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» September 5, 2006 «
Another sign of the damage weather has caused to the California processing tomato crop is the government report regarding anticipated production. It shows a 12 percent decline in expected output from the May forecast. However, the predicted 10-million tons is still six percent above the 2005 total. But as of August 20, the tonnage of tomatoes delivered to canneries was 14 percent less than at the same time last year.
The Mediterranean fruit fly infestation in the Rancho Cucamonga/Pomona area has been eradicated. The California Department of Food and Agriculture has announced the end of a 204 square mile quarantine zone. The infestation was detected last September and the quarantine established in October. Many businesses in the zone were affected. The Mediterranean fruit fly threatens both landscaping and agriculture. It was eradicated using sterile male flies in the zone, and treatment of plants on or near properties where the flies and larvae were found.
Town meetings for farmers and ranchers who suffered losses from the July heat wave are set for Wednesday and Thursday in Stanislaus and Tulare counties. Those counties suffered the heaviest losses from the heat. Agriculture Secretary A.G. Kawamura has called on representatives of various agencies who will be at the meetings to answer questions in a one-stop situation. It may be clear by meeting time the extent of federal help growers can anticipate.
One California project is included in the more than $17 million in grants for renewable energy projects announced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. About $18,000 has been awarded to Garden Creek Vineyards in Sonoma County. Added to a state grant of nearly $24,000, it funds about two-thirds of the cost of a solar electrical energy system. When completed it will provide about 88 percent of the vineyard and winery's electrical energy needs.Top