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» May 17, 2006 «
Consumers have an earful of Southern California sweet corn to choose from. A Coachella Valley farmer says growers have rebounded from a late start, and expect to raise 20 percent more sweet corn, with quality he describes as exceptional. Sweet corn is one of the first spring crops in the Golden State, and demand is expected to rise as Memorial Day approaches. Shoppers have clearly stated their corn preference, as many farmers have shifted to grow almost exclusively white varieties.
Expect to see more fresh grapes on the market this year. According to a forecast from the U.S. Agriculture Department, the nation's production of table grapes will rise 4 percent ... mirroring the expected global increase. China leads the world by far in table-grape production and consumption. The United States consumes about a million tons of table grapes per year, ranking it third behind China and Turkey.
The first commercial plantings of a new grape variety are maturing in California vineyards. Researchers who developed the new variety say it will provide consumers with a sweet-tasting, late-season table grape. Known as the Scarlet Royal, the new grape was developed by plant breeders at a federal research center in the San Joaquin Valley. The dark-red grape will ripen in August. The new grapes remain several years away from reaching market.
A California farm group has received special recognition for its environmental protection efforts. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency honored the California Strawberry Commission, for working with farmers to develop growing practices that help safeguard the earth's ozone layer. The strawberry commission participated in the Climate Tech conference in Washington, D.C., yesterday (Tuesday), a special briefing on the future of climate technology.Top