Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Farm, water groups urge investment in water projects
If Congress works on a package of infrastructure legislation this year, Western farm and water organizations say the bill should include investments in water projects. More than 100 groups from California and 12 other states wrote Congress this week, urging investments in water storage, conservation, recycling and other projects. The organizations say Western states need “every tool available” to prepare for future dry years.

Olive growers contemplate harvest mechanization
Many olive growers could face a difficult choice in a year or so: modify their groves for mechanization or face an uncertain future. After one of the state’s two olive processors canceled contracts with some farmers, the other offered to accept the fruit—but would only promise long-term contracts if farmers commit to mechanization. Most olives grown for oil are already harvested mechanically, but olives for canning have been hand-harvested.

Genome research aims to benefit walnuts
Walnut trees could better withstand soil-borne diseases, as a result of research announced this week. Scientists with the University of California, Davis, and the U.S. Department of Agriculture say they sequenced the genome of a walnut hybrid, thereby unlocking the genomes of both parent trees. Researchers say the genome sequences of the two walnut species could allow them to identify traits that help trees resist diseases and pests.

Extract from avocado seeds may have helpful properties
An extract derived from avocado seeds shows promise as a treatment against inflammation, according to scientists at Penn State University. The researchers say laboratory tests indicate the extract may slow inflammation. If that holds true, the extract could be developed as a functional food ingredient or pharmaceutical. Because most avocado seeds are thrown away, creating uses for them could generate a new market for growers and processors.


The California Farm Bureau Federation works to protect family farms and ranches on behalf of nearly 36,000 members statewide and as part of a nationwide network of more than 5.5 million Farm Bureau members.