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» September 27, 2006 «
Growing consumption by young adults provides optimism for people in the wine business ... and an analyst who conducts an annual survey calls the wine sector "basically healthy." University of California professor Robert Smiley will release his full survey tomorrow (Thursday). He says that farmers, wineries and marketers are working through a global oversupply of wine, but that increasing domestic and worldwide consumption will help absorb the excess.
With less than two months to Thanksgiving, turkey producers are gearing up for the annual rush. The California Poultry Federation says turkeys will be in plentiful supply ... but that consumers who want birds raised in California might want to check with retail stores early. Growers lost some turkeys to the July heat, and Californians always eat more turkeys at the holiday than the state's farmers produce. Turkeys grown in other states are brought into California to make up the difference.
Above-average early autumn temperatures have delayed vegetable planting in the Imperial Valley. Temperatures have been running five to seven degrees above average. Lettuce, broccoli and other vegetable seeds may not germinate if temperatures are too warm. But the warm temperatures are helping the melon crop, as growers continue harvesting. The valley has produced a high-quality melon crop, in part because of fewer problems with an insect pest known as the whitefly.
Chestnut growers say their harvest has started, a little earlier than average. Chestnuts were one crop not slowed by the wet, cool spring weather ... and farmers say it doesn't look as if the extreme July heat caused any damage, either. Chestnuts drop to the ground when ready, and workers walk through the orchard gathering them. Many chestnuts are sold at farmers' markets or directly to consumers from the chestnut farm. It will be several weeks before harvest ends.Top