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» March 28, 2008 «
In forests along the North Coast, tree growers report they are finishing with the planting of redwood seedlings for the year. A forester for Mendocino Redwood Company says cool, rainy weather earlier in the season led to excellent tree-planting conditions. The seedlings are planted by hand in areas that were logged previously. It will take about 60 years for the seedlings to grow into crop-sized trees.
Improved production and favorable exchange rates have let to what a new report calls "very strong" orange exports. The U.S. Agriculture Department reported yesterday (Thursday) that orange exports have jumped 23 percent by volume this season. Sales to the top foreign market for California oranges--Canada--have risen 9 percent. Orange exports have increased more sharply to Asian markets, including a 38 percent rise in sales to Japan.
In another month or so, prune growers will have a better idea of how large their crop will be. The bloom period has nearly ended in Central Valley prune orchards. The Prune Bargaining Association says orchards saw favorable weather during the bloom. But it says a few farmers reported difficulty in finding enough bees to help with crop pollination. Now, the main concern will be frost. California leads the nation in production of prunes, which are marketed as dried plums.
Most people welcome volunteers, but corn farmers shouldn't. University of California specialists say volunteer corn plants provide a home for insects that carry a severe crop disease. Farm advisors have been meeting with Central Valley farmers this month, urging them to keep newly planted fields free of volunteer corn, which sprouts from seed planted the previous year. The tactic can prove effective in fighting "corn stunt," a disease that reduces crop yields.Top