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» October 16, 2006 «
A combination of problems for crops in California, Florida and Mexico means that supplies of fresh tomatoes remain at low levels nationwide. People in the tomato business say it may be next month before supplies improve. Tomato fields in California took a big hit from the July heat wave, and fields in Mexico have suffered from disease problems. Florida farmers usually begin shipping tomatoes around now, but their crops have been delayed and reduced by crop disease.
The fall flush of artichokes has ended for this year. Consumers will still find artichokes in retail stores, though supplies won't be quite as plentiful. Farmers harvest artichokes year-round, but production surges each spring and fall. Production this year has been above average, and that could continue into the fall. Harvest volumes depend on weather, because artichokes do not like rain.
From "San Diego Grown 365" in the south to "Lake County Farmers Finest" in the north ... and in many locations in between ... California farmers have banded together to promote locally grown products to local consumers. A University of California study says the regional marketing programs appear to strengthen farm businesses and communities. The study surveyed a dozen regional programs, mainly in coastal and foothill counties.
As they expected, officials have found fewer cases of West Nile virus among California horses this year. In other states, the number of cases has dropped in the third year of outbreaks, and that's been true in California. In all, 52 cases of equine West Nile virus have been reported, and 23 horses have died. At this same time last year, the disease had killed nearly 200 horses. Veterinarians urge horse owners to vaccinate their animals.Top