Food & Farm News
2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009
2008 | 2007 | 2006 | 2005
» April 22, 2008 «
Freezing temperatures during the past weekend worried farmers of several California crops, and apparently caused some damage in coastal vineyards. Farmers reported scattered damage in Sonoma, Lake and Mendocino counties, though the Napa Valley Grapegrowers Association had heard no damage reports as of yesterday (Monday). Central Coast vineyards also withstood cold weather. Observers say it will take a few days to learn the extent of the damage.
In Central Valley orchards, farmers will check this week to make sure their fruit crops came through the weekend without trouble. Some regions saw freezing temperatures. But apricot farmers at least say they saw no damage to their crops. The Apricot Producers of California group said temperatures on the west side of the valley stayed a little warmer and protected the fruit. Farmers will watch other fruit trees for the next few days to see if they show any impact from the cold snap.
Consumers will see more "frost-kissed" artichokes at retail stores in the coming days. Growers say freezing temperatures in the Castroville region have slowed the artichoke harvest. Cold weather also turns outer leaves on the artichokes a light brown. The California Artichoke Advisory Board says many artichoke fans believe the frost-kissed ones promise enhanced flavor. The weather this spring has provided more frost-kissed artichokes than usual.
Dairy farms set a new production record in March, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Nationwide production rose more than 2 percent compared to the same month a year ago. For the first quarter of the year, milk production rose more than 3 percent. California's increases in milk production roughly mirrored the national averages. California leads the nation in milk production.Top