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» August 8, 2006 «
Now that harvest of the earliest variety has been completed, cling-peach growers say their fears are being confirmed. Production may reach its lowest ebb in 20 years or more. Farmers reported harvesting an average of 9 tons of peaches per acre in the early variety … down from the recent average of 15 tons. Later varieties may have even less fruit, because of cold weather in the spring, followed by the July heat wave.
To assure that farmers and their employees know how to recognize and prevent heat-related illness, a worker-safety organization has scheduled dozens of extra training sessions around California. State Compensation Insurance Fund begins its new series of free seminars today (Tuesday), with sessions in Stockton, Sacramento and San Bernardino. A State Fund spokesman says the seminars will also outline updated regulations designed to prevent heat illnesses.
California kiwifruit growers will be watching their vines for the next three or four weeks, to see if the July heat wave permanently stopped their fruit from growing in size. Farmers say kiwifruit had already achieved good sizes before the heat hit, though they hoped to have more large-sized fruit to sell. They're still trying to determine if fruit growth will resume now than more normal summertime temperatures have returned.
Macadamia trees like hot weather, so farmers report no problems from the heat, even though temperatures topped 100 degrees in the San Diego County growing areas. To shield their trees through the hot weather, macadamia-nut growers provided them with extra irrigation. The state's macadamia harvest should start around October 1st. Farmers say the hot spell won't change that schedule.Top