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» July 15, 2005 «
Ceremonies commemorating the 40 anniversary of the Williamson Act will be held today (Friday) at the Heidrick Ag History Center in Woodland. The act offers farm and ranchland owners tax incentives in exchange for not developing their property for urban uses. It is credited with preventing leapfrog development. However, it faces future challenges due to the state's booming population and cost of housing. The Williamson Act was signed into law July 16, 1965.
California blueberry growers have completed their harvest for the year. They produced about 8.5 million pounds of fruit, an increase from 5 million last year. Farmers say production might have been higher, but rain and hail caused some fruit damage. Prices were better than last year as competing farmers in the southeastern states lost production to poor weather. Additional acreage will come into production next year and output is expected to increase.
North coast winegrapes don't like hot weather any more than most people. However, farmers are mitigating potential problems by irrigating when needed and applying materials to reduce pest damage. With temperatures in the 100-degree range, grapevines tend to slow their metabolism and the grapes don't advance toward maturity. Farmers now know they will have to deal with hot temperatures throughout the weekend, and, tending to the needs of the vines should prevent any major damage. Cooler temperatures are predicted next week.
Consumers should find excellent quality cantaloupe and honeydew melons from California fields in retail outlets. Federal inspectors say both melon crops matured slowly because of cooler than average spring weather. But, the sugar content of the California fruit is reported excellent. California melons should be on the market from now until September. Golden State watermelons are also now ripe and are reported to have excellent quality.
On the Calendar:
The Solano County Fair opens a 10-day run today (Friday) in Vallejo.