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» November 3, 2010 «
Tax reform will be a key issue for farm organizations when Congress returns for a "lame-duck" session in mid-November. A number of tax provisions enacted into law earlier this decade will expire at the end of the year, unless Congress acts. A California Farm Bureau spokesman says farm groups will work for reform that defers the federal estate tax on farm and ranch property that remains in agricultural use.
Consumers should start to find good supplies of California-grown navel oranges by mid-November, as the harvest begins in the Central Valley. California Citrus Mutual says some oranges could reach stores this week. The harvest is beginning about two weeks later than average but farmers anticipate a large navel orange crop. Citrus Mutual reports good fruit quality and says oranges have been developing higher sugar content.
Fair weather predicted for the Central Valley this week will help the region's rice and cotton farmers, as they try to complete harvests that were further delayed by rain during October. A government report says three-quarters of the California rice crop has been harvested, although at this time last year the harvest was virtually complete. Only 36 percent of the cotton crop had been harvested. A cool spring and mild summer delayed both crops this year.
California prune growers harvested a smaller crop, with volumes down about 15 percent from a year ago. Farmers say mild summer weather slowed fruit growth. The California Dried Plum Board says consumers should still see good supplies this year. The board says shipments of California dried plums have increased about 30 percent in the past year, in what it calls a sign that demand and supplies are coming into balance.Top