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» September 1, 2010 «
Demand remains strong for sweet potatoes, and California farmers say they're harvesting as fast as they can, to keep up. Per-person consumption of sweet potatoes has been increasing, in part because of demand for products including sweet potato french fries. As a result of the demand, sweet potatoes kept in storage have been sold, so consumers will see new-crop potatoes in stores. The California harvest has now reached full stride after a delayed start.
A plant disease never before found in the U.S. has affected citrus trees in Texas and Louisiana … and California farmers are watching carefully. The disease, known as sweet orange scab, causes cosmetic damage to fruit. California reports positive news in preventing another citrus disease. Authorities say they're trapping fewer Asian citrus psyllids than expected. The insects can carry a disease that hurt Florida trees but has not been found in California.
It's now possible to find California-grown mangos in stores, and farmers say they're harvesting a larger crop. Most commercially grown California mangos come from southeastern California, near the Salton Sea. Growers say cooler weather delayed their harvest but helped improve the fruit's quality. Farmers export much of their harvest to Japan but also sell mangos domestically to specialty stores and supermarkets.
Yields from California hay fields have been lower this year. A hay market analyst says weather takes the blame. The cool spring slowed crop development. In recent weeks, an unusual weather pattern of hot midweek temperatures and cool weekends has also affected the hay harvest. California farmers grow hay to feed to dairy cows and other livestock. Farmers say demand for hay has been good and prices have been higher.Top