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Audio ActualityCropping plans for farmers in the Westlands Water District
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» November 21, 2008 «
California apricot production continued to decline this year. A report from the Apricot Producers of California says growers produced nearly 70,000 tons of apricots in 2008, down from almost 78,000 tons in 2007. Farmers removed more than 400 acres of apricot trees this year, choosing to plant other crops that provide a better chance for higher earnings. Apricot production peaked in 1997, when farmers harvested more than 122,000 tons of fruit.
Farmers in the Westlands Water District--which encompasses farmland in western Fresno and Kings counties--are not counting on any Central Valley Project irrigation water as they make their plans for this season's crops. Growers will rely on wells on their farms to provide irrigation water. Those without wells will leave fields fallow. The only commodity that may expand acreage is pistachios as those trees can tolerate brackish well water. Additional restrictions for endangered species may drastically reduce all water availability south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.
There is always celery harvest going on somewhere in California, with Ventura County the leading producer. The crunchy vegetable is a favorite on Thanksgiving menus, as it is a popular appetizer and also an essential ingredient in many dressing and stuffing recipes. Grocers throughout the nation often feature celery as a sale item in their Thanksgiving ads. California is America's top producer of the crop.
Researchers have discovered that native male honeybees do pollination work. Most bees kept by beekeepers are European honeybees--descendents of those brought by early colonists. The native male bees look for females at flowers. As they fly from one blossom to the next they inadvertently carry grains of pollen with them, thus helping to ensure plants have the needed pollen. With both male and female bees on the job, fewer bees overall would be needed for pollination.Top