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» August 4, 2005 «
With more triple-digit temperatures expected in the state's walnut-growing regions, farmers continue work to minimize sunburn damage to their crop. Walnut growers closely monitor their trees' water needs to help them cope with heat stress. Hot weather has also encouraged a walnut pest called the codling moth. Many growers report heavy crops. In Yuba County, farmers say tree limbs have broken under the heavy load of walnuts.
Wheat farmers near the end of an unusually late harvest. The California Wheat Commission says the Sacramento Valley harvest is the latest in 30 years. Farmers hope to complete their work by the end of this week. The cool, wet weather in late spring caused wheat to ripen late. Farmers say they hope the recent warm, dry weather may have allowed the wheat to repair sprout damage caused by the earlier rain.
You should find more California apples on the market this season. Farmers have started picking Gala-variety apples in the Central Valley. The California Apple Commission estimates the state's overall crop will be about 10 percent larger than last year's, and says fruit quality is very good. Marketers expect more export sales, with California-grown Fuji apples being sent to Mexico and Asia, and Pink Lady apples to Canada.
Preventing stress to sliced produce helps fruits and vegetables stay fresher, longer. That, in turn, provides a boost to the growing business of providing fresh-cut produce to consumers. Federal researchers say slicing fruit under water reduces stress to the fruit, and heat and light treatments may also enhance the quality of fresh-cut produce. Taste testers say melons sliced with the new techniques keep their flavor much longer.
On the Calendar:
Today (Thursday) is Opening Day for the Del Norte County Fair in Crescent City.