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» May 11, 2005 «
North coast winegrape growers say their vines will bloom in about two weeks. Farmers did apply materials to limit damage from fungal diseases before the rain hit, or are doing so now. Winter chill hours and other conditions have observers looking for an average size crop this season. Farmers are hoping for warm dry weather in the future to maximize production.
Because foreign markets remain so crucial to American farmers, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johannes says a new free trade agreement represents an important step. Johannes met in Washington yesterday (Tuesday) with California Farm Bureau Federation leaders. He said proposed free trade agreements for Central American nations will benefit U.S. farmers. The California Farm Bureau is among the groups that support that agreement.
Consumers may find Sunkist branded strawberries at retail outlets this summer. The citrus cooperative has contracted with a number of strawberry growers for a million cartons of fruit this year. The new product adds to the diversity of the company's fresh fruit line. Small amounts of raspberries and blackberries are also being added to Sunkist's product list as a test market, but will only be available on a limited basis.
California wineries may begin shipping wine directly to consumers throughout Texas under a law signed by the Texas governor Monday. The new law requires wineries to purchase a shipper's permit and sales tax permit. It allows wineries to send up to three gallons of wine per month to any individual of age in Texas. The wine institute is pleased with the Texas decision to allow out of state wineries direct shipments to consumers.Top