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» February 3, 2009 «
Southern California avocado growers say recent rain has not been sufficient to allow them to skip one irrigation. With water in short supply growers are irrigating carefully. Some have little fruit on their trees after hot weather at bloom time last year caused some trees not to produce any avocados. Others have a small to average crop. Rain in the forecast for later this week might help, depending on how much rain falls.
February is National Potato Lover's Month. California farmers harvest potatoes throughout the year, but they also have the vegetables in cold storage. Consumers may see various promotions for potatoes this month. Fresh potatoes are coming from Southern California at this time. Growers plant about 41,000 acres in potatoes and earn more than $197 million for their crop. California ranks ninth nationally in potato production and Kern County is the state leader.
Spring lettuce planted in Fresno County has benefited from recent rain and has emerged from the ground in good shape. Less acreage has been planted because of a lack of irrigation water. Government inspectors are still compiling how much lettuce acreage is in the ground. Fields are being prepared for commercial planting of cantaloupe, tomatoes and onions, but acreage for those commodities is expected to be lower. Farmers are planting blueberry and raspberry bushes where adequate water is assured.
A British study shows participants with the highest intake of low-fat dairy products had significantly lower blood pressure readings than did participants with the lowest intake. The study observed almost 2,300 elderly volunteers over a 12-month period. It is thought to be the first study of its kind with humans; however, similar studies with animals produce similar results. Researchers concluded low-fat dairy products could play an important role in prevention and control of hypertension.Top