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» March 25, 2005 «
Even though Southern California has reported rain, strawberry growers there are continuing harvest. Precipitation wasn't uniform, and some growing areas didn't have rain. The California Strawberry Commission says growers produced 10 million pounds of fruit as of Tuesday this week, and some have been able to continue packing fruit even now. Growers produced more than 40 million pounds last week and that fruit is available to consumers for Easter.
Diesel fuel prices and availability shouldn't be affected in California by the oil refinery fire in Texas, according to the California Energy Commission. Farmers should find fuel for planting but, with crude oil remaining above $50 a barrel, the best that can be expected is stable prices. Gasoline might be affected as the damaged refinery produced two of the chemicals used to blend ethanol into gasoline. But, gasoline inventories are increasing as more refineries come back into production.
A trade delegation of Farm Bureau leaders returned from Japan with ideas about increasing agricultural trade with that nation. Delegation members determined that Japanese consumers seek top quality produce and don't mind paying extra for it. Produce is often given as a gift. The Japanese know California produces high quality food. Now Golden State farmers need to use that information to increase sales to Japan.
The new federal government recommended daily dietary guidelines suggest eating ample amounts of whole grains. California wheat farmers are pleased their produce is getting a boost, and they won't be required to change the varieties they grow. The changes will be made in marketing. For example, whole wheat is low in carbohydrates and bread and pizza made with it has been so advertised. Now, bakers will label the same product whole grain.Top