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Growers Spend $500,000 Per Year on Automation

Growers are now spending an average of $500,000 a year on automation in response to the persistent ag labor shortage, according to the Specialty Crop Automation Report released today and commissioned by Western Growers. This is the second year the Specialty Crop Automation Report has been released by WG in collaboration with consultants at Roland Berger. The report, which tracks …

Hartnell College Foundation Presents Annual Western Food Safety Conference, May 3-4

Nearly 500 people with a professional stake in the safety of fresh fruits and vegetables consumed worldwide will gather at Sherwood Hall in Salinas on May 3-4 for the 18th Annual Western Food Safety Conference. The conference will be held at Sherwood Hall at 940 N. Main St., in Salinas, and will focus on the theme, “Food Safety: The State of …

“Thistle be Fun” 63rd Annual Artichoke Festival, June 10-11

Celebrating the theme “Thistle be Fun,” the 63rd annual Artichoke Festival takes place June 10-11 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center, with online ticket sales now available. The 2023 festival will feature a wide-ranging variety of entertainment, including the popular Chef’s Demo, a farmers market, live music, wine tasting, NEW this year a Saturday Night comedy show, and …

Ocean Mist® Farms Launches Annual Gold Standard Artichoke Promotion

Ocean Mist Farms, the leading grower and marketer of fresh artichokes in North America, announces the launch of its annual spring promotion conveying the health and nutrition benefits and accolades of their famous Gold Standard artichokes. The Gold Standard Giveaway will run from April 24 – June 1, giving participants the opportunity to win one Grand Prize VISA gift card …

Breeding a Better Potato for a Better Potato Chip

Potato chips are America’s classic snack: crunchy, salty, greasy and tasting of potato or flavored with sour cream, vinegar, BBQ, maple bacon or Cajun dill. It shouldn’t be a surprise that Americans eat more potato chips than any other nation; more than four pounds a person a year, according to Potatoes USA. About 22 percent of the U.S. potato crop—nearly 7,500 million …

Soil Nutrients Affect How Attractive Plants Are to Bees From the Ground Up

Pollination is vital for many plants, and nutrients present in the soil before these plants even sprout may affect how attractive they eventually are to pollinators, according to Penn State-led research. In a study with cucumber plants, the researchers found that in general, higher amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus in the soil resulted in larger plants and floral display, including …

Local Organizations Address Critical Gaps For Those Impacted by Flooding in Monterey County

Spring marks the return of fruit and vegetable harvest in the Salinas Valley region. With heavy rains, cold winter weather and our area recovering from flooding, that harvest has been delayed but consumers can be assured that they will enjoy leafy greens, vegetables and strawberries with the harvest continuing into November. While we understand the importance of providing healthy produce to …

Weed Management Critical Needs for CA Processing Tomatoes

Amber Vinchesi-Vahl, UCCE — The Pest Management Strategic Plan for Processing Tomatoes in California (see attachment) was published in May 2021 and encompasses a wealth of information on pest issues and farming practices for processing tomatoes in California. Myself, Cooperative Extension Specialist Cassandra Swett, and UC IPM collaborated on creating this document directly from stakeholder input and funding from the Western IPM Center. …

Potato Breeding Research Grant Opportunity

The USDA Potato Breeding Research grant program supports potato (Solanum tuberosum L.) research and Extension programs that focus on varietal development and testing to create improved potato varieties for commercial production using conventional breeding and/or biotechnological genetics. Application deadline is May 18. For more information, read the Potato Breeding Research program funding opportunity.

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