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» July 20, 2005 «
You'll see fewer California-grown pears this summer, as farmers cope with weather factors that reduced the crop. Farmers along the Sacramento River say they're picking less fruit than anticipated. Their counterparts in Lake and Mendocino counties expect an even lighter crop because of damage from spring rain, hail and frost. Marketers say pears that were pollinated during warm weather in early March have grown to large sizes, while those pollinated later have not grown as large.
"Sustainability" has become the byword for researchers and farm advisors throughout the University of California agricultural division. UC said yesterday (Tuesday) that it has formally adopted a "strategic direction" that emphasizes agricultural sustainability. The university says that means it will consider such questions as air and water quality, soil health, land use and quality of life as it researches agricultural and natural-resources issues.
Beef cattle don't eat as much during hot weather, meaning they don't gain weight as fast as normal. That concerns ranchers, but all they can do is to make certain their animals have enough water and ample feed. Thus far, beef prices remain strong after the announcement that the United States would again accept cattle from Canada. The California Beef Council says prices annually drop some in August, and ranchers are anticipating that in their budgets.
Strong, early season demand for sweet potatoes encourages farmers as harvest begins in the Central Valley. The Japanese Yam is the variety being dug up from selected fields, in order to fill orders from retailers. Observers say the general harvest of all sweet potato varieties will begin in about a month. Hot weather doesn't hurt sweet potatoes, as long as fields receive enough irrigation water.
On the Calendar:
The theme is "Blue Jeans and Country Dreams," as the Lassen County Fair opens today (Wednesday) in Susanville.