming plants mature faster than normal in the heat and earlier than farmers planned. Thus more is available when demand is low. Consumers find it is too hot to shop. Cut flowers also bloom faster in the heat, but if growers are able to get them into refrigeration they will be OK.
Avocado trees are dropping fruit because of the hot weather. Because the crop is above average in yield, farmers are having difficulty marketing fruit that has been on the ground. The trees require extra irrigation in the heat and most growers are providing that. Some farmers are concerned about the impact of the hot weather on next year's crop, which is starting to develop now. Farm advisors say they haven't seen much damage thus far, as a lighter crop is expected next year anyway.
The cling peach crop will be the lowest it has been in 20 years. Most of the damage was done by winter and spring weather. However, there is some fruit that has overripened on the trees in the heat, adding to farmers' problems. Pear growers say their crop is also suffering in the heat. There is more small-size fruit than growers would like. Adding to their problems is an expansion of spider mite numbers in the heat of their orchards.Top