Food and Farm News

Water officials discuss impact of March storms

Despite rain and snow in March, water supplies for Central Valley farmers may not change much. Representatives of federal and state water systems spoke to the State Board of Food and Agriculture Tuesday. Most farmers on both systems have been told to expect 20 percent of contract water supplies. The State Water Project may increase its allocation slightly, but operators of the federal Central Valley Project said they're analyzing data to see if it will follow suit.

Work in Riverside labs helps protect citrus trees

As California citrus farmers work to fend off a tree-killing disease, a key part of the effort takes place in laboratories in Riverside. There, experts check citrus plant material to assure that newly planted trees don't spread the fatal tree disease HLB. The disease, carried by an insect called the Asian citrus psyllid, has ravaged citrus groves in Florida and elsewhere, but has been kept out of California groves so far.

Strawberry consumption sets record

Americans eat more strawberries than ever, according to new figures from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA reports that Americans ate about 10.3 pounds of strawberries per person last year--a record. About 80 percent of those were fresh strawberries, and the rest frozen. California farms produce more than three-quarters of U.S.-grown strawberries, and harvest will intensify through the spring and summer.

Online, published resources aim to cut food waste

A new effort to reduce food waste features online tips and a published "bookazine." The American Farm Bureau and its partners announced Tuesday the launch of a "No Taste for Waste" campaign. A website and social media feeds provide resources and recipes intended to help reduce household food waste, and to describe how farmers and ranchers fight food loss. The "bookazine," titled "Waste Less, Save Money," will appear on newsstands this month.

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