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» March 30, 2006 «
Under the theme "Creating Healthy Choices," Governor Schwarzenegger and more than 2,000 participants celebrated farming and ranching during the annual Ag Day celebration at the state Capitol yesterday (Wednesday). The governor encouraged people to incorporate California-grown foods into a healthy lifestyle that also includes regular exercise. During the celebration, visitors sampled California farm goods and toured a model school garden on the Capitol grounds.
Add lettuce to the list of California crops being slowed by cool, rainy March weather. Salinas Valley farmers have been planting lettuce during the wet weather, in anticipation of harvest later this spring. They say cool temperatures have pushed the plants at least a week behind in their development. The only cure will be warmer weather. Farmers say a supply gap could develop if Salinas Valley lettuce isn't ready when Central Valley growers finish their harvest.
The cool spring has extended vegetable harvest in the Imperial Valley. Spurred by higher demand for broccoli, lettuce and other vegetables, farmers are harvesting some fields they once considered abandoning. Most vegetable harvest usually shifts to the Central Valley by this time of year, but cold temperatures have slowed crop development there. Rain hasn't yet been a problem in Imperial County. But melon growers say rain now could damage immature melons.
A new, interactive Web page helps prune growers know when to treat their orchards for a disease spread by rain. University of California specialists developed the program, to aid control of the tree disease known as brown rot. Farmers can enter information about their orchards on the Web page. The program determines when farmers should treat their orchards, based on temperatures and moisture levels. Brown rot can ruin most of the fruit in a prune orchard if not controlled.Top