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» March 22, 2005 «
Lemons like rain. As a result there are plenty of large size lemons this year. Production has shifted to Ventura County where growers are getting better prices this year in part because of a freeze in Spain. That has left the East Coast and Canadian markets to Ventura County producers. Growers in the desert regions left the market early because hot temperatures at bloom time last spring made their crop light this year. Ventura County is the only U.S. production area harvesting lemons, but supplies are sufficient to satisfy demands.
Farm milk prices will be virtually the same on April 1. The California Department of Food and Agriculture says the statewide average price per gallon will remain at about $1.40. Cheese prices dropped, but butter prices increased along with powdered milk which kept the price steady under the complex formula used to set milk prices. This follows a seven cent increase on March 1. Retail prices are not set by the state agency.
Rain and cooler temperatures have definitely slowed asparagus harvest in the Sacramento/San Joaquin delta. Rain has been light, but cool temperatures, especially in the evening have slowed asparagus growth. The week before Easter is when growers know they can sell everything they can pick, thus this weather is disappointing. However, consumers should find plenty of asparagus at retail outlets as supplies are being shipped from cold storage.
Almond farmers have formed a task force to provide answers to questions regarding availability of bees for pollination in the future. Projections are for 750,000 acres of almonds in future production. At three hives to the acre, it would require more than two million hives for pollination. Even reducing the number of hives per acre slightly would still require more than half of the beehives in the nation. The task force should provide solutions growers could use.Top