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» May 24, 2007 «
As the U.S. Senate debates immigration reform, California farm groups say they want to make sure the final bill includes programs that recognize the unique needs of farms and ranches. That's what representatives of several organizations told a meeting of the State Board of Food and Agriculture in Sacramento yesterday (Wednesday). The bill being debated in Washington includes a reformed temporary-worker program for farms and ranches.
After a much-reduced crop a year ago, apricot farmers say production has bounced back this year. Fruit quality is good and demand has been strong, particularly from customers in Mexico. Traditionally, Mexican consumers prefer smaller sizes of apricots, which don't sell as well in the U.S. Farmers exporting apricots to Mexico face considerable paperwork, but the California Grape and Tree Fruit League reports no delays at border crossings.
With several weeks remaining before harvest, California pear farmers hope the weather remains favorable. The California Pear Advisory Board says conditions were perfect at bloom time and pear trees in all growing districts hold ample supplies of fruit. Pears seem to be ripening evenly, unlike last year when pears on the same tree ripened at different times. The advisory board predicts the pear harvest will start a week earlier than average, around July 12th.
Chilly weather will hinder the spread of a serious pest, according to new research. But not even the January freeze was enough to eliminate it from parts of Southern California. Known as the diaprepes root weevil, the pest attacks a number of crops and plants. Experts in San Diego County say the freeze didn't last long enough to eliminate the weevils there. Government researchers say temperature charts can predict areas most likely to face problems from the pest.Top