Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityFarmers' Washington trip to press for a temporary-worker program
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» October 2, 2007 «
Family farmers and farmworker representatives return to Washington today (Tuesday) to reinforce the need for a reformed temporary-worker program for agriculture. A measure known as AgJOBS would allow people to enter the United States legally to perform farm work. It was included in a comprehensive immigration-reform bill that stalled this summer. But backers say they still hope for congressional passage of the AgJOBS bill this year.
The worst weather for almond farmers this time of year is rain … but that's just what some have seen. Showers in the Central Valley the past couple of weeks have dampened orchards, and that could affect the quality of their almonds. The nuts have been placed on the ground in rows, waiting to be picked up and taken to packing facilities. Almonds could be vulnerable to mold, so farmers hope for enough dry weather between showers. Forecasters predict a record crop from the state's almond orchards.
Rain that fell yesterday (Monday) on Sacramento Valley rice fields slowed harvest for a while, but farmers expected to resume as soon as the rain stopped. They say fields didn't get muddy enough to slow harvest much. A government report indicates the rice harvest has reached the halfway point. In tomato fields, farmers watch for any sign of fungal disease brought by the damp weather. Sacramento Valley farmers who grow processing tomatoes could finish their harvest by the end of the week.
Monday marked the start of a new year for California water managers, who hope to have more precipitation to measure in the coming 12 months. Statewide rain and snowfall during the just-concluded water year totaled less than two-thirds of average, according to the state Department of Water Resources. That led to cuts in water supplies for many people. The state says long-term forecasts indicate a wetter winter for Northern California, but continued dry times in the south.Top