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» November 14, 2006 «
Rain held off long enough to allow California cotton farmers to harvest almost their entire crop without having to cope with muddy fields. A government crop report issued yesterday (Monday) indicates the harvest is nearly 90 percent complete. Widely scattered rain reached cotton-growing areas in the San Joaquin Valley the past few days, but observers report little or no crop damage. Farmers say they've been harvesting more cotton per acre than they did a year ago.
California-grown mandarins have started to arrive on the market, now that farmers of most varieties are harvesting their fruit. Many of the citrus-fruit varieties now marketed as mandarins were once sold as tangerines. Shoppers should find all varieties in retail stores, but supplies of the fruit are reported to be light in the early season. Clementine and Satsuma mandarins typically reach market first.
In the Southern California desert, the state's mango harvest has reached the end of the season. Farmers say hot weather during the growing season caused their trees to produce fewer mangos this year. Only a few farmers are able to grow the crop, but California-grown mangos are marketed all over the United States. Farmers have also found a promising market in organic mangos, with a higher proportion of the fruit being sold on the organic market.
Milk prices earned by California dairy farmers will inch up slightly on December 1st. The average price will increase about a penny, to $1.15 a gallon. Even with the small increase, farmers have seen milk prices drop by about 11 cents a gallon since the first of the year. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says rises in national butter and cheese prices led to the increase. The department sets on-farm milk prices but does not control retail prices.Top