Food & Farm News
» February 1, 2012 «
Supermarkets across the country will be promoting avocados this weekend to supply Super Bowl fans with the ingredients for fresh guacamole. The California Avocado Commission says that more than 71 million pounds of avocados will be shipped during the two-and-a-half-week period surrounding the Super Bowl. The commission added that while California avocados are available virtually year-round, the bulk of the state's crop is shipped between April and September. The biggest spikes in demand for avocados coincide with Cinco de Mayo and the Fourth of July.
Drought in Texas and New Mexico last year brought greater numbers of sheep to the West Coast as ranchers in the stricken states moved or sold flocks to California ranches with better rangeland. Now that our state is also seeing less rainfall, the once-abundant forage is disappearing quickly. The California Wool Growers Association says that they have heard from some ranchers struggling to find enough feed. While a number of ranchers have begun selling lambs earlier than in previous years, others are finding feed alternatives for their flocks until the rain provides a reprieve.
Asian citrus psyllids and burrowing nematodes are no match for Dozer the detector dog. The California Department of Food and Agriculture announced the 3-year-old Labrador retriever's addition to the state's existing team of 12 pest-sniffing dogs and their handlers. The canines help intercept invasive species before they can impact California crops. Dozer and his handler are assigned to the Sacramento County Agricultural Commissioner's Office and will inspect package-delivery facilities in the area. The dogs sniff parcels that contain fruits, vegetables, plants and other agricultural materials.
A student from California State University, Fresno, and a student from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, have been selected by the US Agriculture Department to attend the 2012 Agriculture Outlook Forum. The students are among two dozen college juniors and seniors selected to travel to Arlington, Virginia, February 23 and 24. The forum celebrates the USDA's 150th anniversary and includes former secretaries of agriculture discussing their vision for the future of farming, ranching and food production.Top