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» May 1, 2007 «
There's lots of talk about immigration reform in Washington these days, and farm groups hope that translates into action by Congress this year. A California Farm Bureau official who's just returned from Washington said he found a general awareness that farmers need help to harvest their crops. Farm groups have been seeking a streamlined temporary-worker program to allow people to enter the country to fill harvest jobs.
The first California-grown cherries of the season should start arriving in supermarkets in two or three weeks. The California Cherry Advisory Board says farmers have started picking ripe cherries. The harvest began slowly in Kern County, as rain hurt some of the fruit and then hot weather this past weekend slowed its development. Early reports indicate that fruit quality will be good.
Surveyors will return to the Sierra today (Tuesday) to find out how much remains of a snowpack that was already below average. State water officials said yesterday (Monday) that they're also concerned by dry conditions in the Colorado River Basin. The Colorado is a significant source of water for Southern California, but has had below-average precipitation for seven of the past eight years. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation estimates runoff into the Colorado River will be about 70 percent of average.
It's tree-planting season in California timber country. Tree farmers are planting millions of seedlings across the state to replace trees that were harvested or burned last year. It's a process timber producers go through yearly. They plant seedlings when soil moisture is favorable, giving the young trees the best chance to grow. Southern California growers were hesitant to plant because it has been so dry. But a storm last month provided enough moisture for tree planting.Top