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» October 11, 2005 «
California navel orange harvest will start about two weeks later than average. However the crop is developing well and more useable fruit should be available this year. Fruit for the first harvest should be ready about October 24. Last year crews were already harvesting at this time of month. If oranges have the proper color and sugar content by that date consumers should begin to see California naval oranges in retail stores about November 1.
Pinot Noir winegrape growers report production varies depending on location. All say quality is excellent. However, some such as those on the west end of the Alexander Valley say the crop is lighter because of rain at bloom time, and more fog during the summer. But, on the east end of the valley and in the Russian River Valley there wasn't as much rain and more sun so the vines produced a better size crop. Vintners say the 2005 crop should produce excellent quality wine.
There's a repeat champion in the Half Moon Bay World Championship Pumpkin Weigh-off. Joel Holland of Puyallup, Washington entered a record tying 1,229 pound pumpkin. Second place went to Leonardo Urena of Napa. San Mateo County Farm Bureau is one of the sponsors of the annual event. John Muller of San Mateo County and Mike Pezzini of Monterey County shared most beautiful pumpkin prize. The pumpkins will be on display this week at the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival.
Government figures show cattle and calf numbers in California feedlots are 2 percent higher than a year ago. Red meat production in August was about 11 percent more than in July and 5 percent higher than a year ago. Demand remains strong, and the California Beef Council says prices continue at a profitable level for all segments of the cattle-raising sector of the economy. Ranchers have increased heifer retention indicating that more beef will be available for market in the future.Top