Almond harvest starts early
Warm spring and summer weather encouraged almonds to develop early, and farmers have started harvesting this week in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Farmers in Kern County say they’re beginning almond harvest a week to 10 days earlier than usual. Almonds are California’s most widely planted orchard crop and the state’s top agricultural export. Forecasters predict farmers will harvest a near-record crop of more than 1.8 billion pounds.
Deep-freeze method may preserve plants
To secure the future of citrus fruit production, researchers are deep-freezing plant cuttings to preserve them. So far, scientists have used the “cryopreservation” technique on cuttings of 30 citrus varieties from a collection at the University of California, Riverside. The cuttings are plunged into liquid nitrogen for long-term storage. The method could provide another way to safeguard plants important for crop production.