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» January 20, 2005 «
The foggy, chilly weather blanketing California's Central Valley will help the region's orchards produce nuts and fruits this summer. The trees need a certain amount of "chill hours" each winter for an ideal bloom. For example, cherries need nearly 12-hundred hours of temperatures below 45 degrees, and the California Cherry Commission says they are well on their way. Cherries are one of the last tree crops to bloom and are the first to ripen.
Two of the world's top cotton-producing nations made significant year-end purchases of California cotton. The marketing cooperative Calcot says it closed deals with buyers in both China and India. The co-op says mills in both nations needed the top-quality cotton produced in California. Rapid expansion of textile mills in China has led to increasing sales there. Most cotton produced in California is ultimately sold overseas.
As raisin marketers develop new ways for bakers and other food manufacturers to use the crop, federal regulators have smoothed the way for another raisin product. The Treasury Department ruled this week that wine made from raisins may be labeled "dessert wine." It acted on a petition from a Texas company that wants to produce raisin wine. The California Raisin Marketing Board says there's already a British brewery selling raisin beer in Europe.
For better bones, get off the couch and grab some calcium-rich food. A California-based research team found that young women who spent fewer hours watching television as children had better bone health. Eating plenty of calcium-rich food as teenagers also improved the bone-health scores of young women. The study was one of a series, designed to determine how eating patterns and exercise habits affect bone health.Top