Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityIrrigation water situation south of the delta
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» February 28, 2008 «
Farmers who purchase their irrigation water from the Central Valley Project can expect 45 percent of their allocations, according to the Bureau of Reclamation. However, the announcement also points out that allocations for those north of the delta may be subject to further review for Sacramento River water temperatures to protect salmon. The bureau is also implementing interim court-ordered measures this year to protect the delta smelt, and water supply for the allocations south of the delta could change.
Farmers south of the delta face an even more uncertain season for irrigation water, according to a Sacramento-based private water law attorney. Additional court decisions about endangered species protections for salmon and a new fish that may be added to the list could further reduce water flows. The state may declare the long fin smelt as endangered, which could cause additional water restrictions. Even though there is more snowpack in the Sierra this year, water agencies may not be able to get it through the delta.
Sun and mild temperatures are bringing out the apricot bloom all over California. The Apricot Producers of California says this looks like the best bloom in years. There were enough chilling hours, and the January rain provided deep moisture in orchards which helps the trees come out of dormancy. However, while the bloom is excellent, there is a long time before harvest and growers are hoping for good weather throughout the spring.
University of California researchers have found a new control for the vine mealybug, according to Exotic Pest Update newsletter. That pest was first found in California in 1994 and damages grapevines, feeding on leaves and also spreading various viruses. The new weapon is a pheromone, which succeeded in drastically reducing populations of the vine mealybug in test vineyards. The pheromone is a sexual attractant that disrupts mating and may be registered for raisin grapes this year and all grape vineyards by 2009.Top