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-«HJ N ITED^STATE S
HOUSEKEEPERS ' CHAT Wednesday, March 23, I93S
(EOR BROADCAST USE ONLY)
Subject: "FOOD NEWS." Information from the Bureau of Agricultural Economics
and the Bureau of Plant Industry, United States Department of Agriculture.
— 00O00 —
More food news on schedule today — news about canned grapefruit, spring
lambs, and this year's crop of cantaloups.
The Bureau of Agricultural Economics reports that British buyers favor
our canned grapefruit — Uni ted S tates ' canned grapefruit. They say that the
grapefruit segments canned in this country and also the canned juice are becom-
ing more and more popular in the United Kingdom. In fact, the United Kingdom
is the principal outlet for grapefruit and grapefruit juice canned in the United
During the 1931~32 season exports to the United Kingdom of canned grape-
fruit amounted to only a quarter of a million cases. But this past season they
had increased to more than a mi ll ion cases. During the sane period, the United
States production of canned segments and juice increased from a million to the
10 million cases produced during the past year.
Here's some news about the early lamb crop that may be of interest to
listeners who like advance tips on seasonal foods. The agricultural economists
say that the early spring lamb crop of 193^ i n the principal early lambing States
is at least 15 percent larger than the small early crop of r 37. ^ G condition
of the Iambs about the first of March was exceptionally good in all areas, much
above the condition a year earlier and above the average for March first.
Up to the first of the month, weather and feed conditions had been favorable
in nearly all of the early lambing States — a sharp contrast to the situation
during the early months of '37 i n some of those States.
In California, the most important early lamb State, the winter has been
mild and feed conditions unusually good. Similar conditions have prevailed in
the other Pacific States and in Idaho. In the southeastern States, where the
winter has been mild and feed supplies abundant, many more lambs wore born by
March first this year than by that date last year. Texas also has had feed and
wea.ther conditions favorable for the development of early lambs and the fatten-
ing of yearling lambs.
So the predictions are that marketing of early lambs before July first
this year will be much larger than before that date last year, and that the
average qual i ty of the lambs will be much better . But marketings of grass-fat
yearling lambs from Texas before July first will be considerably smaller than
the record marketings of last year.
Here's a little cantaloup news. If you go to the market to "buy a melon
you want one that is firm and has the fine flavor that ceme9 from ripening on
the vine. This year the farmer and the scientist plan to fill the order. When
the cantaloup crop starts moving about the first of May, more than 90_ percent
of the crop from the Imperial Valley of California and the Salt River Valley
of Ari zona— areas that normally produce more than half the commercial crop —
prill "be Cantaloup No. U5. Cantaloup No. is the new mildew resistant canta-
loup, a product of 10 years' "breeding work "by scientists of the Department of
Agriculture and the California Experiment Station working together.
Between 23 thousand and 30 thousand acres are plentcd to the No. U5,
although as short a time ago as 193 5 » this cantaloup was planted only on a
quart or - acre experimental plot. A fall crop was grown that year just for seed.
In 1936 growers in the Imperial Valley planted 10 thousand acres to No. U5.
And last year they planted 20 thousand acres, or close to 90 percent of the
crop. Last year Arizona growers also started the new variety. The two areas
shipped more than 10 thousand cars of No. in 1937 •
Department scientists, keeping a close check on the new variety as it
arrived in New York, found that eastern consumers on the average, received the
"best-quality cantaloups ever shipped from the irrigated regions. These melons
had the flavor that only comes from ripening on the vine. Formerly the markets
had sold other varieties that had to "be pulled at the half-ripe stage in order
to endure the long train trip.
Most of the cantaloups were preceded before starting the S-ia.y trans-
continental trip so there was little loss among the vine-ripened fruit. Most
of the melons were in good condition even 4 or 5 days after arrival. This good
keeping quality is one of the "best characteristics of the new variety.
But the quality of this variety which has caused its immediate popularity
is its resistance to powdery milder; — the cantaloup disease that almost
destroyed the cantaloup industry in the Imperial Valley and prompted the 10-ycar
breeding program that produced the new variety.
You may be interested to know the history of No, U5. Federal and State
scientists took a melon variety from. India which was no good for eating but was
resistant to mildew and crossed it with Hale Best, a desirable American variety,
that had flavor and other fine qualities but could not resist mildew. Back-
crossing on Hale Best and several generations of selection finally produced
Cantaloup No. 50 which proved itself excellent for shipping quality. Four more
generations of selective breeding produced No. U5, which you will be seeing at
your market this year when cantaloup season opens.
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