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» October 17, 2006 «
Consumers in Mexico appear to have discovered Pink Lady apples, and that's good news for California farmers. The California Apple Commission says demand for the apples has been strong this season, and that includes a spike in sales to Mexico. California farmers have shipped 40,000 boxes of Pink Lady apples to Mexico this season, compared to 18,000 sold in the last three years, combined. Harvest of Pink Lady apples continues in the Central Valley.
It's a wait-and-see situation for farmers in Imperial County, as they contemplate how much spinach to plant and harvest this fall. So far, observers say, farmers are planting about half the spinach they usually do. Imperial Valley farmers were not harvesting spinach when the market closed last month, and they're unsure about demand now that markets have reopened. Some newly planted spinach in the Imperial Valley has already emerged, as the crop proceeds toward harvest in December.
Carefully reading historic weather records can help farmers predict their crop yields, according to a new study. California-based researchers compared yields for a dozen of the state's key crops with weather data going back 24 years. From that, they have created statistical models that they say can predict harvest yields. The researchers say the weather-based forecasts can provide reliable information to farmers earlier in the growing season.
Crops being grown in the southern San Joaquin Valley may have avoided damage from rain that reached the area late last week. The Kern County agricultural commissioner's office says nuts were on the ground in the region's almond orchards, but that almonds seem to have escaped serious damage. Most raisin growers have picked up their trays and thus also avoided big problems. The rain further delayed cotton harvest, which is already behind schedule.Top