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» August 21, 2006 «
As children on traditional school schedules head back to the classroom, nutritionists urge parents to make sure their kids receive a balanced breakfast first. The Dairy Council of California says studies show that children who eat breakfast before school have higher test scores and lower rates of absence and tardiness. They say that's because kids can focus on school if they start the day with the nutrients they need.
Fewer people worked on California farms last month, as farmers struggled to fill their harvest crews. The U.S. Agriculture Department surveyed farmers for one week in mid-July, and reported (Friday) that the number of hired workers on California farms was down 8 percent compared to the same time last year. The government report cites "ongoing worker shortages due to heightened security at the Mexican border," along with spring weather that delayed many California crops.
Increased diversity marks the California potato harvest. Farmers report steady growth in production and sales of specialty potato varieties. One grower says his farm produces potatoes in white, red, yellow and purple, along with the traditional russets. Most California-grown potatoes come from Kern County in the San Joaquin Valley. The potato harvest will start in the fall in the Klamath Basin along the California-Oregon border.
Pomegranate harvest has started in the southern San Joaquin Valley. Unusual weather this year has delayed many harvests, but marketers say the pomegranate crop is right on time. The July heat spell added a deeper red color to many pomegranates, and farmers report they're optimistic about this year's harvest. They'll be watching the skies in September and October, though, because early rain could damage the pomegranate crop.Top