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» April 4, 2007 «
As legislators in the United States and South Korea prepare to discuss a free-trade agreement between the two nations, analysts say the agreement could provide new opportunities for California farmers and ranchers. A California Farm Bureau trade specialist says the agreement could reduce the tariff barriers that Korea imposes on California-grown oranges and other fruits and vegetables. The agreement's provisions on rice and beef remain areas of contention.
Conditions appear in place for a heavy California olive crop. Farmers prune their trees before bloom to help the trees produce large-sized olives, which marketers prefer. The Olive Growers Council says trees are starting to bloom and that orchards appear ready to bounce back from the light crop they produced a year ago. California farms are the source of nearly all domestically grown olives.
You may not have noticed it, but the January freeze caused a gap in supply of California-grown lemons. Imported lemons from Spain made up the difference. The citrus cooperative Sunkist Growers says there could be another supply gap in August, when the lemon harvest turns to growing regions in the California desert. At that time, it's again possible that imported lemons will be brought in, to make up for the missing California fruit.
Storms continue to bypass the Colorado River Basin. As a result, the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has reduced its forecast for water runoff. The bureau now projects that April through June runoff will be about half of average. Southern California farmers and urban regions buy much of their water from Colorado River supplies. Storms in April could still add to the potential runoff, as has happened in the past.Top