Published: Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 4:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 18, 2013 at 7:23 p.m.
Want to go to sheep shearing school in Mendocino?
Sheep farmers who want to learn how to shear their animals can signal their interest to attend a week-long school sponsored by the Mendocino County UC Cooperative Extension.
The organization is planning to once more hold a shearing school, starting possibly the last week of April or the first week of May. Depending on the level of interest, two sessions may be held.
The school may be held at the UC Hopland Research & Extension Center.
The cost will be about $300 per person, not including food, lodging and transportation.
Those interested can take an online survey at: http://bit.ly/WeJgkZ. For more information, call 463-4495.
UC Davis to study olive oil quality
Stores and distributors will be able to ensure the quality of the olive oil they carry through a new testing program offered by the UC Davis Olive Center.
Studies conducted by the center have indicated that many imported olive oils are of substandard quality.
“The new testing program will enable the Olive Center to help retailers and wholesalers correct that situation, by providing accurate chemical and sensory testing of commercial olive oils,” said Dan Flynn, the center’s executive director. “We look forward to confirming the high quality of many olive oils and identifying those olive oils that prove to be of substandard quality.”
The self-funded center was founded in 2008 as the first university-based olive research and education institution in North America.
California walnut crop approaching record
California’s walnut crop is coming in larger than expected, and strong demand from Asia is prompting shipments to stay well ahead of the pace of a year earlier.
As of Dec. 31, processors received about 497,000 tons of walnuts from the fall crop, according to the California Walnut Commission. That’s about 6 percent more than the U.S. Department of Agriculture forecast in September and is closing in on the state’s record 2010 crop of 504,000 tons.
By year’s end, shipments to China and Hong Kong reached 110 million pounds, compared with 72 million pounds a year earlier.
Pete Turner, an industry consultant and chairman of the California Independent Handlers Coalition, predicted the crop next year could reach 550,000 tons. Prompted by strong crop prices, farmers in recent years planted new orchards that soon will come into production.
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