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» January 31, 2005 «
Beef producers in San Luis Obispo County say the recent rainstorms were welcome. They report some minor damage with mudslides in the rugged range country, but say the moisture was needed. The rain helped range grasses grow and filled stock ponds that had dried up from recent dry years. Some ranchers say springs that had gone dry have rejuvenated since the rain. They are hoping that source of water will continue.
Rainfall last week was very light in the navel orange growing regions of the Central Valley. Farmers were able to have field crews continue picking fruit. Growers say the harvest is going well and prices are at profitable levels. The export market demand is picking up, although there continue to be difficulties sending fruit to Korea. Demand from the domestic market is good, and consumers should continue to find ample supplies in retail stores.
Analysts of the egg sector of farming say prices remain volatile at the farmgate. This week farmers are receiving an average $0.54/dozen for large eggs. Consumers can compare that with the retail price. But farm prices have been changing dramatically each week. This week's price averages $0.16 higher, but last week the price dropped $0.13 from the week before that. Analysts say a 26-year study shows farmers average a one-cent per dozen profit over that period of time.
Decisions regarding restoration of the San Joaquin River could "have far reaching consequences for California," according to a water users' representative. A federal judge ordered that salmon fisheries on the river be restored to historic levels. The manager of the Friant Water Users Authority, speaking Friday to the California Irrigation Institute conference in Davis, said such a requirement would be difficult or impossible for existing water projects to achieve.Top