Food and Farm News—Flood damage in orchards to be assessed

Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Local groundwater agencies take shape
With a June 30 deadline approaching, agencies around California are working to finalize formation of local groundwater sustainability agencies. Under state law, the local agencies will develop groundwater sustainability plans for basins classified as high or medium priority for management. County Farm Bureau leaders monitoring the process say they’re striving to keep diverse groups working together as the process moves forward. 
Flood damage in orchards to be assessed
The full impact of winter flooding on Central Valley orchards may not be known for months, according to University of California farm advisers. If trees have suffered damage from disease caused by waterlogged roots, the stress might not become apparent until the hot summer months. Orchard specialists advise farmers with flooded orchards to document the flooding and the condition of their trees, and file reports of losses with county agricultural commissioners. 
Spinach demand increases
The popularity of packaged salads has fueled demand for organic spinach, with at least 40 percent of California acreage now grown organically. As they plant more, spinach farmers look to crop breeders to develop varieties that resist a plant disease. The fungus reduces yields, and there’s no organic product to attack it. That means farmers must vary their growing methods to avoid the fungus while breeders produce new, resistant spinach varieties. 
California celebrates Ag Day
It’ll be California Ag Day at the Capitol in Sacramento Wednesday, as farmers, ranchers, public officials and other people gather for an annual celebration of the state’s bounty. Visitors will be able to sample California-grown food and farm products, see farm animals and learn about the variety of commodities grown in the state. California has been the nation’s top farm state for generations, producing more than 400 different crops and commodities.