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» December 21, 2006 «
President Bush has renewed his call for comprehensive immigration reform that includes a way for people to enter the country legally for temporary work. The president told a news conference yesterday (Wednesday) that he will work with the new Congress to pass a bill next year. Some California farmers have lost crops because of trouble hiring enough harvest help. Farmers say they favor a program that combines border enforcement with improved guestworker programs.
Now that the California cotton harvest has ended, farmers report better yields than they saw a year ago. But they say they didn't harvest as much cotton per acre as they expected from early season surveys. Late planting, caused by wet spring weather, likely affected the crop. So did the extended heat spell in July. Some fields had rain in September that also reduced cotton yields.
A cold snap in the California desert probably won't bother the last dates that remain to be harvested. Because of their sugar and fiber content, dates can withstand temperatures as low as 18 degrees, for short periods of time. Temperatures never got that cold in the Indio area, where most dates grow, and analysts say the fruit escaped damage. This year's harvest has nearly ended, with the remaining dates due to be picked by shortly after New Year's Day.
Your aunt in Florida may mean well if she sends you citrus fruit for the holidays, but federal inspectors warn that no Florida fruit can be sent to California or other citrus-growing states. That's because of a plant disease known as citrus canker that has affected trees in Florida. To prevent spread of the disease, authorities have imposed new shipping rules. Any Californian who receives Florida citrus fruit should not open it, and should contact the county agricultural commissioner.Top