California Agriculture Headlines

Taylor Hillman Cattle, Citrus, Cotton, Dairy & Livestock, Forage Crops, General, Poultry, Specialty Crops, Tree, nut & vine crops

Top stories in agriculture statewide this week include cattle lost in the Rim fire, theft problems for avocado growers, and more.
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There’s more destruction coming out of the Rim Fire burning in the Sierra Nevada. Cattle ranchers are reporting loss of cattle in the blaze. So far, they’re not able to tell how many cattle are lost to the fire and they are working to continue rescuing as much of the livestock as they can. In addition to the loss of livestock, the fire is also destroying valuable grazing lands and timberland. Meanwhile, to help with feeding livestock that the blaze has displaced, the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau is working to collect and distribute hay.
To contact the Tuolumne County Farm Bureau, call (209) 984-5922 or email

In other ag news, some major losses to avocado growers in Southern California. In the last few weeks several packinghouses were tricked by fraud which lead the major thefts. Drivers showed up at the packinghouses, got their trucks loaded with avocados and took off. But the loads never arrived where they were supposed to be. The fraudulent drivers appeared legit, but instead, they were thieves.

California’s cotton crop continues to progress nicely, although growers have had their fair share of battles this season. Cotton bolls are opening now, and it looks like the condition is about 80 percent good to excellent. High heat caused problems to some of the crop earlier this summer, and growers had to deal with a lack of available water for irrigation. Cotton is highly sensitive to water stress and some of the crop is showing damage from the lower amounts of water. Cotton growers are also reporting some insect pressure from whitefly and aphids.

Checking in on the citrus crop, members of the California Citrus Research Board were in Florida this week to talk with the Citrus Research and Development Foundation in Florida about ways they could coordinate in the battle against Huanglongbing disease. Harold Browning is with the foundation. To hear his comments, listen to the audio report above.