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» November 26, 2007 «
Seed merchants have been scrambling to find enough wheat seed to meet demand from farmers. Strong prices for wheat have encouraged California farmers to plant a lot more. The California Wheat Commission says no seed shortages have been reported, so far, but that demand for seed has increased noticeably. Farmers in the Sacramento Valley have nearly finished wheat planting, and planting will continue for the next month or two in the San Joaquin and Imperial valleys.
When a severe hailstorm hit Northeastern California last July, it worried strawberry farmers on the California coast. Plant nurseries in the north grow the strawberry plants for farmers on the coast, and the hail ruined some of those plants. Now, as farmers prepare for the new season, the California Strawberry Commission says there apparently will be enough plants to meet the demand. The storm did throw off the timing for plant delivery, in some cases, but consumers likely won't notice.
As holiday shoppers venture into choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms this season, they may notice that prices have risen a bit. The California Christmas Tree Association says rapidly rising costs for diesel fuel and other supplies may force farmers to raise prices. But the association says it expects prices to rise only about 5 percent, on average. Most choose-and-cut Christmas tree farms opened for the holiday season during the weekend.
Farmers apparently sold more of their figs as fresh fruit this year, and that's one reason for a cut in production of dried figs. The California Fig Advisory Board says farmers delivered almost 13 percent fewer tons of dried figs than predicted. Harvest of dried figs ended about a month ago, though farmers continue to pick fruit for the fresh market. Fig trees will produce fruit until a heavy frost or heavy rain ends production for the year.Top