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» November 21, 2005 «
There are fewer farmworkers employed in California compared to a year ago, according to quarterly federal report. The report cites tightened border security and higher demand from the construction industry as reasons for the decline. Workers with green cards who live in Mexico and work in California experience long waits to cross the border. The report says that some fruit and vegetable growers have allowed acreage to remain unharvested because of the shortage.
Hurricane damage in Florida means higher demand for California-grown grapefruit. County agricultural commissioners say it is too early to determine if additional acreage may be planted in California. But observers say damage to Florida grapefruit groves may be longer-lasting than first thought, because hurricane winds spread two crop diseases to wider areas of the state. Two-thirds of California-grown grapefruit comes from Riverside County.
Thanksgiving will bring increased sales of California wine. Marketers say chardonnay is one of the most popular varieties for the holiday. However, wine experts say many consumers also purchase red varieties, such as pinot noir or merlot, and sparkling wines. Wine from this year's grapes is still developing, but experts say it should be an outstanding vintage. Cool weather allowed the grapes to develop flavor before the sugar content reached harvest stage.
Several California supermarket chains are promoting beef for Thanksgiving dinner. The California Beef Council says this is a niche type of market. Retailers promote beef to smaller families who may want smaller-sized entrees for the holiday dinner. The council says most of the stores advertise beef as a secondary promotion to the traditional Thanksgiving turkey.Top