CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 29, 1992 |
She is one of Earth's most prolific mothers, with an estimated 15 million progeny scattered throughout California and around the globe. And although most people do not know it--most people these days do not pronounce the name right--every time they buy a Hass avocado in the supermarket, they are buying a small piece of her. She is the Hass Mother Tree, the genetic source of every Hass avocado in the world.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 27, 1991 |
The poinsettia whitefly is causing devastating losses to California crops. Experts predict damage to 33% to 40% of winter vegetable production in the Imperial Valley alone. The whitefly is an unwelcome visitor, but this pernicious pest did not arrive uninvited. Current farming practices in the Imperial Valley and throughout much of California set the stage for such disasters.
June 9, 1987 |
Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. announced Monday that its Frostban bacteria have successfully protected strawberries from below-freezing temperatures and that the genetically altered bacteria did not escape from the test plot during the six-week trial. Frostban was sprayed on a small plot of strawberries April 24 in what was said to be the nation's first open-air testing of a genetically engineered microorganism.
February 10, 1995 |
The Boswells and the Salyers, two of the richest and most powerful farming families in America, have ended decades of rivalry and rancor over their San Joaquin Valley empires with a huge land deal in which one colossus will swallow the other. Fred Salyer, 72, has agreed to sell his cotton and grain empire--about 25,000 acres of fertile San Joaquin Valley soil--to J. G. Boswell for tens of millions of dollars, according to business associates and employees.
December 27, 1998 |
Agriculture: California's new agriculture secretary, Bill Lyons Jr., will focus on rebuilding flagging sales in Asia, Latin America and Russia. Over-planting of fruits and nuts could tamp down domestic prices for farmers, although low inventories from rainy, cool 1998 could mitigate that problem. The U.S. Department of Agriculture and the organic farming community will continue to argue over federal rules. Sour note for growers: A minimum-wage increase could squeeze profits.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 15, 1993 |
A state plan to charge farmers for a multimillion-dollar campaign to improve the agriculture industry's image is scheduled for debate in Ventura today. The plan would call for a 39-member board to spend approximately $8 million on a variety of education programs about California agriculture. The program would be funded with a $1 tax on every $2,000 that farmers receive in revenue, according to the proposal.
April 28, 1995 |
Gov. Pete Wilson on Thursday named Washington lawyer and former Bush Administration agriculture official Ann M. Veneman as his agriculture secretary, making her the first non-farmer since the Jerry Brown Administration to head the agency. Veneman, 45, a native Californian who grew up on a Modesto peach farm, would be the first woman to hold the $109,603-a-year post since Brown named Rose Bird to the post--although in Bird's time the agency had non-agricultural responsibilities.
July 24, 1998 |
Strawberry pickers at Coastal Berry Co. voted in favor of union representation Thursday night in a victory for an upstart workers group, and a defeat for the rival United Farm Workers. The Coastal Berry Farmworkers Committee received 523, or nearly 54%, of the 972 ballots cast with the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board. The committee needed more than half the total votes cast to represent workers in negotiating with Coastal Berry, the nation's largest strawberry grower.
November 5, 1998 |
Targeting sexual harassment in California's agriculture industry, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued a Salinas Valley farm labor contractor, alleging that its supervisors routinely touched, groped and demanded sex from female employees. The complaint against Fresh West Harvesting is the first such suit by the EEOC against an agricultural employer in California, according to William R. Tamayo, regional attorney for the agency's San Francisco office.
March 16, 1986 |
Of all the myths about California agriculture, one of the most enduring has been that the state's agribusiness industry was so rich and diverse that it could survive any economic crisis. There was all that land, a stable climate, rich soil and plenty of water. To the farmer, California was Eden, Paradise and Utopia in one. Back in the 1860s, the wheat fields in the San Joaquin Valley were so vast that a crew might work all day just to plow to the end of one field.