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» February 16, 2006 «
After looking at irrigation equipment on display at a farm show in Tulare, Governor Schwarzenegger told farm-show visitors yesterday (Wednesday) that his Strategic Growth Plan would enhance the state's water security. Speaking to a crowd at the World Ag Expo, the governor outlined his proposed investments in flood control, new water supplies and improved planning and technology. He called his plan a comprehensive effort to strengthen and secure the state's water future.
Farmers who buy water from the state's largest water project have been told to expect 65 percent supplies this year. The federal Central Valley Project issued its first forecast yesterday, for customers located south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. The CVP says its forecast is based on the status of the Sierra snowpack, and its requirements to provide water to environmental and fishery needs as well as to farm and urban customers.
Long nights are in the forecast for many California farmers, as they protect their crops from a sudden cold snap. In the Central Valley, farmers say blossoming almond trees could be at risk from below-freezing overnight temperatures. If temperatures drop dangerously low, farmers will irrigate their orchards to raise the air temperature around their trees. Farmers say frost will be a concern for many crops during the next two months.
Higher totals in the nut and fruit category pushed a preliminary total for California crop values to a record high. A government report says the combined, on-farm value of the state's field crops, fruits, nuts and vegetables increased by less than 1 percent, to nearly $18.6 billion. The report says farmers earned higher prices last year for crops such as almonds, hay and cotton ... while prices dropped for crops including grapes, strawberries and olives.Top