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» March 8, 2005 «
As gasoline prices rise, diesel fuel prices go up along with them ... just as farmers in Northern and Central California prepare to plant their crops. Rice and cotton farmers say fuel-price hikes have become a regular feature at planting season. It's the time of year when those farmers typically see their peak fuel demands. Experts say farmers can maximize the fuel efficiency of farm equipment by making sure tires are properly inflated and taking other steps.
Exports of American dairy products surged to a record last year, according to a new report. The U.S. Dairy Export Council says export values rose 39 percent, to nearly $1.5 billion. The council cites strong worldwide demand for the increase, along with a commitment by American suppliers to serve foreign markets. Sales of cheese and skim-milk powder jumped sharply, with Mexico the main foreign customer for both.
As they prepare for an important demand period, California strawberry growers say production is rebounding rapidly from earlier slowdowns. Clear, warm weather in Southern California will help farmers have plenty of strawberries to sell before Easter. The California Strawberry Commission says growers harvested more than 10 million pounds of berries last week, indicating that production continues to recover from interruptions caused by winter rains.
As the weather warms and fields dry, asparagus growers increase harvest in the San Joaquin Delta region. The California Asparagus Commission says there will be ample supplies of fresh asparagus for Easter. Retailers promote asparagus heavily before the holiday, which comes early this year. Asparagus imports from Mexico have started to wind down, improving demand for the California crop.Top