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» September 22, 2005 «
Even though heavy rain fell in sporadic locations of the San Joaquin Valley where almonds and walnuts are produced, experts believe damage will be light. Some almond growers around Turlock and Modesto did have nuts on the ground and rainfall amounts ranged from a quarter to half an inch. But, with forecasts for dry weather over the next several days farmers can salvage most of the crop using their normal cultural practices. Nuts that were still on the trees escaped damage.
San Joaquin Valley grape growers' options with Thompson seedless grapes are dwindling. Allied Grape Growers says wineries have not yet started to purchase grapes. Farmers trying to decide whether to harvest for raisins or wine are in a difficult situation. Labor is in short supply as are paper trays for raisins. Mature grapes can remain on the vines only a short time before they lose quality for either wine or raisins. Growers' optimism for a good year is waning.
California's dairy sector generated more than $47 billion in economic activity last year, according to a study by the California Milk Advisory Board. The study shows that economic sector created 434,000 full time jobs in 2004. The heart of the dairy industry is now in the Central Valley with Tulare County as the leading producer. The study projects the dairy sector of the economy to continue to grow.
Now that fall has arrived, San Joaquin Valley alfalfa growers are seeing an easing of pressure from armyworms--crop-munching insects that have targeted alfalfa all summer. Growers also had to deal with a greater influx of weeds brought on by heavy spring rains. Alfalfa growers get at least eight cuttings in the southern SJV and some dairy producers actually harvest year-round if they have a non-dormant variety, so monitoring for potential insect and disease problems is a year-round task.
On the Calendar:
The Tehama District Fair starts a four-day run today (Thursday) in Red Bluff.