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» April 26, 2006 «
Tree fruit orchards are being thinned in the San Joaquin Valley, damaged fruit is picked and discarded. Farmers are getting a more accurate assessment of damage from hail and other adverse weather. A Kings County grower says area peach, plum and nectarine orchards are maturing two to three weeks later than average, and the overall crop appears lighter, especially later ripening varieties. Farmers are concerned that several fruit varieties might mature at the same time, which could create an oversupply, depressing market prices.
Pistachio trees in the Central Valley have started to bloom. Usually the trees bloom about the first of April, but this year trees are leafing out before the blossoms extending bloom time. As a result farmers are not sure what size crop to expect. This should be the "on" year for the alternate bearing crop, but growers aren't certain about that now. It will be another four to six weeks before crop size can accurately be determined.
An upcoming made for TV movie has poultry farmers concerned. The film is a fictional story about a worldwide outbreak of bird flu in humans. The California Poultry Commission has asked ABC to present a program after the film outlining facts. The commission says poultry farmers have been working to present factual information to the public about precautions they are taking to assure food is safe. Farmers fear the film will inflame the public fears and anxieties about bird flu.
Green, or immature almonds are a delicacy for many ethnic groups in California, but represent a very small portion of the overall almond market. They will be available this year, but are a week to 10 days later than average. Some San Francisco restaurants are offering tastings of the nuts in an effort to expand niche market demand. The nuts must be picked at the right time to insure proper texture and flavor.Top