California farmers are changing the way they grow avocados to deal with three distinct problems that are cutting into profits: rising fertilizer costs, spikes in water rates, and competition from avocados grown in Peru, Chile and Mexico, says University of California Cooperative Extension farm adviser Gary Bender. He was quoted in a story on Takepart.com about looming price increases for much-loved guacamole.
It takesto produce one pound of avocados — and drought-stricken California produces...
Strawberries in the Santa Maria Valley and tomatoes in San Joaquin County are a bit under the weather, according to reports from local newspapers. The Stockton Record reported that tomato growers are facing significant losses from the beet curly top virus. The Santa Maria Sun said last year's whitefly infestation caused an outbreak of pallidosis-related decline.
Record reporter Reed Fujii spoke to Brenna Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension...
Commercial pumpkin production poses many of the same challenges as growing other gourds and squash plants, like cucumbers, luffas, zucchini and watermelons, wrote Reid Fujii in the Stockton Record.
Growers must watch out for overwatering, plant diseases, and pests like squash bugs and cucumber beetles, said Brenna Aegerter, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in San Joaquin County.
"Like one of the growers here told me, it's a beauty pageant," Aegerter said. "It's all about how they look; it's not how they taste."
While other states produce more pumpkins than California,...
Rain and cool temperatures this week have prompted newspapers to see how the weather change is sitting with the state's agricultural industry.
The Woodland Daily Democrat reported that local rain and wind were good for some crops, and bad for others. The cool weather has postponed the harvest date for rice, while the rain has provided enough water for wheat to germinate, the story said.
UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Kent Britton told reporter Katherine Jarvis farmers should wait until Nov. 1 to plant their winter wheat to avoid frost damage later in the season.