April 9, 2000 |
They are tourists not even a chamber of commerce can love. A virtual rogues' gallery of migrant pests--drawn to California's legendary clime and bountiful opportunities for advancement--are increasingly hitchhiking, sailing and flying into this state, often with devastating consequences: Crop losses alone cost about $1 billion a year.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 10, 2000 |
Strawberry production across Southern California is three times greater this season than it was a year ago, with a mild winter providing a lightning quick start to this year's harvest. The heavy yields will mean an abundance of berries on supermarket shelves over the next month, a bonanza expected to drive down prices but still produce a windfall for berry farmers.
September 23, 1999 |
Pest fighters in the Imperial Valley and Mexicali released swarms of voracious wasps Wednesday in a battle to stem the North American invasion of the pink hibiscus mealybug, which can suck the life out of hundreds of varieties of fruit, vegetables and flowers. The mealybugs (Maconellicoccus hirsutus) have wreaked havoc in recent years in the Caribbean and Hawaii but had not been seen in North America until they were uncovered a few weeks ago in the border region of southeast California.
February 7, 1999 |
Trees snapped and lemons rained down as Phil Kruse's bulldozer churned through yet another orchard. "There's nothing to it!" Kruse shouted above the din. "It's amazing how fast you can knock something down. I can do 2,400 trees a day--easy!" An affable Ventura County native, Kruse, 35, has knocked down his share of trees in 15 years of clearing old farms to make way for new suburbs. Outraged seniors once screamed at him as he cleared the way for a strip mall.
December 23, 1998 |
California farmers, who on Tuesday sustained their worst frost damage in years, were bracing for another round of freezing temperatures that could destroy a significant portion of the lemon and orange crops. Colder weather is forecast today through Thursday, with temperatures expected to drop into the low 20s in some farming communities. Meteorologists said a jet stream is carrying frigid air into California from Alaska and western Canada.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 29, 1998 |
Before the sky shows its early morning blush, Jimmy Otsuka is already crouched in the middle of his beloved strawberry fields, carefully tending to newly planted seedlings. It will be dark before he's done. Wedded to the rhythms of farm life, this third-generation Japanese American farmer still works the five-acre patch in Santa Ana that his father bought in 1947. Today, however, the short furrows of his field quickly end in asphalt. The farm is surrounded by fences and tract homes.