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» October 25, 2007 «
There's a long list of Southern California crops and commodities potentially affected by wildfires and windstorms. But farmers, ranchers and nursery owners say it remains too early to tell how extensive the damage will be. Many farmers, ranchers and their employees remain evacuated and unable to gauge damage to their crops. Commodity organizations report losses to avocado groves, plant nurseries, winegrape vineyards, egg ranches and other types of farms.
They know their pastureland has been damaged, but Southern California cattle ranchers still don't know how their animals fared during the wildfires. Ranchers have not yet been able to check their land, or their herds. They expect it will be several days before they're able to learn how many animals may have been lost to the fires. But ranchers say whatever forage plants remained after a dry summer have been scorched by the fires.
The coastal location of Southern California strawberry fields has kept them shielded from wildfires, but farmers must nurture their plants through the hot, dry weather. The California Strawberry Commission says farmers make sure to provide just enough irrigation water to help their plants. The commission says plants now being grown will provide strawberries at Christmastime, and it expects no adverse impact on supplies.
The light brown apple moth quarantine in Napa County has been lifted. That allows grape growers and other affected farmers to sell and ship their crops freely. The quarantine was imposed last May when two moths were discovered in Napa County, and was lifted after no additional moths were found. State officials say quarantines may soon be lifted in other regions where only a few insects were found. The light brown apple moth threatens a large number of crops and native plants.Top