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» January 26, 2009 «
Requirements that labels on food products tell consumers the country where they were produced have been postponed by the Obama administration. But, honey producers say their product has been left out of the requirement anyway. Growers are petitioning the government to include honey in the country-of-origin label requirement; they also are requesting that members of the public join their efforts, making it possible for consumers to determine where the honey they purchase originates.
Chinese New Year is today (January 26), beginning 15 days of celebrations. This ushers in the Year of the Ox. Celebrants enjoy citrus fruit such as kumquats, pummelos, oro blancos and others, all grown in California. Popular vegetables are gingerroot, sugar snap peas and baby bok choy. Produce suppliers say California farmers have provided ample supplies of all the favorites for the Chinese New Year.
Recent unusual warm daytime temperatures have not caused problems for orchard farmers. Almond growers say the cold nights have kept the trees from starting to bloom. Cherry and apple growers say they could use more chill hours, but their trees also remain dormant. Almonds are the first crop to bloom. Farmers expect that to happen about the second week in February, which is about the average time. Almond trees need the least amount of chilling to stimulate a good crop.
Central Valley Project managers Friday released data showing project reservoirs much lower than last year at this time. The report says precipitation in Northern California is only 66 percent of average, and in the San Joaquin River Basin 74 percent. Because of these low precipitation numbers, CVP managers warn their first allocation announcement—planned for February 20—will be very low. The Bureau of Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier in the nation.Top