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» April 27, 2006 «
Rain along the Central Coast created more troubles for some farmers. Strawberry and vegetable growers in Santa Barbara County were recovering from earlier rainfall, and may now have additional crop damage. It will be several days before farmers determine how extensive the damage is. Winegrape growers say their vineyards are two weeks later than average, thus blossoms escaped any damage. Cattle ranchers welcome the added moisture for range grasses and stock ponds.
Months of cool, rainy weather have slowed production of California nursery crops and dampened their sales. A spokesman for one of the state's largest nurseries said their crops are about one month behind average, and sales have been running 25 to 30 percent below average so far this year. Nursery growers say they hope the return of more seasonal spring weather will sprout renewed interest in gardening and plant purchases.
California maintained its status as the nation's most prolific flower grower in 2005, though a federal report says sales dropped from the previous year figures. The state's floral crops were valued at just over $1 billion last year, down three percent from the 2004 figure. The value of California's cut flowers also decreased slightly last year, to $289 million.
California apple growers are anxiously waiting to see how large their crop is. The bloom was late and some orchards had rain. Farmers say it will be about three weeks before they can tell how effective the bees were in pollinating the fruit. Overall, growers with Fuji apples think their crop will be below average. The other varieties may have a better outlook, according to the California Apple Commission.Top