Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityAvocado damage from Southern California wind and fire storms
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» October 29, 2007 «
Avocado growers will wait weeks to know if their trees suffered long-term damage in the Southern California wildfires. A University of California farm advisor says it may take six to eight weeks to learn if avocado trees exposed to fire will survive. Even if they do, trees may lose their fruit and leaves, meaning they will not produce for two seasons. But the farm advisor adds that avocado trees have proven resilient in recovery from past fires.
Here's a bit of encouraging news from the Southern California fire zone: Christmas trees appear to have escaped damage, so far. The California Christmas Tree Association says some farmers reported being evacuated, but checks of their farms show the fire missed them. Growers who've been able to return have crews brushing ash from the trees, irrigating them and shaping them for sale. Most Christmas tree farmers plan to open their businesses the day after Thanksgiving.
The only thing that will limit the amount of wheat planted in the Imperial Valley is the availability of seed. Farmers are planting as much wheat as they can to meet increasing demand. That demand has caused wheat prices to rise, and farmers have reacted with the additional acreage. The Imperial County agricultural commissioner's office says farmers are replacing alfalfa and Bermuda grass with wheat. Wheat requires less water than some other grains, which also makes it attractive.
Farmers, ranchers and land managers have many reasons to combat soil erosion, but at least erosion does not appear to be adding to global warming. Such, at least, is the conclusion of a study conducted by researchers from the University of California, Davis, with colleagues in Belgium and England. Their report, published online in the journal Science, indicates that agricultural soil erosion does not constitute a source of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.Top