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» August 22, 2007 «
With the last big grilling weekend of summer coming at the end of the month, consumers should find good supplies of beef at favorable prices for Labor Day. The California Beef Council says wholesale prices have been declining. That should allow retailers to offer popular cuts of beef on sale for the holiday weekend. On the longer term, a beef council spokeswoman says drought in much of the country has slowed expansion of cattle herds, which would affect beef supplies in future years.
Some of California's early rice varieties may be ready to harvest by the end of the month. Analysts estimate farmers will produce about 4 percent more rice in the state this year. Growers can expect an average yield of 8,000 pounds of rice per acre. Farmers agree the crop looks good and say weather has been favorable, but many report finding more weeds in their fields than they would like. California ranks second in the nation in rice production.
Brussels sprouts farmers along the Central Coast say they're pleased by the quality of their crop. Volume is up and demand has been good. Because brussels sprouts grow in counties where the light brown apple moth has been found, farmers have signed compliance agreements with government inspectors. That allows them to ship their brussels sprouts domestically and to Canada. Inspectors check packing sheds monthly to make sure the insects haven't taken up residence.
Sweet potato harvest is well underway in Central California. Farmers say they're harvesting good-sized sweet potatoes, and that the potatoes are still growing. Cooler-than-average nights slowed crop development, but most fields are now ready. Farmers say they'll continue to harvest sweet potatoes at least until the end of October. All of the harvest now goes directly to market. Later, some will go into cold storage for sale next spring.Top