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» March 19, 2007 «
Projected runoff into Shasta Reservoir has increased by nearly one-quarter, thanks to February snowfall ... and that has allowed operators of the state's largest irrigation project to boost their estimate of summertime water supplies. The Central Valley Project said (Friday) that it expects to deliver 50 percent supplies to its farm customers south of the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. That's up from the previous forecast, which was for only 35 percent supplies.
For the second straight month, California dairy farmers will see the price they earn for milk rise by an average of 6 cents a gallon. The state Department of Food and Agriculture says the average on-farm milk price will be the equivalent of $1.43 a gallon. The state sets the on-farm price based on markets for dairy products. Despite the recent price increases, dairy farmers continue to struggle with higher production costs, particularly for fuel and feed.
Though the sharp cold of January ruined crops on many California farms, orchard owners see benefits from the earlier chill. The California Pear Advisory Board says pear trees have started to bloom in the Central Valley, with full bloom in the Sacramento region likely by the end of this week. Because pear trees received enough chill hours, the bloom period should be short. That will help assure that fruit matures evenly this summer.
Advanced weather forecasting helps California cotton growers gauge when to plant their crops. Farmers wait to plant their cotton when they consider soil moisture and temperatures to be the most advantageous ... but a bout of cold weather after planting could force farmers to replant. University of California crop specialists encourage farmers to check daily forecasts on a UC Web site, which supply regional guidance about the best times for planting cotton.Top