Six consecutive days of San Joaquin Valley temperatures topping out over the 100-degree mark are impacting agricultural production, reported Bob Rodriguez in the Fresno Bee.
Rodriguez talked to UC Cooperative Extension farm advisors to learn about the recent hot weather's effect on tree crops and grape vines.
"Trees and plants just seem to shut down when it gets this hot," said Kevin Day, University of California Cooperative Extension advisor in Tulare County. "And the fruit just doesn't ripen."
Grape growers face similar challenges when the mercury...
The Fresno County Board of Supervisors agreed to a 2 percent increase over the UC Cooperative Extension budget request for the 2012-13 fiscal year, according to an article in The Business Journal.
The 2 percent increase follows several years of budget cuts. Cooperative Extension expenses for the 2012-13 year are estimated at $433,572. The county’s contribution is $294,796.
“Our budget probably won’t change,” said Stephen Vasquez, UCCE Cooperative Extension advisor and co-director. But it will be tight, he said.
In fact, UCCE in Fresno...
A Bakersfield farming cooperative will lay off 2,100 permanent seasonal workers and instead hire a labor force through farm labor contractors, reported Jill Cowan in the Bakersfield Californian. The shift toward hiring seasonal workers through farm labor contractors is not new, said University of California Cooperative Extension specialist emeritus Howard Rosenberg, who has studied agricultural labor management for decades.
"(Use of farm labor contractors) has grown from the low 20 percents, to now over 40 percent," Rosenberg said, "and some people would...
The Colorado farm linked to a deadly listeria outbreak last fall is 1,300 miles away, but the tragedy changed a way of life in Mendota, Calif., the Central Valley farm town that proudly calls itself the Cantaloupe Center of the World, said an article in the Los Angeles Times by Diana Marcum.
This would normally be the season when farmers plan the summer crop that in good years is valued at nearly $200 million, according to the California Cantaloupe Advisory Board. Instead, they are cutting acreage and scrambling for ways to reassure a nervous public that cantaloupes are safe to eat.
This month the
Another pest has been added to the list of exotic insects that dishearten California farmers. The brown marmorated stink bug, a destructive native of Asia, has been seen this spring in 33 states, including California, Oregon and Washington, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
"All that we do know for certain is that a tremendously large population went into overwintering in fall 2010. So, if they survived, there could be a very large population emerging in the spring," the story quoted Tracy Leskey, a research entomologist at the U.S. Agriculture Department's Appalachian Fruit Research Station in Kearneysville,...