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» November 18, 2008 «
About 40 percent of the California winter wheat crop has been planted, according to a federal report. It also says about 20 percent of the crop has emerged from the ground. Farmers report 95 percent of the crop is in good or excellent condition. The remaining 5 percent is in fair condition. Central Valley farmers will be planting until December, while Imperial County and other Southern California growers will be planting in January.
Nursery operators plan two years or more in advance for what they hope to sell to consumers. As a result, plants for next spring have been growing for more than a year. The present economic situation provides some major challenges for nursery operators, both to salvage potential surpluses next spring and to anticipate what will be needed two years down the road. Growers want enough product to satisfy demand, but estimating that demand two years from now is tricky.
Southern California wildfires destroyed satellite offices of the Los Angeles County agricultural commissioner. Two mobile office units located near the Olive View-UCLA Medical Center in Sylmar burned to the ground. They housed the pest detection and pest management units of the commissioner's office. The wildfires have caused major damage to urban dwellings, but their impact on farming operations is not known at this time.
The Golden State continues to lead the nation in milk production, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report. California cows produced about 287 million gallons of milk in October, well ahead of Wisconsin's 173 million gallons. However, the California total was nine-tenths percent less than October 2007. The number of cows being milked increased by about 13,000. But the amount of milk per cow declined slightly as dairy farmers trimmed feed costs by using hay with less protein.Top