Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» January 16, 2007 «
Citrus farmers say it will take some time to pinpoint how much fruit has been damaged by recent cold weather. About one billion dollars worth of citrus fruit was susceptible to damage. Lemon growers expect the worst losses as that fruit has the lowest sugar content and is unable to withstand much cold. Use of wind machines and irrigation water may have kept citrus crops from freezing in some of the warmer locations. The cold was expected as far south as the vegetable fields in the Imperial Valley
Monterey county artichoke growers spent the weekend picking immature crops, to avoid having them destroyed by the winter chill. Farmers in the area have already been hit by late-December freezes that left brown scales on the leaves of many plants. Other area crops were also of concern, including newly planted asparagus, cauliflower and romaine lettuce as well as late-season spinach.
The leader of the state's largest farm group says a proposed new food-safety program for leafy green crops offers the best way to enhance the safety work already underway on California farms. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar testified Friday at a public hearing in Monterey, regarding creation of a marketing agreement governing handlers of leafy greens such as lettuce or spinach. He said consumers and farmers are among those in favor of a change in food-safety practices for leafy green vegetables.
California field crops, which include rice, wheat and hay, last year dropped to their lowest acreage in at least forty years. A report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture says California's Upland cotton fields span less acreage than any year since World War II, while the state's winter wheat acreage has declined by 40 percent in the last three years. As land devoted to field crops declines in the state, the trend of farmers planting permanent, high-value crops including grapes, almonds and pistachios continues.Top