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» August 25, 2010 «
They're off to a late start, but farmers who raise tomatoes for canneries say they've reached full harvest mode. The cool spring and mild summer delayed tomatoes. Both farmers and processors say they're concerned that too much fruit may ripen at the same time, leading to backups at the canneries. If those problems arise, that would likely occur in the next two weeks. California leads the nation in production of processing tomatoes used for salsa, ketchup and other products.
While farmers in other nations struggle with crop failures, California wheat farmers report a strong harvest. The Central Valley wheat harvest has just ended, and the California Wheat Commission says crop yields have been high. Farmers who grow wheat without irrigation saw yields about double of average. The commission says California farmers may plant more wheat this fall, as markets react to reduced crops in Russia and other nations.
About a month from now, the U.S. government will impose a ban on pistachios from Iran, as part of the response to Iranian nuclear policies. In the past year, Iran has sent up to a million pounds of pistachios to this country. When the ban takes effect, California pistachio farmers will have the domestic market to themselves … but the Western Pistachio Association says California farmers may face more competition from Iran in export markets.
Pest fighters report encouraging news in their efforts to eradicate a serious grapevine pest. As they await the year's third generation of European grapevine moths, officials say none have emerged so far. The first generation, earlier this year, produced more than a hundred thousand moths in Napa County alone. The invasive moth threatens grapes and other California crops. Quarantines control shipments of grapes in areas where moths have been found.Top