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» May 2, 2007 «
Not since 1988 have surveyors found so little snow in the Sierra Nevada. The year's final survey shows the Sierra snowpack measuring only 29 percent of average, overall. Officials say water stored in reservoirs will help the state weather the dry year. State Water Resources Director Lester Snow said yesterday (Tuesday) that the snowpack results indicate the need for both conservation and for California to develop additional water storage.
The popularity of almonds encourages California farmers to plant more, and almond acreage has topped 700 thousand for the first time. A government report issued yesterday shows that planting of new almond orchards slowed slightly last year, after sharp increases the previous two years. California produces about 80 percent of the world's almonds, and demand has been rising steadily. The first estimate of the 2007 almond crop is due to be issued next week.
The planned closure of a chocolate plant in the Northern San Joaquin Valley means the loss of a market for dairy farmers in the region. The Hershey Company announced this week it will close its plant in Oakdale. Dairy groups say farmers who have contracts to provide milk to the plant may face problems finding new places to sell their milk. Chocolate production from the Oakdale plant will shift to a factory in Mexico, and it's unlikely that California milk will be shipped to that plant.
The invasive pest known as the light brown apple moth remains confined to the eight Bay Area and coastal counties in which it's already been found. But numbers of the pest have risen rapidly. Pest fighters said yesterday they've now trapped more than 1,500 apple moths, about 80 percent of those turning up in Santa Cruz County. Traps have been set in 38 of California's 58 counties. The light brown apple moth threatens some 250 California-grown crops.Top