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» March 15, 2006 «
Family farmers from California will take part in a nationwide rally scheduled for Washington, DC, today (Wednesday), urging Congress to adopt meaningful immigration reform. California Farm Bureau representatives say a comprehensive reform package must include a flexible guestworker program. They note that a Field Poll released last week shows that two out of three Californians favor a guestworker program that would allow immigrants to work legally in the United States.
Colder-than-average temperatures and rain have slowed harvests of asparagus and artichokes. Artichoke growers say the cold may extend their season beyond mid-April, and asparagus farmers say they hope weather improves in time for them to meet pre-Easter demand. The weather has also slowed planting of lettuce and other vegetable crops in the Salinas Valley. Farmers say if the weather clears and fields are dry enough to work by next week, their crops can still meet their expected harvest dates.
The cold storms this week have added to the Sierra snowpack. That could improve the water-supply outlook for the coming summer. The low snow levels helped replenish some of the snow that melted during earlier, warmer storms. Electronic sensors show the snowpack now stands about 15 percent above average, in all three Sierra regions: north, central and south. Reservoir storage remains above average as well.
Milk prices continue to drop ... at least, on the farm. The prices that dairy farmers earn for milk will decline another five cents a gallon on April 1st, to an average of $1.09 a gallon. The California Department of Food and Agriculture sets the farm price each month. Market prices for cheese, butter and powdered milk all declined, causing the complex formula to reduce on-farm milk prices.Top