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» July 3, 2007 «
A free-trade agreement between South Korea and the United States brings the promise of expanded markets for a number of California-grown crops. Congress must yet approve the agreement, which was announced during the weekend. A California Farm Bureau analyst says the trade agreement with Korea could boost exports of a number of the state's crops, with nuts and fruit products seeing particular impact.
Border inspectors say it's been more than a month since they've found an invasive insect in imported Mexican avocados. Inspectors check fruit for a pest called armored scale, as the avocados enter the state at Blythe and Needles. Nearly three-dozen loads of Mexican avocados have been found to have the scale, though none since the end of May. Inspectors give importers the option of treating the fruit to remove the pests, or sending it to other states that don't grow avocados.
It's the end of an excellent season for California fresh apricots. The Apricot Producers of California group says it expects the last orchards producing in the state to run out of fruit by week's end. That means that the fresh apricots consumers see in stores later in the month will come mainly from the Pacific Northwest. California growers say they had a bountiful crop thanks to good weather at bloom time and throughout the harvest season.
They've been working on it for 10,000 years, and humans have modified the genes of wheat plants to assure their success as a food crop. Writing in the current issue of the journal Science, two University of California, Davis, plant scientists say the genetic structure of the wheat plant helped people to domesticate it. After studying wheat genetics, the researchers say the plant's gene structure allowed humans to overcome "genetic bottlenecks" that slowed its domestication through the centuries.Top