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» July 3, 2008 «
Farmers in the western San Joaquin Valley say they're pleased by cooperative efforts to address their water shortage. But a set of water trades and loans announced this week will still leave farmers far short of the water needed to grow crops already planted. A combination of dry weather and endangered-species protections resulted in a cut in Central Valley Project water supplies. Affected farmers are deciding which crops to abandon and which they may be able to save.
Produce dealers say shoppers will find ample supplies of all the fruits and vegetables that consumers typically seek for the July 4th holiday. Sweet corn, watermelons, peaches, plums and nectarines are all plentiful and have good quality. Many retailers list the traditional produce favorites as advertised specials this week. But prices may be somewhat higher this year, as fuel costs and other factors have affected food prices.
California farmers who grow peaches, plums and nectarines remain on a pace to meet expectations for this year's crop volumes. The California Tree Fruit Agreement reports that fruit quality overall has been good. Temperatures in fruit-growing regions are expected to be only in the 90s this week. California farms produce nearly all domestically grown plums and nectarines, and more than half of the nation's fresh-market peaches.
Additional light brown apple moths have been found in San Mateo County. As a result, the quarantine zone in that county has been expanded, with most bayside regions now in the quarantine zone. Residents are being asked not to take plants and produce out of the quarantine areas. Biologists regularly inspect greenhouses, vegetable growers and retail nurseries for the pest. Observers attribute the expansion of the insect's infestation to warm spring weather.Top