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» September 28, 2006 «
Within a few years, there may be many more jobs available in farming and related areas than there are qualified candidates to fill them. Leaders in farming, labor and education met in Modesto yesterday (Wednesday) to outline courses of study for agricultural training. Officials say part of the problem may be that students simply are not aware of good-paying jobs in the farm sector. Many job openings will develop in the next several years as those in the Baby Boomer generation retire.
Olive harvest has been underway for about two weeks and farmers say they are not finding much fruit on their trees. In an average year, farmers would harvest about 4 tons of olives from each acre of trees. This year, the average has been only about a quarter ton per acre. Some farmers have so little fruit they are not going to harvest at all. A variety of weather problems during the winter and spring conspired to cut olive production severely.
As they work to harvest this year's crop, California cotton farmers are learning what they earned for last year's production. The Calcot marketing cooperative announced final prices for the 2005 crop at grower meetings this week. It says demand for California cotton has been strong, but that a record U.S. crop depressed farmers' earnings. Calcot notes that the state's cotton farmers have been struggling with profitability for several years.
Demand for bell peppers continues to increase. To enhance pepper production, researchers from California and the Middle East are studying how much irrigation water to give the plants. The idea is to produce nutrient-rich peppers while being as efficient as possible. The researchers are using all three common irrigation types: furrow, surface drip and subsurface drip. They hope to have a guide for farm advisors within a year.Top