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» June 16, 2006 «
Better weather since April has created better markets for some California nursery operators. Earlier this year, rain every weekend kept consumers inside and away from sales locations. Operators say that sales have climbed from pent up demand since the weather improved. They also anticipate higher than average demand into the summer months of plants that can be transplanted in warm weather. However, growers who produce annuals, which are more fragile probably, won't be able to recover markets.
There may be a supply gap in production of sweet corn in Western states. Farmers in Southern California usually complete their harvest in late June and then production moves into the Central Valley. But poor weather in the Central Valley kept farmers from planting sweet corn in a timely manner this spring. Central Valley growers are reporting their harvests will start between two and three weeks behind average. Western markets are reporting sweet corn shipments lighter than average.
Carrot farmers are now harvesting vegetables that were in the ground during the February-March freezes and hailstorms. Overall damage is minor, but some farmers did lose production because of the weather. Growers are now hoping for a mild summer so they can escape the problems that come from extreme heat. California is the nation's leader in carrot production.
Sheep ranchers say the heavy rains were wonderful for their oat and clover hay crops, which are used as livestock feed. However, there is a downside, as those conditions also meant ranchers had to give sheep footbaths to keep their feet healthy. In addition some of the wool was damp at shearing time and caused mold to develop during shipping. The rainy weather also delayed shearing crews who do custom work for many ranchers each year.Top