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» April 19, 2007 «
The range of an invasive pest called the light brown apple moth continues to expand south from the original finds in the San Francisco Bay Area. Single moths have been found in two additional counties, Monterey and Santa Cruz. One turned up at a residence in Prunedale, the other at a plant nursery in Soquel. Traps have caught more than 170 moths in seven counties. The pest threatens some 250 California-grown crops.
Now that three months have passed since the punishing January freeze, citrus farmers looking at their groves say they see hope, for next year. Orange blossoms that will produce next year's crop look good, according to California Citrus Mutual. There had been concern that the freeze hurt the bloom, as well as the current crop. Because of freeze losses, the navel orange harvest will conclude about the end of this month and the spring-summer harvest of valencia oranges will also be much smaller.
California strawberry production has recovered from the January freeze, and the California Strawberry Commission says it still believes farmers could set another new production record. Government forecasters have projected that losses from the freeze will cause the state's strawberry harvest to fall 3 percent short of last year's record. Now, strawberry production in Southeastern states has been severely damaged by freezing temperatures there.
There's been more milk on the market, so far this year. California dairy farms increased milk production by more than 3 and a half percent in the first quarter of 2007, according to government statistics, while the number of cows being milked increased slightly. California leads the nation in milk production. Nationwide milk production rose 1 percent in the first quarter of the year.Top