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» April 25, 2008 «
Some stores are limiting the amount of imported rice customers can buy, raising fears of rice shortages. Rice sector agencies in California and other states emphasize there is no shortage of rice in the United States. The California Rice Commission says there is plenty of California grown rice available at retail stores in whatever quantity consumers want to buy. California rice farmers are expected to increase acreage in the state by about 3 percent this year.
Wild rice acreage in California is expected to increase this year, according to the California Wild Rice Advisory Board. The estimate is based on the amount of seed available. The board estimates between 23,000 and 25,000 acres will be planted this season, up from more than 21,000 last year. Demand for wild rice continues to exceed supply. With the weak dollar, American products are cheaper overseas and foreign buyers continue asking for California wild rice.
Freezing temperatures remained in Mendocino County Wednesday night. Winegrape growers continued with frost protection, but more vines were damaged. The Mendocino Winegrape and Wine Commission says growers are reporting losses from 30 to 100 percent. Farmers have work crews in frost damaged vineyards stripping the damaged leaves and buds in the hope that the vines may bloom again this year. While production will be lower, grape quality should be better.
Plum trees around Orange Cove, Exeter and Porterville have frost damage. Trees in that area traditionally have higher yields than some other regions. Growers are still assessing the damage, but the California Grape and Tree Fruit League is considering lowering its plum production forecast for this year. There is also frost damage to some table and wine grape vines in that area. The Fresno agricultural commissioner says it will be several weeks before total damage estimates are available.Top