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» June 1, 2005 «
Record May precipitation in the Northern Sierra Nevada means more water for customers of the State Water Project. The project said yesterday (Tuesday) it would deliver 90 percent of water allocations to its long-term contractors. That's a boost for the farmers and urban water suppliers who buy water from the state project. A number of water projects have announced increased deliveries as a result of the springtime surge of rain and snow.
Spring rains delayed planting of processing tomatoes, but forecasters say the crop otherwise appears to be in good condition. A report issued yesterday says tomato canneries have sought fewer tomatoes this season. Acreage under contract is down 8 percent compared to a year ago. California farmers will plant more than 10 million acres. The state produces about 95 percent of the nation's crop of processing tomatoes, which are used to make tomato sauce, ketchup and other products.
You have to be tough to survive the harsh Minnesota winters ... and pest fighters hope that gives a tiny wasp an advantage in fighting the glassy-winged sharpshooter. The wasp becomes the latest source of biological control against the sharpshooter, an insect that threatens grapes and other California crops. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says federal authorities will allow the stingless wasps to be imported from Minnesota to prey on sharpshooter eggs.
Rules that take effect today (Wednesday) ban the burning of pruned wood and other materials for many San Joaquin Valley orchard and field crops. Farmers have known about the pending ban and sought alternative ways to dispose of the waste material. For example, many farmers now chip or shred orchard prunings. Burning will still be allowed under certain circumstances, especially if needed to halt the spread of plant diseases.Top