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» May 19, 2010 «
Rice farmers are hustling to prepare their fields for planting because of wet spring weather. Planting has fallen as much as three weeks behind. Farmers want to have their rice planted by the end of May to assure it reaches its full potential. Rice is typically planted by air, and pilots and airplanes from other states and other sections of California are joining the efforts to get the Sacramento Valley rice crop planted as quickly as possible.
Cherry growers are concerned about the volcanic ash clouds that closed airports in the United Kingdom again this week. That nation is buying more California cherries this year because Spanish farmers lost much of their cherry crop to frost. The California Cherry Export Association reports it was told by its export shipping company that some air shipments of cherries destined for the United Kingdom have been delayed. Although the airports have reopened, there is concern that winds could again shift the volcanic ash cloud over Britain.
California-grown asparagus will be available for consumers for several more weeks. Growers say they will be harvesting at least until mid-June. How long the season will last depends on how hot temperatures get and how the plants survive the heat. Switzerland is the biggest importer of California asparagus. This year California shippers were concerned about volcanic ash delaying airplanes. However, planes have arrived in the Swiss republic on a regular basis.
Blueberry growers say their harvest is later than average this year. Farmers in San Diego and Kern counties have been able to market blueberries since last month. However, farmers farther north in the San Joaquin Valley have been delayed because of colder weather. The California Blueberry Commission says harvest is about two weeks behind average. Growers are hoping predicted warmer temperatures for this week will allow them to harvest larger quantities of fruit later this week.Top