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» March 24, 2008 «
Recent storms have not added much to the snow pack in the Colorado River Basin. However, the Bureau of Reclamation predicts the runoff will be above average. They predict the runoff will be about 129 percent of average from April through June. This is only the second year in the last eight with above average runoff in the Colorado basin, so it is still considered to be a drought situation. Southern California gets a large percentage of its water from the Colorado River.
March has been a dry month thus far with only about 17 percent of average precipitation, according to the state senior meteorologist. California ranchers are hoping for additional precipitation, as their fields need it to keep forage developing. The forecast for the next 10 days is for weak weather systems, but ranchers say any moisture would help. Without rain ranchers must provide hay to their cattle or sell them. Ranchers are reporting dry conditions in most areas from north to south.
Peach bloom is winding down in California orchards. It peaked March 10, and growers say it looks like a good crop on most varieties. There are a couple varieties in orchards in Yuba and Sutter counties on the light side. Chill hours this winter were the best in seven years, according to the California Canning Peach Association. Chill hours are recorded when temperatures are below 45 degrees between November 1 and February 28. The chill helps trees set a good crop for the following season.
Blueberry growers report it looks like a good year for their crop. Production could go as high as 30 million pounds this season and acreage continues to expand. No exact numbers are available but farm advisors estimate about 5,000 are now planted in blueberries. It takes about three seasons for most varieties to produce a good-sized crop. Usually farmers remove the blossoms the first year, as sometimes the bushes are stunted in growth if the blossoms are not removed. Harvest is expected to start in early May.Top