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» September 29, 2008 «
Chestnut harvest is starting in California orchards. It's not a major crop and is listed under the category of "other fruits and nuts" in the annual state crop report. Most growers sell through farmers markets and on the farm, but a few go through conventional wholesale markets. Farmers say the quality is good and demand is growing. Harvest--which involves workers picking the nuts off the ground after they fall from the trees--will continue into November.
Six more Oriental fruit flies have been found in Lakewood, according to the Los Angeles County agricultural commissioner. As a result, the eradication period will be extended for at least an additional eight weeks. This destructive agricultural pest was first found in Lakewood in July. Females lay eggs in a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Left unchecked, the pest can damage California's $32 billion farm business. Thus far 21 Oriental fruit flies have been found in the quarantined area.
Walnut harvest in California's Central Valley is just getting under way. Many growers are waiting for the nuts to fully mature on the tree, which will save the cost of drying them in ovens. Farmers say it is a good-size crop, but not as large as earlier projections. Recent hot spells have caused sunburn on nuts in the upper branches of many trees. Farmers say light rain showers will help the crop along. Some rain is predicted for the valley this week.
The Central Valley Farmland Trust organization has been accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission in Washington, D.C. It is the third California land trust to receive accreditation status. The organization was founded in 2004 to protect prime farmland. To date the trust has worked with 19 conservation-minded landowners to protect nearly 11,000 acres of farms in Sacramento, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Merced counties.Top