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» October 9, 2006 «
Some gave it up for dead in the late 1990s, but the Temecula Valley grape harvest has recovered. The Temecula region was an early victim of the glassy-winged sharpshooter, an insect that carried a fatal vineyard disease. As the disease killed vines, grape farmers cooperated with researchers, citrus growers and nursery operators to bring it under control. Now, with better pest management, new rootstocks and other techniques, more wineries are opening in the Temecula region.
The lingering impact of California's July heat wave will affect availability of fresh tomatoes this fall. A U.S. Agriculture Department report says the heat wave shortened the time available to transplant tomatoes, so farmers will harvest fewer acres during the autumn. The report also forecasts slightly smaller plantings of California broccoli, celery and iceberg lettuce. The state's farmers have planted more carrots, cauliflower and sweet corn for autumn harvest.
An invasive plant known as Japanese dodder has now been found in 10 California counties. State officials say single finds in Los Angeles and San Joaquin counties are the latest. Japanese dodder kills the plants it attacks and produces seeds that can survive in soil for years. So far, all the discoveries have come in residential areas. Authorities say the plant is imported from Asia by people who grow it for medicinal use.
Young mothers are one target audience for a new advertising campaign promoting the benefits of raisins. Describing the campaign in trade publications, the California Raisin Marketing Board says the ads describe raisins as "the wise choice for busy people who want to maintain healthy eating habits." Full-color ads under the tagline "The Way of the California Raisin" will begin appearing in magazines such as Self, Oprah and Cooking Light.Top