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» November 19, 2007 «
Farmers whose crops and property suffered when fires whipped through Southern California last month learned about relief programs at a "town hall" meeting in Escondido (Friday). For example, federal agencies announced more than $6 million in specific fire relief. Farmers can apply for the money to help control erosion, repair irrigation systems and remove debris. State agencies also detailed programs available to help farmers, ranchers and nursery owners recover.
You can tell what week it is, by looking at the specials in supermarket produce sections. A survey of produce advertising shows widespread specials on Thanksgiving-related items such as sweet potatoes, celery and cranberries. The government report says many stores promote free or discounted turkeys and hams with a minimum purchase of other items. There are also what the report calls "an abundance of holiday bouquets and plants" being advertised.
With the almond harvest nearly complete, observers say it could reach the record predicted this summer by government forecasters. By this time in the year, there are just a few orchards holding almonds that need to be gathered, mostly those where the end of harvest may have been delayed by rain. When final volume figures are tallied, analysts say the California almond crop could achieve the forecast of 1.3 billion pounds … and that nut quality has been high.
Wine research at the University of California will benefit from a $12.5 million gift. UC Davis announced (Friday) it had received the gift from the estate of Louise Rossi, who died this year at age 99. The Rossi family grew grapes in the Napa Valley for nearly a century. The university said the gift will pay for "high-priority research projects" aimed at improving sustainable production practices and enhancing grape and wine flavor.Top