Food & Farm News
Audio ActualityHow weather has affected farms in the Salinas Valley
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» April 12, 2006 «
More flooding is expected in fruit and nut orchards next to the Sacramento River near Ord Bend and Tehama Landing during the next several days. The state Flood Control Office says it also expects additional water to flow through the Yolo Bypass. But officials say they don't believe river levels will rise as much as they did during last week's storms. Wind is more of a concern, because the waves it generates can add stress to levees.
Planting schedules have fallen by the wayside in the Salinas Valley, as farmers work to plant some of their vegetable crops between rainstorms. Farmers say their crops have dropped weeks behind schedule. Cool temperatures have prevented the vegetables in the ground from growing as much as they should. Some low-lying fields along the Salinas River have flooded. The Salinas Valley is the nation's leading source of crops such as lettuce, broccoli, cauliflower and spinach.
Three weeks behind average is how winegrape farmers describe the situation in their vineyards. Colder-than-average temperatures prevent vines from budding. Farmers say they fear insects and fungal diseases will threaten buds that have not yet opened. They say a gradual warming trend would benefit their vines and allow them to protect their crops from pests and diseases. A late start to the season could also mean a later harvest in the state's vineyards.
China has become the latest country to reopen its market to American beef. The Bush administration announced yesterday (Tuesday) that it will work quickly with Chinese officials to formalize the market opening. The two nations also signed an agreement to improve cooperation on sanitary and food-safety standards. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns said that could smooth farm trade between the U.S. and China.Top