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» June 9, 2008 «
Yields have been higher than expected during the early part of the California wheat harvest. Farmers in the Imperial Valley are about half finished, while their counterparts in the Central Valley are expected to be in full swing this week. In both regions, farmers report bringing in more wheat than they expected before harvest began. In the Tulelake area, farmers have finished planting the summer wheat crop and say cool weather is slowing crop advancement.
Plenty of farmers, homeowners and business people have stories to tell about having wire, pipe or other metal stolen. A state Assembly member hopes they'll come to Sacramento today (Monday) to support his bill to deter metal theft. The bill faces a hearing before a Senate committee. Among other things, it requires recyclers to pay for scrap metal with a check, and photograph the metal being recycled. Modesto Assemblyman Tom Berryhill describes metal theft as a "statewide epidemic."
Water shortages leave many farmers looking for ways to reduce water use without hurting their crops. The Almond Board of California has encouraged farmers to explore a technique known as "deficit irrigation." Studies by University of California specialists indicate that almond farmers can cut irrigation to their trees by as much as half with only small reductions in crop yield. The almond board says the method is effective when water is reduced in the two months prior to harvest.
What once appeared to be a promising kiwifruit crop has been hurt by spring weather. The California Kiwifruit Commission says a strong bloom left it expecting a crop about 30 percent larger than last year's. Then came the April freeze that hit many Central Valley farms. As a result, the kiwifruit crop is now expected to be about 25 percent smaller than last year. Some farms report losing up to 40 percent of their kiwifruit.Top