Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 10, 2008 «
As the popularity of almonds leads farmers to plant more orchards, they're confronting a longstanding problem: how to prevent their valuable trees from blowing down during windstorms. Because of their shallow root systems, almond trees are vulnerable to strong wind, and thousands blew down during windstorms in January. University researchers are developing rootstocks that go deeper into the ground, and studying pruning methods and other ways to help trees resist wind.
Trends point to strong demand for California-grown avocados, both at home and abroad. A government report says demand for avocados in the United States has more than doubled during the past decade, reaching more than 3 pounds per person annually. Almost all California avocados are sold in this country, but export markets should strengthen due to currency exchange rates that make the fruit cheaper in Canada, Japan and South Korea.
Dairy farms working to protect water quality will be aided by a series of cost-sharing grants announced yesterday (Wednesday). The grants will help 20 dairy farms to install water-quality improvement projects. The money comes from bonds approved by voters. Dairies will use the money to help pay for a variety of projects designed to enhance water quality. The group administering the grants says work on the projects will begin soon.
There's interest among farmers in expanding chestnut plantings in California. Farm advisors say the state would have a marketing advantage, by harvesting chestnuts earlier than other regions can. But farmers say a lack of processing plants will hold back rapid expansion. The processing plants would peel the chestnuts. Farmers say that would make the crop easier for consumers to use. There are only a few hundred acres of chestnuts in California now, though plantings have expanded.Top