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» October 4, 2006 «
A few farmers started cotton harvest late last week, but have stopped now to let fields dry after the weekend rain. Most growers planned to start this week, but are also now waiting for drier conditions. Thus far no damage has been done to the crop. Most growers now plan to start harvesting next week if dry conditions prevail. Late planting because of wet soil last spring caused harvest operations to begin two weeks later than average.
Ideal weather last month allowed California strawberry growers to continue on a pace to set a new production record. Farmers have produced 12 billion 450 million pounds of strawberries as of October 1 compared to 12 billion 225 million pounds last year at this time. Production is now shifting to Southern California where weather has been perfect so far. There have been additional acres planted in strawberries in southern counties, which could lead to continued production increases the rest of this year.
This is national 4-H week. 4-H is a 100-year-old organization that has more than 130,000 members in California. The young members perform various community service projects, while also working on individual projects. The result is acquiring useful skills for citizenship. The organization began in rural areas to serve children living on farms. However, over the years the organization has broadened its appeal to young people in urban areas as well.
Harvest of the Wonderful variety of pomegranates won't begin until early next week. The crop is looking great with beautiful color. It is a little later than usual as the hot July weather slowed the ripening process. Meantime, early varieties of the fruit are still on the market. Californians can expect to see Wonderful pomegranates in retail stores by the end of next week. Farmers say the crop is average in size, and yield per acre is also expected to be average.Top