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» June 11, 2008 «
Days of constant strong winds are a concern to Sacramento Valley rice farmers. As the new plants emerge from the water they send roots into the soil below for nutrients. The strong winds can cause a phenomenon called stilting, which stresses the plants and slows their roots getting into the soil and could reduce yields. The strong winds also make it impossible for farmers to apply materials to nurture the crop. As a result farmers are several days behind scheduled applications.
Winegrape growers are finding that some of their vines have recovered from the April freeze and are producing grapes. A few that did not have frost protection suffered heavier losses. Although production will be less, the quality of the grapes isn't expected to be impacted as farmers prune grape clusters that look damaged. The chardonnay varietal appears to have had the most damage as it blooms the earliest. Later blooming cabernet sauvignon has the least amount of damage.
Research scientists say one complicating problem in their search for causes of colony collapse disorder in honey bee hives is that they've only have samples after a CCD incident is reported. To deal with this, they've asked universities and states to take samples from cooperating beekeepers every six weeks. In that way, researchers will have stored samples to see what changed if the hive develops CCD. The work is being done in the lab in Beltsville Maryland.
Apricot and prune harvests will produce more fruit this year, according to a federal government report. The forecast is for 87,000 tons of California grown apricots this year, up from 81,000 tons last season. Even with the shortfall caused by the April freeze, the prune crop will produce 120,000 tons compared to 83,000 last season. However, some individual farmers lost their entire prune crop.Top