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» November 30, 2006 «
Strong winds may bring crop damage to Southern California coastal farms. Forecasters warn farmers to expect high winds today (Thursday) and tomorrow (Friday), with gusts as high as 60 miles an hour in some regions. Lemon and avocado growers with fruit on trees may see losses, as wind blows fruit to the ground. The wind may also scar lemons. Farmers can do little to protect against wind damage to their crops.
In the Central Valley, farmers continue to protect their crops from frost. Cold overnight temperatures remain likely in the region through tomorrow (Friday) night. No damage has been reported to citrus fruit so far. Farmers operate wind machines and irrigate their orchards to protect the fruit. Late-maturing navel oranges and valencia oranges have the greatest risk, because the sugar content of the fruit has not risen enough to insulate it from cold temperatures.
To sustain their bees through the winter, beekeepers locate their hives in warmer locations that offer protection from wind. In colder weather, the bees are not as active and keep each other warm. Beekeepers say temperatures in the upper 20s, as reported in parts of the Central Valley, aren't cold enough for concern. The bees feed on honey stored over the summer, and some beekeepers provide sugar syrup to feed the bees in case the honey runs out.
With the peak demand season now behind them, brussels sprouts farmers say they've had a good year for production so far. Most brussels sprouts come from Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties, where growers usually start harvest in late summer and finish about mid-January. Farmers describe the quality of this year's production as excellent. Demand for brussels sprouts peaks just before Thanksgiving, and also rises for Christmas and New Years.Top