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» June 13, 2005 «
Solar panels are producing electric power at PR Farms in Fresno County. The huge project, one of the largest privately financed solar energy systems in the state, will be 100 percent operational next month. When more power is generated than needed its electric meter runs backward as electricity flows onto the grid. It's anticipated the there will be times when more power will be generated than the packing facility can use. More electricity is generated in full sun, which is the general summertime Fresno County weather pattern.
Seventeen California projects to restore critical watersheds will move forward with a grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Natural Resources Conservation Service. The $10.8 million will fund projects such as sediment removal from streambeds and stream bank protection in five counties. Work will improve various watersheds in Ventura, San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange and Riverside counties. The projects will repair damage from various natural disasters.
June 18 is when the final California navel oranges for the season will be picked. Farmers say prices remained good throughout the season. The Valencia crop will be replacing navels on store shelves. Because of reduced acreage, farmers are receiving good prices for the summertime citrus, and because some groves have large fruit farmers are letting the smaller sizes on the trees to grow. The bloom for next year's navel orange crop ended about May 31. That fruit is now developing.
There will be fewer Bartlett pears harvested in California this year. That's the forecast by federal statisticians who predict a crop of 200,000 tons, or 10 percent less than last year. They blame late season rains that have made much of the fruit unmarketable. Farmers in Lake and Mendocino counties say hail rain and cold weather contributed to a decline in their pear production.
On the Calendar:
The Wine Institute opens its annual meeting today (Monday) in San Francisco.