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» March 17, 2010 «
Increased water allocations from a federal water project will be welcome news in the Central Valley. Farmers south of the delta who buy water from the Central Valley Project saw their allocation rise to 25 percent, and farmers north of the delta stand to receive 50 percent. California Farm Bureau President Paul Wenger said the additional water will help to replenish groundwater supplies in regions plagued by water shortages, and will help assure water for post-harvest irrigation of orchards and vineyards this summer.
California farmers will produce more valencia oranges this year, according to a federal government report. It predicts growers will ship 34 million cartons this year, a 21 percent increase over last season. Favorable weather is a main reason cited for the harvest hike. California produces about 15 percent of the nation's total of valencia oranges. Late-season varieties of navel oranges and imported navels have reduced demand for valencia oranges in recent years.
Cherry trees have started blooming in California growing areas. The California Cherry Commission says the blooms started in the southern San Joaquin Valley, but early varieties are also blooming in the north. The weather forecast for mild, warm days is ideal for bees to perform their pollination work in cherry orchards. California ranks second in the nation in cherry production. The harvest should start in May.
A number of California-grown crops have been caught in a trade dispute between Brazil and the U.S. Brazil says it will raise import duties on U.S. products, in a dispute about the U.S. cotton program. The duties would slow imports of California crops including cotton, cherries, raisins, walnuts, prunes and wheat. Marketers say Brazil is not a large buyer of any of those crops, but that any trade disruption can cause problems for California farmers.Top