November 10, 2017
Rob Lowe is the host of the prominent “Success Files” television series. The program discusses areas that touch everyone in today’s society. Thus, in a recent episode, the famous actor and philanthropist will focus on date farming since agriculture is a very important aspect of our society.
Dates are a sweet fruit from the Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera L.). Throughout history, dates are the oldest fruits known to have been cultivated by man. Date palms originated in the arid regions of the Middle East. For thousands of years, dates have been cultivated as a staple food while the palm offered many uses including making household items such as ropes, baskets, lumber, needles, thread and many others. Today, there are an estimated 3000 date palm cultivars worldwide. However, the ‘Medjool’ and the ‘Deglet Noor’ are the most widely grown varieties in the US and are the most popular in the global market. In the United States, California is the largest date-producing state generating more than 90% of the US dates. The largest production area is the Coachella Valley of Southern California. Dates are also cultivated in Arizona and southern Florida, Nevada, Southern Utah, and Texas on a smaller scale. Eqypt is the largest dates’ producer worldwide. Other top producers include Iran, Saudi Arabia, Algeria, and Iraq.
Date palms thrive in hot and arid climates. The palms may grow up to 100 feet and can produce fruits commercially for more than 40 years. Date palms are dioecious- they have separate female and male trees. Thus, natural pollination is not efficient, and artificial pollination is often practiced. Dates are commonly sold either ripe or unripe in farm stands, farmer’s markets or online. They can be dried or be made into products such as syrup, concentrates, baked good, pastes and much more. Although sweet, dates have…