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» April 10, 2006 «
They're disappointed that the U.S. Senate failed to finish work on immigration reform before its two-week break ... but farm groups say they're convinced progress has been made on the path to comprehensive reform. California Farm Bureau President Doug Mosebar said (Friday) his organization will work "as long as it takes to achieve meaningful reform." Farm Bureau has pressed Congress for a plan that combines enhanced border enforcement with a flexible guestworker program.
Neighbors helped neighbors along the San Joaquin River (Friday), as farmers and ranchers sought higher ground to move livestock away from rising waters. The evacuation of dairy and beef cattle began even before water overtopped a levee near Newman. Staff members of the San Joaquin Farm Bureau worked the phones to help farmers find short-term homes for their animals. Farmers try to move their cattle before pastures flood, to avoid stress for the animals.
Early varieties of tree fruit such as apricots, peaches, plums and nectarines have been pummeled by cold, wet weather during bloom. Farmers say the early varieties will likely produce a light crop this year. But they say they retain higher hopes for later tree-fruit varieties. Those trees bloomed under more favorable conditions, but still remain vulnerable to damage from weather. Rain during bloom can hurt blossoms and discourage bees from pollinating the trees.
"Your guess is as good as mine" ... that's how prune farmers respond when asked how their crop is developing. Rain throughout an extended bloom period leaves farmers concerned about how many prunes their tress will produce. Farmers say they may not know until early June, whether bees have had enough of a chance to pollinate the trees between rainstorms. Prune farmers have had two poor harvest seasons in a row, and hope to avoid a third.Top