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» October 27, 2005 «
Light rain Wednesday in the winegrape growing regions along California's North Coast didn't cause much damage. About 80 percent of the harvest is finished. Farmers who still had chardonnay grapes in the field say they may have lost them, as they are vulnerable to rain. But, the cabernet sauvignon and other late red varietals are hardier. Farmers are concerned about weather forecasts predicting more rain later this week. Growers say they've raised a record-breaking crop, but it remains to be seen if they are able to harvest all of it.
California fresh tomato growers continue harvesting from fields in the Central Valley and Southern California. The California Tomato Commission says so far there has not been a spike in prices as a result of hurricanes damage to the Florida crop. Central Valley farmers will continue harvesting through November. Growers are concerned about possible rain that could damage the crop. Harvest of Southern California red ripe tomatoes usually lasts until the end of December.
A few California growers have started picking navel oranges, however Sunkist Growers says it will be the week of November 14 before fruit in volume arrives at retail stores. Reports from growers are that the crop has excellent color. Government figures say the crop is about two percent lighter than last year. Valencia harvest continues, and that fruit should be available in good volume until the California navels arrive.
Federal figures show California dairy farmers produced about 350 million gallons of milk in September. That's about three percent more than a year ago, but slightly less than the August production level. The monthly per cow average was about five gallons less than August, but three gallons more than a year ago. California continues to lead the nation in milk production, Wisconsin remains second.Top