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» September 16, 2009 «
There will be more California navel oranges picked this year, according to a federal government report. Farmers will pack about 80-million cartons full of oranges, roughly 16 percent more than last season. Most of the navel orange production will come from the Central Valley. Mild spring and summer weather have aided the crop's development. Fruit set per tree numbers are somewhat below average, but significantly improved from last season. Harvest usually starts about November 1.
Sales of each of the top three California grown tree nuts, almonds, pistachios and walnuts, have recovered this year. That follows a halt last fall brought about in part by the worldwide recession. As markets improve, producers and handlers are cautiously optimistic that sales that picked up this year will carry over into 2010. Only pistachio growers expect a larger crop this year. Demand for all three varieties is reported as strong. All compete for sales in international markets as well as domestic.
A mated female Mediterranean fruit fly was found in an insect trap in Escondido. Eradication procedures began last Friday. Crews release sterile male flies to mate with any wild female files in the region. In addition trees and plants are being treated with an organic material. Residents are urged not to remove home grown produce from their properties. The Medfly attacks a wide variety of fruits and vegetables.
California dairy farmers won't lose quite as much money on the milk they produce October 1. The price they earn will increase about 4 cents per gallon at $1.19. Farmers are paid in hundred pound increments and will earn a statewide average of $13.89, still almost $5 less than it costs them to produce it. Stronger cheese prices helped provide the increase, according to the California Department of Food and Agriculture, which sets the price farmers, earn monthly. Despite recent increases in farm milk prices, analysts expect recovery of the dairy economy to be slow.Top