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» November 9, 2007 «
The wildfires that raced through San Diego County last month caused more than $42 million worth of damage to the county's crops, according to figures released yesterday (Thursday) by the county agricultural commissioner's office. More than half the damage total occurred in avocado groves. Ornamental trees and shrubs, cut flowers and other nursery crops also suffered significant damage. The figure does not include losses of irrigation systems and other equipment destroyed by the fires.
Quarantine restrictions on locally grown crops will result from discovery of an invasive pest in northern San Diego County. Officials announced yesterday that five Mexican fruit flies had been detected in a residential area of Escondido. Crews have started an eradication program in the area that will eventually feature the release of sterile male fruit flies. The infestation will restrict movement of crops including citrus fruit and light-skinned avocados.
As they evaluate their just-concluded harvest, California rice farmers say they're encouraged by strong demand for the types of rice produced here. Farmers say customers in key Asian markets want more of California's medium-grain and short-grain rice. Here at home, interest in whole grains and brown rice bodes well for consumer demand. Crop forecasters have predicted an increase in California rice production, based on higher per-acre yields.
The customers at the Davis Farmers' Market tomorrow (Saturday) will include several who have a lot of mouths to feed. Chefs and cooks from dining halls at the University of California, Davis, and their counterparts from the local school district will tour the market and discuss ways to use more locally grown foods in their institutional kitchens. The "Chef's Walk" at the farmers' market is part of an initiative to link farmers with food-service customers.Top