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» April 10, 2007 «
As President Bush renewed his call for comprehensive immigration reform, California farmers say they want the president and Congress to resolve the issue this year. A California Farm Bureau spokesman says farmers don't know if they'll be able to hire enough people to harvest this year's crops. They seek creation of a temporary-worker program that allows people to enter the country to harvest crops. President Bush said he supports a temporary-worker program, during an appearance in Arizona yesterday (Monday).
Recent warm weather has provided ideal growing conditions for tomatoes. Farmers continue to plant tomatoes in the Central Valley, and observers say production should be on schedule. Harvest from southern San Joaquin Valley fields is expected to start in late June. Processors who make salsa, ketchup and other products hope for a good tomato crop. A poor harvest last year drained carryover supplies of tomato paste.
Continued rain in Texas dampens any prospect of lower retail onion prices anytime soon. Usually onions from Texas fill the market this time of year, but rain has caused crop damage. Onions growing in Georgia and Mexico have also suffered weather problems, and the start of the California harvest has been delayed in the Imperial Valley. The only supplies reaching market now are from storage in the Pacific Northwest.
Despite a surge in California's corn planting, farmers have been able to find all the seed they need. Government estimates indicate there will be 100,000 acres more corn sown in the state than there was a year ago. As a result, marketers say seed for one of the more popular varieties has sold out. But other seed companies still have seed available. Farmers have planted more corn as prices have risen, driven in part by demand for ethanol.Top