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» December 12, 2005 «
Opening markets for California farm goods will lead to jobs for city residents who ship and market the products ... so many Californians have a stake in world trade talks this week in Hong Kong. California Farm Bureau representatives will be part of an American agricultural delegation monitoring the talks. Analysts consider agricultural issues key to the overall negotiations. American farmers want a global trade agreement that allows them greater ability to sell to foreign customers.
Gasoline and diesel-fuel prices have been declining in California, and experts say more stations will soon be selling gasoline at less than $2.00 a gallon. But the trend toward lower prices may be slowing. Wholesale prices stabilized late last week in response to winter storms back east. California Energy Commission analysts say greater demand for heating oil may push diesel fuel prices upward as well.
Cotton farmers are nearly finished with their harvest, and many say their crop yields have been disappointing. Weather-related problems caused many fields to produce less cotton per acre than expected. Government forecasters reduced their estimate of California's cotton crop, in a report issued Friday. Some farmers are going through their fields a second time, harvesting as much cotton as they can in an effort to improve yields.
Autumn sweet-corn supplies continue to be affected by hurricanes. Although some sweet corn is being harvested in the Imperial Valley now, most corn comes from Southern Florida at this time of year. But the Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association says volume has been below average because of Hurricane Wilma, which hit corn-growing regions. Hurricane damage to Florida orange groves may also affect orange-juice prices this winter.Top