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» February 14, 2008 «
Today (Thursday) is the big day for rose growers. Valentine's Day marks the biggest holiday for rose sales. California rose growers say the red rose remains the most popular, but other colors are making inroads into the market. Observers say sales of roses and other California-grown flowers were good for the holiday. California leads the nation in flower production, though imports now make up about two-thirds of the flowers sold in the U.S.
Work to eradicate an invading pest resumes this spring and summer in the Central Coast and Bay Area. Government pest fighters announced their action plan yesterday (Wednesday) against the light brown apple moth. It infests parts of nine counties and threatens both crops and native plants. The eradication plan uses several techniques, including aerial releases of a pheromone to disrupt moth mating. Officials noted that the pheromone does not harm people, pets or plants.
Two threats to olive trees … a new pest and a damaging disease … have been found in Southern California. The insect, called the olive psyllid, has turned up in San Diego and Orange counties. It drinks the sap of olive trees and causes other damage. The disease, olive leaf scorch, causes sections of trees to die out. Farmers and crop specialists hope the pest and disease can be kept away from the center of commercial olive production in the Central Valley.
Demand far exceeds supplies of California-grown lemons, as trees continue to recover from the damaging freeze of 13 months ago. Lemons have avoided further freeze damage this season, though farmers have still needed to use frost protection measures at times. Farmers call fruit quality excellent, saying their lemons have bright color and lots of juice. They say the trees have a good set for next season's crop, if the weather cooperates between now and then.Top