Food & Farm News
» November 25, 2005 «
An unseasonably warm November raises concerns for orchard farmers, whose trees benefit from cool nights during the fall and winter. "Chilling" weather helps deciduous fruit and nut trees produce a strong bloom in the spring. Cherry trees, for example, need to be exposed to temperatures below 45 degrees for between 800 and 1,300 hours. The chilling season is off to a slow start, though nighttime temperatures in the San Joaquin Valley have dropped enough to produce some chill hours.
An early-season projection from the State Water Project indicates it will deliver 55 percent of requested amounts to its customers. The project supplies water to 750,000 acres of farmland and to more than 20 million residential users. The rainfall year has opened drier than average, but the water project will update its delivery projections throughout the year. This year, it delivered 90 percent supplies to its water customers.
People who love pomegranates often carry their enjoyment on their sleeves, literally. The fruit's red juice has a reputation for staining clothing. So an organization representing pomegranate growers launched a campaign to show people a "no-mess" alternative for preparing the fruit. The Pomegranate Council recommends cutting the fruit underwater, and has used in-store demonstrations and its Web site to educate consumers. The council says the project has boosted pomegranate demand.
A symbol of the Old West has been making a comeback on California ranches. Texas longhorn cattle are being bred and sold on ranches throughout the state. The cattle are raised both for meat and for show. Breeders say longhorns have been popular with owners of 5-to-10-acre ranchettes, who buy the cattle to graze on their property. A California Association of Texas Longhorn Breeders boasts more than 75 members.Top