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» February 7, 2007 «
In spite of recent warm days, almond growers and farm advisors say they think the start of the bloom remains two weeks away. The cold in January kept the trees in a dormant state, from which they are slowly recovering. Those chill hours should encourage an even bloom that would make it easier for farmers to nurture. Almonds are the state's most widely planted orchard crop. Farmers say they don't anticipate problems from rain predicted the next few days in almond-growing regions.
The intense cold of January kept asparagus plants in hibernation, and farmers say the weather for their crop has been ideal so far. The California Asparagus Commission says Mexican farmers dominate the market now, and they should finish harvest about the time most California growers begin. The commission says Imperial County farmers who are harvesting asparagus now lost a few days' production to the freeze, but have seen production recover since then.
As farmers harvest macadamia nuts in San Diego County, they're gauging the impact of the January freeze. Farmers report that some newly planted macadamia trees appear to have succumbed to the cold, but that mature trees came through with relatively minor damage. San Diego is the only California county that reports commercial macadamia nut production. Most growers sell through farmers' markets or have contracts with processors.
According to government figures, the typical American earns enough disposable income in just 36 days to pay for the entire year's food supply. By now, in early February, we've reached that point. Farm Bureau across the country celebrates the milestone as Food Check-Out Week. Analysts say the percentage of disposable income spent on food continues to decline ... even though Americans eat more food away from home and buy more convenience-food items for at-home use.Top