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» September 29, 2006 «
The Japanese government announced that it would begin testing rice shipments from the United States of short and medium grain to check for biotech rice. The California Rice Commission is disappointed with the action. Last month the California Rice Experiment Station released the results of tests that show no biotech rice in the basic seed supply here. Japan is the top export market for California grown rice and the government action isn't expected to reduce California rice shipments to Japan.
A few kiwifruit growers are harvesting, and all will be picking fruit in the next two weeks. Quality is good, but the hot weather hurt sizing a little. This year fruit size will be more average. The crop itself will also be about average. Last year's mild winter and hot weather during May bloom time kept the crop well below last year's 9-million tray record. A number of growers have switched to organic production for which demand is good.
Nursery operators are reporting a steady increase in walnut rootstock as orchards are expanding in the Central Valley. One nursery reports that it has been forced to roll over some customer orders to 2008 and is receiving many new large acreage orders for 2008 as well. The nurseries are encouraging growers to place their orders soon for walnut rootstock to assure that they will be filled in 2008.
California date harvest is going well. Harvest of all varieties will start next week, but picking of the majool variety has been going for several weeks. Quality is reported as excellent. The current hot weather is helping raise sugar levels. Yields look good at this point, but actual numbers won't be available until November. Harvest is expected to continue into January.Top