Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» March 12, 2007 «
In a special crop report (issued Friday) to gauge the impact of California's mid-January freeze, the U.S. Agriculture Department predicts the state's navel orange harvest will be 43 percent lower than the previous season. The USDA reports widely varying damage, with some groves a complete loss and others unaffected. Orange growers say they continue to find high quality fruit, but that navel-orange harvest will end at least two months earlier than usual.
Cherry trees will be in full bloom this week in the northern San Joaquin Valley. Blossoms of early varieties in southern regions of the valley may have peaked. Long-range forecasts for mild, dry weather in the valley give farmers hope for a large crop. Cherry trees benefited from plenty of "chill hours" during the winter. Growers say they expect the bloom to be short, as the trees are prepared for the coming season.
To improve and expand its study of organic agriculture, the University of California has set aside a 10-acre plot at a Central Valley research facility. The organic research plot will be housed at the UC Kearney Research and Extension Center near Parlier. Farm advisors say the research field will allow them to gather practical, science-based data on organic farming methods.
The longtime administrator of the California Farm Bureau Federation will join the Schwarzenegger administration as undersecretary of the state Department of Food and Agriculture. George Gomes was appointed to the position Friday. Since 1987, he has managed all staff operations at the state's largest farm organization. Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said the position at CDFA gives Gomes "a new and unique opportunity to shape the future of California agriculture."Top