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» January 28, 2005 «
Farmers along California's Central Coast fear there may be a supply gap of vegetables in March and April. The wet weather has slowed their field operations, and many vegetable crops were not planted in time for them to reach market stage by then. Growers usually have lettuces, broccoli and specialty items like bok choy in the March and April time frame, but say they've not yet been able to plant.
Southern California strawberry growers say their production is almost back to normal for this time of year. Rain in early January destroyed ripe fruit, but seems to have benefited most of the plants, which are now producing beautiful strawberries. But, even as workers pick, farmers are watching weather forecasts, which predict additional rain this weekend. Light rain wouldn't be a problem, but heavier precipitation could delay production again for a time.
National dietary guidelines have been released by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. They suggest Americans eat more fruits and vegetables, along with low fat dairy products. The department says the results are based on science. Local professionals involved in nutrition and health say their programs already emphasize what the guidelines suggest, so they won't change, but will encourage more Americans to follow new guidelines.
A new state water plan will emphasize regional water management, with reduced reliance on state or federal projects. An official with the state Department of Water Resources said yesterday (Thursday), that a new draft of the plan should be released this spring. The official told the California Irrigation Institute annual meeting that the plan recommends local and regional plans and projects to meet the states water needs.Top