One of the forces driving agricultural experiments in California's fertile San Joaquin Valley is climate change, reported Mark Schapiro on Grist.org. Although some sources still don't feel completely comfortable with the concept.
"Whether it's carbon built up in the atmosphere or just friggin' bad luck, the conditions are straining us," said John Duarte, president of Duarte Nursery.
The state's fruit and nut orchards are taking the most heat as conditions change. A fruit or nut tree planted today may be ill-suited to climatic conditions by the time it begins bearing fruit in 5 or 10 years. Between 1950 and 2009,...
Some California pistachio farmers are facing one of their worst harvests ever, reported Sarah Zhang on Wired.com.
UC Agriculture and Natural Resources experts said the dip in yield cannot be blamed on the drought, but a warming climate may be coming into play. Pistachios require cold winter temperatures to reset their biological clocks.
“They use the temperature to know when winter is over,” said Craig Kallsen, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Kern County. “And if they don't get the message, they get confused.”
The California Report, a popular radio news program that is broadcast throughout the state on public radio stations, devoted five minutes this morning to a solution found at the UC Kearney Agricultural Research and Extension Center for a serious pistachio production problem.
Reporter Alice Daniel interviewed Kearney-based UC Davis plant pathologist Themis Michailides, who led the team that discovered how to expose pistachio trees to spores of a beneficial fungus that displaces the fungi that produce aflatoxin.
Though the story was broadcast this morning, it can still be heard on The California...
Nut harvests in California are winding down, and growers of almonds, walnuts and pistachios are mostly happy with their yields, reported Tim Hearden in Capital Press.
- Almond growers expect to meet an early estimate of 1.95 billion pounds statewide, which would be a record
- Pistachio growers in the San Joaquin Valley are enjoying their second-largest crop ever after last year's record yield
- Walnut growers expect this year's yield to be 485,000 tons, slightly lower than last year's 503,000 tons
"The rumors I've heard is that guys are still complaining about the quality" of walnuts, said
The economic impact of the pistachio industry in California, Arizona and New Mexico amounts to $1.9 million for each day of the year, $682.5 million annually, according to a report commissioned by the Western Pistachio Association. The greatest economic impact is in California, where the majority of pistachios are grown.
Consultant Dennis H. Tootelian arrived at these figures using data from the Census of Agriculture, USDA, CDFA, and the University of California Cooperative Extension's Sample Costs to Establish and Produce Pistachios, according to a