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» October 21, 2008 «
California apple growers have about another month left in harvest season. The California Apple Commission says the Pink Lady variety is now being sent to market. Gala and Fuji apples are also being harvested. Quality is reported as excellent and the fruit has sized well so consumers should find lots of large size apples. Demand for apples remains good both domestically and for export. Mexico and Southeast Asia are the top two export markets.
Tainted milk in China may help open that nation's markets to California dairy products. A California trade mission departs for China next month to talk with Chinese leaders about increasing California's export trade. As China's economy grows, consumers there could afford California cheese and other processed milk products. Increased dry milk exports to some other Pacific Rim countries is also possible as a result of Chinese milk products being contaminated with the chemical melamine.
For the first time this year, National Weather Service meteorologists are discussing the possibility of a wet winter. A weather phenomenon called the Madden-Julian Oscillation seems to be developing in the Indian Ocean. In the past, this system has generated wet storms for California. The weather service is discussing the potential of these storms developing in November, providing a wetter than average fall. As all reservoirs in the state have little water in storage, there is ample room for storm runoff.
Wheat plant breeders have a new tool to sort seed. Research scientists have developed a high-speed sorting device that will allow kernel sorting at 30 kernels per second. At that speed, the breeders will be better able to select seed to develop new varieties of wheat. Improved wheat varieties in the long term could increase production, which could lower consumer costs for end products such as bread or pasta.Top