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» April 11, 2006 «
Floodwater poured into a San Joaquin County vineyard when a private levee failed yesterday (Monday). The California Department of Water Resources says the vineyard along the Mokelumne River was under six feet of water. Along the San Joaquin River, flood control officials say the crest of water is moving slower than predicted. Storms that once aimed at Central California now appear to be headed north, which could ease pressure on streams in the middle of the state.
A virtual halt to the navel orange harvest has resulted from the frequent spring rains. Oranges can withstand the rain, but bruise easily if touched when wet. Some San Joaquin Valley farmers managed to pick fruit during the weekend, as the weather stayed dry for a bit. However, some orange groves remain flooded, and rain returned to the growing regions again yesterday. Growers hope they will be able to pick enough oranges to satisfy contracts.
Dairy cows often give less milk during rainy weather, but that hasn't been the case so far this spring. California milk production continues to increase, and on-farm milk prices continue to drop. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says average prices earned by dairy farmers will decrease another two cents a gallon on May 1st. The price will drop to an average of $1.07 a gallon. The department sets farm milk prices based on markets for dairy products.
Buying locally earns special recognition for restaurants in a Bay Area county. A campaign called "Fresh As It Gets" brings San Mateo County chefs and farmers together. The restaurants purchase fruits, vegetables, cheeses, seafood and other products from local sources. A reception honored more than 30 local restaurants yesterday for participating in the new program. It's a joint venture by the San Mateo County Farm Bureau and the local visitor's bureau.Top