Posts Tagged: citrus
It has been particularly cold at night in California for about a week, but it appears the state's citrus industry will emerge mostly unscathed, reported Oliver Renick on Bloomberg.com.
Thermometers dipped about 10 degrees below normal overnight during the cold snap, but growers efforts to keep the trees warm with wind machines and irrigation appear to have been successful.
"We are not anticipating any damage in the navels, maybe very limited damage on the outer row away from the wind protection,” said Shirley Batchman, the director of government affairs at California Citrus Mutual. “Certainly nothing that’s going to affect the orange production.”
ABC news affiliate.
Reporter Ryan Raiche covered a meeting at the University of Florida Citrus Research and Extension Center where UC Cooperative Extension farm advisor Paul Vossen introduced growers to olive production and marketing and offered citrus growers the opportunity to taste a variety of olives and olive oils.
“This is not a slam dunk, because this is a really peculiar crop that needs really specific things in order to flower and fruit,” Vossen said.
Olives thrive in a dry climate where it’s not too hot and not too cold. Vossen said rain during bloom season could wipe out the crop.
Ojai man appointed to Regional Water Quality Control Board
Ventura County Star
Gov. Jerry Brown has appointed Ventura County UC Cooperative Extension director emeritus Larry Yee to the Los Angeles Regional Water Quality Control Board.
The board oversees water quality issues and has the power to fine polluters.
Yee worked for the UC Cooperative Extension from 1975 to 2008 and was the Ventura County director from 1986 to 2008. He also was director of the UC Hansen Trust, which was set up to promote agricultural research and education.
A new, virtually seed-free mandarin will for the first time be sold in California grocery stores, but consumers may not even notice, according to an AP story by Jeff Nachtigal published late last week. Google News reports that the article made its way into about 200 news outlets.
The story was also written up by reporter Mark Muckenfuss of the Riverside Press-Enterprise in mid-January.
UC Riverside began releasing budwood for Tango mandarins in 2006; more than a million trees are now growing in California. Their first commercial crop is being harvested this month.
Tango is the result of a mutation induced by irradiating budwood of W. Murcott mandarin in UC Riverside genetics professor Mikeal Roose's lab. It has all the good qualities of W. Murcott, but doesn't produce seeds even if bees visit the blossoms covered in pollen from other citrus trees.
Roose told Nachtigal the new mandarin is "like a new car with all the details of the previous year's model, but one that gets 10 miles more to the gallon."
"It's probably the best piece of fruit that's come along for years for citrus growers," Roose was quoted.
Roose said Tango will most likely be marketed as Cuties and Delites. Some may be sold under the Tango name at grocery stores and farmers markets.
W. Murcott mandarin (left) and Tango (right).
The value of Riverside County citrus crops dropped 25 percent in one year, from $135.7 million in 2008 to $101.6 million in 2009, according to an article in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. The story credits the growth of the wine industry in Temecula for the decline in citrus production.
A farmer told reporter Jeff Horseman it makes more sense to grow citrus in California's San Joaquin Valley, where land and water are cheaper, or to import the fruit from other countries - such as Mexico and South America - where fewer regulations cut into profits.
The story said Temecula's future is now tied to wine as county officials and vintners collaborate on a plan to make the Southern California wine country a premier tourist destination. UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate Tom Shea told the reporter that the popularity of agricultural crops can shift with time. He recollects farmers in Sonoma County grew apples and prunes decades ago, but the wine industry proved more profitable when restaurants and other tourism amenities were added. "I believe the official name of the 'appellation' is Temecula Valley Wine Country," Horseman e-mailed in reply to my question about the capitalization. "Technically, Wine Country lies outside the City of Temecula proper. However, it's common for folks around here to refer to the area as 'Temecula Wine Country' or even just 'Wine Country.'"
The story said Temecula's future is now tied to wine as county officials and vintners collaborate on a plan to make the Southern California wine country a premier tourist destination. UC Cooperative Extension staff research associate Tom Shea told the reporter that the popularity of agricultural crops can shift with time. He recollects farmers in Sonoma County grew apples and prunes decades ago, but the wine industry proved more profitable when restaurants and other tourism amenities were added.Curiously, Press-Enterprise writer Horseman referred to the the Southern California wine region as Temecula Valley Wine Country, a proper noun all with initial capital letters.
"I believe the official name of the 'appellation' is Temecula Valley Wine Country," Horseman e-mailed in reply to my question about the capitalization. "Technically, Wine Country lies outside the City of Temecula proper. However, it's common for folks around here to refer to the area as 'Temecula Wine Country' or even just 'Wine Country.'"
A Riverside County vineyard.
Yearly per capita consumption of grapefruit has been on a steady decline since the late 1970s, according to an article in the Riverside Press-Enterprise. To boost the fruit's popularity and keep the industry in business, growers in Southern California have organized a cooperative and hired PR expert Kari Birdseye to put together a marketing program.
In 1976, Americans ate almost 9 pounds of grapefruit per year. As a late-baby boomer, that doesn't come as a big surprise to me. The popular "grapefruit diet" was one of the first weight-loss fads I can remember. By 2007, per capita consumption dropped to 2.76 pounds, the article said.
Birdseye told Press-Enterprise reporter Leslie Berkman that one of the cooperative's goals is to extend the appeal of grapefruit to the younger set. In the U.S., it seems to be eaten by people who are middle-aged and older.
Another issue is that warning labels on some drugs for lowering cholesterol and blood pressure say they should not be taken with grapefruit juice. Birdseye said she is enlisting scientists at UC Berkeley to review the research that has been done on the interaction of grapefruit with drugs and on the nutritional benefits of grapefruit, such as in fighting obesity, Berkman reported
"The first step is to do a comprehensive review of the scientific literature to determine what health benefits can be authentically claimed and to see where there might be some holes where more research is required," Birdseye was quoted. "Let's get the science behind us."
According to the article, Birdseye is planning to meet with Thomas Baldwin, dean of the College of Natural and Agricultural Sciences at UC Riverside, to find ways UCR experts can help grapefruit growers, such as by breeding grapefruit varieties to enhance existing health benefits.
Tracy Kahn, curator of the UCR citrus variety collections, noted in the story that one reason for the growing popularity of pink grapefruit is that the pigment that makes it rosy, lycopene, is very healthful.
Pink grapefruit (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)