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» July 1, 2005 «
California's top orchard crop may be slightly larger than once estimated. But almond production will still be significantly less than a year ago, according to a revised estimate released yesterday (Thursday). Government forecasters revised their estimate upward, but said the total almond crop will still be down 13 percent from last year. Rain during almond bloom in February reduced the bloom and discouraged bees from pollinating the trees.
Wheat farmers report scattered crop damage as they harvest their California fields. Rain during June fell on the wheat in various stages of ripeness. The moisture can cause the grain to sprout. It can also reduce the nutrient value, meaning farmers may earn less for their wheat. The damage appears to be widely scattered, and some growers report no damage at all. Observers say the extent of the damage depends on how much rain fell and how ripe the crop was at the time.
A U.S. delegation touring Canadian beef country reports it received sympathy from its hosts, when news came last week that a second cow in the U.S. was found to have the cattle disease BSE. Canadians have seen beef shipments to the U.S. banned after the disease turned up in their country. They invited the U.S. group to show what they have done to insure beef safety. The second U.S. case, like the first, never entered the food supply.
A 150-year-old ranch and a dozen other farms and related businesses will become the newest members of the California Agricultural Heritage Club. The California State Fair announced the honors yesterday. Each year, it recognizes families and agricultural businesses that have operated for 100 years or more. One of this year's honorees, the Mohr-Fry Ranch in Alameda County, was established in 1855.
On the Calendar:
The Napa County Fair begins today (Friday) in Calistoga.