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» March 14, 2007 «
As the almond bloom winds down, observers say farmers have been able to find enough bees for pollination. A spokesman for the Blue Diamond Growers cooperative says bee activity has been strong. Almonds are the state's largest orchard crop and depend on bees to pollinate the blossoms. Farmers say it will be late May before they can predict the size of the almond crop. Beekeepers now begin to move their hives to serve other crops, as they typically would at this time of year.
People traveling around the Central Valley will continue to see the pink flowers on peach trees for several more weeks. The California Canning Peach Association says orchards reached full bloom a few days ago. Farmers say they anticipate an excellent peach crop. The trees received the largest number of wintertime "chill hours" in six years, which helped create a strong bloom, and weather during bloom has been ideal.
Two more discoveries of a plant pest never before seen in California have expanded a pest fight in the Bay Area. Inspectors found two additional light brown apple moths in Richmond, near the site of last month's first find in Berkeley. Both properties have been treated and additional traps are being placed to determine if more moths may be in the area. The moth is native to Australia and attacks more than 100 agricultural plants.
The latest report from Southern California border stations shows that state inspectors have found an avocado pest in 22 loads of imported fruit, since Mexican avocados began entering California last month. Officials want to make sure that an insect called "armored scale" doesn't hitchhike into California. The state says nine loads that showed signs of the scale entered California after being fumigated. The rest of the affected avocados were diverted to other states.Top