Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Olive growers say crop could be large
An official estimate remains a couple months away, but Northern California farmers and canners say they’re optimistic about the table-olive crop. Olive trees bloomed during May, and growers report the potential for a large crop. The California Olive Committee estimates table olives will be produced on 27,000 acres in the state. Olives grown for oil now cover about 38,000 acres, according to the California Olive Oil Council.
Farmers play catch-up on crop planting
Lingering effects of California’s wet winter can be seen in a government crop report issued Tuesday. Wet fields delayed crop planting. The report says less than three-quarters of the California cotton crop has been planted, whereas planting would be nearly finished by now in a typical year. California rice farmers have nearly caught up on their planting, according to the report, but the emergence of the planted rice remains slower than average.
Projects aim to enhance plant health
California-based projects to improve crop production have received a boost through grants announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Projects at California universities include enhancing the vitamin A content of wheat; developing lettuce varieties that resist plant diseases; and studying how soil health helps plants cope with drought and heat waves. In all, seven California projects qualified for the grant funding.
Funds benefit biomass energy plans
With a goal of reducing hazardous fuels from national and private forests, the U.S. Forest Service says it will provide matching funds to aid use of wood as an energy source and building material. Among seven California projects to benefit from the funds is one to develop a biomass heating system for schools in Quincy. Another project would create a plant to turn wood into electricity at a former sawmill site in Yuba County.