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» September 1, 2006 «
Pears are ripening rapidly in orchards near the North Coast, but farmers say they can't hire enough people to harvest their fruit. In Lake and Mendocino counties, pear growers say they may have to leave part of their crop unpicked because of the lack of harvest help. Farmers report they've only been able to hire about half the workers they need. The problem has worsened because recent weather caused pears to ripen faster. Most pears may become overripe by the end of next week.
The amount of money paid to California farmers and ranchers for their crops and commodities rose ever so slightly last year, according to a government report issued yesterday (Thursday). Cash receipts reached just more than $31.7 billion dollars in California, up a fraction of a percent from the previous year. California remains the nation's number-one farm state. Cash receipts here were more than the combined receipts of the second and third states, Texas and Iowa.
If you're planning a barbecue for the Labor Day weekend, marketers say you'll find plenty of beef available. The California Beef Council says beef sales typically rise about 20 percent for this holiday weekend. Beef demand has remained strong during most of the summer, though the Beef Council reports a dip in sales during the extreme hot weather that gripped the nation in July. Ranchers say they're optimistic that demand will remain good in the coming year.
By being knocked out of their regular routine, domestic honeybees become five times more efficient in pollinating sunflowers when they interact with wild bees. That's the conclusion of a study by University of California researchers. They observed that wild bees make the domestic bees more skittish, so they visit more rows of sunflowers. The researchers conclude that wild bees play an important, though indirect, role in crop pollination.Top