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» May 19, 2005 «
Water allocations have been increased to 85 percent of contracted amounts for farmers south of the Delta. The Bureau of Reclamation says the increase is the result of recent rain in Northern California and the San Joaquin River Basin. That marks a 10 percent increase in the allocations from April. Over the last five years growers have received an average of 66 percent of their contract allocations.
It's safe to say there will be fewer California grown cherries on the market this year. It hasn't rained heavily in the San Joaquin County growing areas this week, but pickers are finding split fruit caused by earlier precipitation. Farmers are having difficulty keeping pickers. Prices are reported as strong, but supplies continue to be light. For cherry farmers this is not a good year. They hope for a better one next season.
Early ripening freestone peaches are slow to reach maturity because of cool temperatures in the growing regions. Federal analysts say ideal weather caused the bloom about a week ahead of normal, but then it cooled. The set was lighter, but that is producing better fruit size. The middle and late season varieties are also expected to ripen later than average because of the cool April and May. Analysts predict production to be about the same as last year.
It's caviar production time on California sturgeon farms. Growers have a two-month window each year to harvest and prepare the eggs for consumers. In the last five years, California has gained a reputation as a major quality caviar producer. Fish farmers say they have enough stock diversity so they no longer need wild fish to broaden the gene pool. Demand increases each year as the economy grows.
On the Calendar:
Things will be hopping at the Calaveras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee, which starts today (Thursday) in Angels Camp. The Chowchilla-Madera County Fair also opens today.