Sabrina Hill has today’s California agriculture headlines, which include pistachio growers attending a field day on Gill’s Mealybug, a new record for California table grapes, and California honey production.
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Pistachio growers and pest control advisors gathered in Tulare County last week to get a look at damage caused by Gill’s Mealybug. Most of the pistachio orchards in Tulare are infested with the bug, which tend to be worse right at harvest. According to the University of California’s IPM online, adult female Gill’s mealybugs are between 2 and 5 millimeters in length. They’re a pinkish-gray color and are usually covered in a white waxy substance, which makes it look like they have stripes down their backs. Mealybugs prefer to feed within the pistachio cluster and can cause significant damage. One key to preventing the spread of an infestation is to clean harvesting equipment before heading to another orchard.
Mark another record for California table grapes. For the month of August, more than 28 million boxes of California table grapes had been shipped and that’s before the final numbers for the month come out. So far, 2013 is already 10 percent ahead of last year, and last year also set record high numbers. The table grape season runs from May through January. That means only about 40 percent of the crops is out, with the other 60 percent going out as the season progresses.
If you’re hearing a lot of buzz about honey, it’s because September is National Honey Month. California ranked fourth in the nation for honey production. In 2012, the Golden State produced 11,900,000 pounds of honey, with a dollar value of nearly @23 million. North Dakota, South Dakota, and Florida are numbers one, two, and three for production. If you’d like to find some local, California honey, click here.