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» March 5, 2007 «
Recent rains have improved development of the California wheat crop. Farmers say if timely rain continues there could be a very good crop. Even so, there remain areas in Southern California where it hasn't rained and the wheat may be lost. And the moisture elsewhere did generate some fungal disease in the wheat, which growers have been advised to treat. Farm advisors say they don't think the problem will be as severe as it's been the past couple seasons, when rain hit the wheat crop earlier.
After a discouraging report a month ago, state water officials say they're heartened by new snow measurements in the Sierra Nevada. Heavy snow during February brought the overall snowpack measurement up to nearly two-thirds of average for the date. The previous survey put the snow at only 40 percent of average. Water agencies monitor the snowpack to predict water supplies for the coming spring and summer.
Bulk orange juice prices have risen to their highest levels in three years, as factors have combined to whittle down a worldwide glut. Most American-made orange juice comes from Florida, where production has been hurt by hurricanes in recent years. California produces relatively little juice, and because of the January freeze will have even less than average this season. Consumers may see higher prices for orange juice as a result of the tightening supplies.
Red-meat production in California rose at more than twice the national average last year, according to a new government report. It tracked production of beef, veal, pork, lamb and mutton. California's overall red-meat production rose 9 percent, compared to a 4 percent nationwide increase. The state ranks sixth in the nation in beef production and ninth in overall red-meat production.Top