Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityA farmer's comments about the outlook for olives and olive oil
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» May 21, 2007 «
There's still time to eradicate the light brown apple moth from California, according to scientists advising state and federal agencies. The 10-member scientific panel concluded a meeting in San Jose (Friday) by outlining a menu of methods authorities could employ to fight the pest. The apple moth has been found in nine counties, mostly in the Bay Area and Central Coast regions. It threatens a variety of California-grown fruit, vegetable and nursery crops.
This could be a "rebound year" in California's olive groves. Farmers say they're optimistic about the olive bloom. Much of last year's crop was ruined by cold, rainy weather during the bloom. There's particular optimism among farmers who make their crop into olive oil. They say they've been pressed to meet a boom in demand. In Davis this week, the University of California sponsors a conference at which experts will recommend new standards in branding and promoting olive oil.
With pastures dried out by a lack of rain, stocks of hay on California farms and ranches have diminished rapidly. A government report (issued Friday) says farms have used the great majority of the hay that had been stored for the winter. Of the hay held in storage as of last December 1st, nearly 90 percent had been used by May 1st. Nationally, hay stocks at the start of the month had reached their lowest level since 1950.
Work to rewrite federal farm law begins in the US House of Representatives this week. House subcommittees will begin discussing individual portions of the Farm Bill, which Congress retools every five years. Hearings in the House will continue through June. The California Farm Bureau says it aims to make sure that the new Farm Bill creates new market opportunities and improves competitiveness for the state's farmers and ranchers.Top