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» April 21, 2010 «
Special license plates that promote California agriculture could appear on vehicles as soon as next year. The state Department of Food and Agriculture has announced the program. Money collected from license plate sales would benefit youth leadership development, career awareness, and training activities primarily serving secondary school students. The state Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing the plates once 7,500 have been ordered. The cost would be $50 more than regular vehicle registration. More information is at www.calagplate.com.
Wet fields cause concern for farmers who raise canning tomatoes. They must apply materials to growing plants to prevent fungal diseases. Growers must also wait for the soil to dry before they can plant more land. Canneries require farmers to deliver tomatoes on set dates. These delays in planting could result in canneries having more tomatoes than they can handle at harvest. Favorable weather later this spring and summer could alleviate that problem.
California-grown sweet corn is now available in retail stores. Farmers in Imperial County started harvesting sweet corn about a week ago. The quality is reported as very good. Volume is increasing and growers are already shipping sweet corn to Hawaii as well as to California stores. Thus far weather in Imperial County has been ideal, warm but not too hot. Farmers say they are earning a good price for their sweet corn. California ranks second in the nation in sweet corn production.
Blueberry growers in Southern California coastal regions have started harvest. Fruit quality is reported as good. Growers in the San Joaquin Valley will probably start about May 1. Consumers should find California-grown blueberries in retail stores now, but volume will increase in May. Farmers say the fruit set was good, but the cooler weather and rain has slowed development. They expect to harvest a larger crop than they did last year. Nationally, California ranks fifth in blueberry production.Top