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» June 5, 2007 «
The first treatments aimed at eradicating infestations of the light brown apple moth will occur this month, in Napa. The state Department of Food and Agriculture said yesterday (Monday) it will apply a naturally occurring insecticide, from the ground, at several dozen residential properties. Officials say they decided to start the apple-moth fight in Napa in part because the region has a small infestation. The pest threatens a variety of California-grown crops.
As the U.S. Senate returns to work on immigration reform, farmers and ranchers continue to urge a solution that features an improved temporary-worker program for on-farm jobs. Farm groups have been pressing Congress to resolve the issue this year. Many farmers report difficulty hiring enough people. In Southern California, farmers say they have to juggle their harvest crews, for example pulling them away from avocados in order to keep up with the lemon harvest.
For the next few weeks, most California-grown asparagus will be coming from the Salinas area. Farmers in the state's main growing region, the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, are winding down their harvest. The California Asparagus Commission says the quality of this year's crop has been excellent, and yields have been good. But farmers report earning sub-par prices for their asparagus.
It's a case of "know your enemy." Biologists want to learn more about a species of bacterium that attacks a variety of California-grown crops and plants. Different subspecies of the bacterium cause Pierce's disease in grapes, plus maladies that attack peaches, almonds, other trees and ornamental plants. A team at the University of California, Riverside, has won a grant to map and monitor different forms of the bacterium and look for any previously unknown subspecies.Top