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» March 26, 2007 «
Sheep ranchers say there will be plenty of lamb available for Easter. That's a traditional major sales time for lamb producers. Growers say dry weather caused them more problems than the cold did. Sheep are able to withstand cold temperatures. But high feed and fuel costs may well cause lamb prices to be higher than average this Easter. Growers are reporting they are receiving somewhat higher prices, offsetting some of their cost increases.
Prune plum farmers are uncertain what size crop they may have this season. The bloom was short due to warm, dry, windy weather, not ideal. The bloom basically came and went over a weekend. The Prune Bargaining Association says how much pollination took place is difficult to determine. Trees had been stressed last summer by intense heat when the buds for this year were forming. Most farmers think the crop will be lighter than last year, but say it will be May before they are more certain about crop size.
Iceberg lettuce is one of America's favorites for salads, burgers and wraps. But, the vegetable is prone to attack from a wide variety of microbes that are harmless to humans but deadly to the vegetable. Scientists have developed a number of parent plants that shrug off attacks by two of the microbial enemies. Those varieties are now in use by farmers. Meantime, scientists continue to work on breeding new parent plants with additional resistance to keep lettuce supplies plentiful and reduce the need for chemical use.
Produce experts say dry onion prices are expected to remain high in retail stores until at least June. Supplies from the Pacific Northwest are shrinking and quality is reported only as fair. Prices will remain high until harvest begins in the San Joaquin Valley. Onions from the California desert are behind scheduled and harvest isn't expected to begin until May. Weather has caused onion crop quality problems in all growing regions, including Texas where the crop was severely damaged.Top