Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 5, 2006 «
High water will test river channels and levees in much of California, as spring rains continue to fall. Hydrologists from the state Department of Water Resources said yesterday (Tuesday) that they believe most major systems will be able to handle the added water. But a levee on the Cosumnes River failed yesterday, flooding farmland in southern Sacramento County. And flooding threatens land along the upper San Joaquin River, as operators increase releases from Friant Dam.
Timber harvest has slowed and some Northern California lumber-mill workers have been temporarily laid off, because of continued wet weather. Forests throughout the state remain so wet that logging trucks and other machinery can't operate. With no logs coming, some mills have closed until the weather improves. In past years, logging often began about the first of April. But rains delayed the start of last year's work until May 1st, and timber harvesters face similar delays this year.
Sunny weather in the California desert has helped development of the region's melon crops. Temperatures have been cooler than average, but farmers say the plants are doing well. Watermelon growers expect to start harvest next month. Harvest of cantaloupes and honeydew melons has just begun in the Imperial Valley. But farther north, wet weather has prevented watermelon farmers in the Central Valley from working the soil.
Ever wonder why grapes come in different colors? Researchers who have studied the question say they've traced color to a specific gene. That gene causes white grapes to have little color, and also influences the color of red and green grapes. By identifying that gene, scientists say they may be able to breed color-specific grapes or grapes that enhance the quality of wine and juice. Researchers add that the knowledge might allow them to develop grapes with unusual colors.Top