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» October 31, 2006 «
An alert almond broker notified authorities, and that led to a breakthrough in the investigation of large-scale almond thefts in the Central Valley. Fresno County sheriff's detectives announced yesterday (Monday) that $135,000 worth of stolen almonds have been recovered. The almonds were stolen from a Fresno company. They were recovered in San Leandro, when a broker became suspicious about how the almonds were packaged. There have been no arrests in the case so far.
It's another sign of autumn: The California navel-orange harvest has started in the Central Valley. Inspectors report that farmers in Tulare and Kern counties began harvesting the navel oranges a few days ago. The California Citrus Growers Association says the first fruit tastes good and has good color for the early season. Shipments to retail stores have started, so consumers should begin seeing California navel oranges in their local stores soon.
This is the time of year that iceberg lettuce production shifts from the Salinas Valley to the Huron region of Fresno County. The Central California Lettuce Producers Cooperative says it expects the transition to be smooth. Farmers in the Salinas Valley are still harvesting on a slower pace, while growers in the Huron region have started harvesting. Consumers shouldn't notice price differences. However, wholesale leaf lettuce prices have increased recently.
Shoppers may notice lower prices on chicken. Wholesale prices for chicken breasts have declined dramatically in recent weeks, to reach a seven-year low. Retail prices have declined some, but haven't yet matched the wholesale drop. The California Poultry Federation says chicken prices usually decline in October and November, though not to the extent they have this year. The federation says increased export demand will probably push prices upward by January.Top