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California Avocado Commission’s Ken Melban Promoted

Ken Melban, who joined the California Avocado Commission (CAC) in 2011 as director, issues management, has been promoted to vice president of industry affairs and operations. He has served as CAC’s vice president, industry affairs since 2015. In his new role, he will continue to lead the Commission’s industry affairs programs and take on the financial and administrative operations of …

Artificial Photosynthesis Can Produce Food Without Sunshine

Photosynthesis has evolved in plants for millions of years to turn water, carbon dioxide, and the energy from sunlight into plant biomass and the foods we eat. This process, however, is very inefficient, with only about 1% of the energy found in sunlight ending up in the plant. Scientists at UC Riverside and the University of Delaware have found a …

California Olive Oil Crop Estimate at 1.8 Million Gallons

The Olive Oil Commission of California (OOCC) Board of Directors has established a pre-season crop estimate of 1.8 million gallons for the 2022/23 season. The estimate is down significantly from the 2021/22 season when just over 3 million gallons were produced by OOCC members, who represent approximately 90 percent of California’s olive oil production. The Board also reviewed and adopted …

An Aromatic Tomato Could be Looming – a La Heirloom Varieties

You can scarcely find a tasty, heirloom tomato in the grocery store. But University of Florida scientists helped discover a way to enhance tomato smell and taste. Breeding efforts over the last half century have emphasized traits that are important to producers – yield, disease resistance, appearance and post-harvest shelf life among them. While those traits are important, modern commercial …

Agtech Startups to Compete for $250,000 in AgSharks Pitch Competition

Western Growers and S2G Ventures are now accepting applications for the 2022 AgSharks Competition, a unique event where startup companies pitch their innovations in front of a live audience of the world’s largest specialty crop producers to win a $250,000 minimum investment. Impact-driven entrepreneurs and startups developing technologies that promote a more healthy and sustainable food and agriculture system can …

CA Table Olive Forecast Down Considerably This Year

USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service — The 2022 California table olive forecast is 20,000 tons, down considerably from last year’s crop of 46,500 tons, according to a survey conducted by the USDA, National Agricultural Statistics Service, Pacific Regional Office. Bearing acreage is estimated at 12,000, which results in a yield of 1.67 tons per acre. The Manzanillo production forecast is 18,500 tons, …

Australian Stone Fruit Production Picks Up, Recovers Post-Pandemic

Stone fruit production in Australia is forecast to increase in marketing year (MY) 2022/23, following a MY 2021/22 season that was impacted by a shortage of labor supply at harvest, export freight logistical challenges borne about by the COVID-19 pandemic, and wet weather at harvest. Cherry production is forecast to increase by 19 percent, and peaches and nectarines by 13 …

California Prune Board Announces 2022-2024 Officers and Board Members

The California Prune Board (CPB) has officially seated its 22-member board and 16 alternates for the 2022-2024 term.  Following certification of the election by the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture, the new board approved the 2022/23 fiscal year programs and budget at its June board meeting. The CPB officers are: Chair: George Sousa Jr., President of Mariani Packing Co., …

Novel Strawberry IPM Tool Included in CA DPR Grant Funding

The California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) announced $1.78 million in Alliance Grants for five projects that aim to increase the speed and the scale at which safer, more sustainable pest management practices are adopted across the state. Each project will promote innovative Integrated Pest Management (IPM) systems and practices in agricultural, urban or wildland settings. “Alliance Grants directly support the department’s …

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