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» October 25, 2005 «
Damage to citrus fruit appears the most pressing concern, as Florida farmers assess the impact of Hurricane Wilma. A Florida Farm Bureau spokesman says the hurricane lashed the state's main citrus-growing area south of Orlando. Farmers will spend the next few days checking losses to grapefruit, oranges and other crops. The storm likely caused severe damage to bell peppers and other vegetables for which harvest was about to start.
The impact of hurricanes will affect the vegetable market for the remainder of the year, according to projections in a government report. The U.S. Agriculture Department had expected increased vegetable supplies this fall. Hurricane Wilma could change that, although California typically supplies two-thirds of fall-harvested vegetables. The report notes that earlier hurricane damage on the Gulf Coast could hamper vegetable demand, and that people may spend less because of high energy prices.
Sweet potatoes apparently avoided severe damage from the Gulf Coast hurricanes ... and farmers throughout the nation's growing regions say they expect good supplies for the upcoming holidays. California farmers say favorable reports about nutrition have boosted sweet potato demand. That, combined with slight reductions in acreage, have increased the prices that farmers earn. California ranks second in the nation in sweet potato production, with most farms located in Merced County.
The first discovery of glassy-winged sharpshooters in Arizona has prompted an eradication program. The state began treating a nursery and nearby residences this month, after more than two-dozen of the insects turned up in Sierra Vista, Arizona. The sharpshooter has infested parts of Southern and Central California. It carries a plant disease that kills grapevines and other crops. The Arizona infestation is located near the state's main grape-growing region.Top