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» March 2, 2011 «
Sierra snowpack water content is above average, according to manual and electronic readings by the Department of Water Resources. Measurements taken yesterday (Tuesday) indicate that statewide, water content is 124 percent of average and 109 percent of average for April 1, when it is usually at its peak. The State Water Project has announced it will be able to deliver 60 percent of allocations to the approximately 1 million acres of farmland and 25 million Californians it serves. Expected storms this month may allow allocation increases.
Weekend temperatures did not get as cold as predicted. Farmers were able to protect their crops with various frost-protection devices. Farmers think damage to the almond crop will be minor. The almond blossom was nearing the end, and the warmer weather after the frost encouraged bees to pollinate. Vegetable growers also think crop damage will be minor as a result of frost-protection work.
California farmers plan to nearly double the acreage they plant in cotton this year. A federal government report says farmers will plant about 400-thousand California acres. Farmers have more irrigation water available this year. In addition, the price they earn for cotton is at a high. That might translate into higher prices for consumers for clothing and other cotton products. However, manufacturers and retailers are reluctant to increase prices much as consumers are still displaying frugal buying habits.
One European grapevine moth was found in a Napa County vineyard trap at the end of January. No additional insects have been caught since. Napa County was the center of the infestation that started in 2009. Farm advisors think the populations have been greatly reduced. However, they do expect to find additional moths when the grapevines bloom. The European grapevine moths overwinter in the pupa stage. Treatments to suppress them will begin as soon as more insects are found in vineyard traps.Top