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» March 1, 2007 «
Within the next year or two, the United States will become the world's top wine-consuming nation ... and California farmers want to be sure the state remains the source of most of that wine. A farmers group says it's working on a nationwide promotional campaign for California wine. Members of the California Association of Winegrape Growers described the plan to a Farm Bureau meeting in Sacramento yesterday (Wednesday). Promotions would encourage Americans to choose California wines rather than imports.
A pest that threatens tree fruit, citrus and more than 100 other plant species has been found in California for the first time. Authorities say a "light brown apple moth" was discovered this week in Berkeley. Inspectors are working to keep it out of agricultural regions. Crews have set up more insect traps in the area, and the site of the initial find has been treated. The light brown apple moth is native to Australia and has also been found in parts of Europe.
Pests hitchhiking on shipments of Mexican avocados have led to the rejection of more loads of the imported fruit. California border inspectors have rejected additional loads of Mexican avocados that had "armored scale," an insect not found in California. Federal inspectors confirmed the armored scale had not been seen in the United States before. The shipments came into the U.S. through Arizona and were inspected at the Arizona-California border.
A gap in onion supplies could affect consumer prices until California's harvest begins in mid-April. Produce wholesalers blame light production in the Pacific Northwest and in Texas. Usually at this time of year, Texas onions begin to reach market, but rains there hurt the crop. Market watchers say onions may be in relatively short supply for the next six weeks, with available supplies coming mainly from storage in the Northwest.Top