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» March 31, 2010 «
California apple growers hope no additional light brown apple moths are found in growing regions. Last summer, Mexico stopped all California apple imports for a time because of concern about the moth. Negotiations between governments and the California Apple Commission resulted in Mexico accepting California apples from counties that are not under quarantine. Apples from San Joaquin County cannot be shipped to Mexico, even though the light brown apple moths were found in urban areas and not near apple orchards.
California asparagus growers are in full harvest operation to fill the demand for the Easter holiday. The California Asparagus Commission says prices farmers earn are good right now, as retailers stock up for the Easter consumer demand for fresh asparagus. Workers can continue to pick asparagus even if the predicted rain falls. Much of asparagus for Easter is already headed to stores. Weather in California asparagus growing regions has been ideal so far, and the quality is reported as excellent.
Pollination of date trees in the Coachella Valley and other California growing regions is under way. Farm workers called palmeros pollinate the blossoms by hand. This work will continue for another two to three weeks. After pollinating the blossoms, the palmeros put paper bags over them to keep the pollen from blowing away. Temperatures have been in the 80 degree range, which is perfect for date trees this time of year. Farmers expect a good crop. Harvest of the dates usually begins in late September.
Better markets and an improved water outlook will lead California farmers to plant more cotton this spring. Farmers may plant about 300,000 acres of cotton this spring or about 50 percent more than last year. The cotton cooperative Calcot says it has been too cold to start planting thus far and that accurate numbers of planted acreage won't be available until mid-April. Cooler temperatures are in the forecast for the rest of this week, which will further delay cotton planting.Top