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» July 17, 2007 «
Standing on the rim of a reservoir that's three-quarters empty, Governor Schwarzenegger renewed his call yesterday (Monday) for the state to invest in new water storage. The governor visited San Luis Reservoir in Merced County, which has been drained because of dry weather and an earlier, nine-day shutdown of pumping from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Schwarzenegger called on the Legislature to approve a bond measure that includes money for additional surface and groundwater storage.
Most lemons now in retail stores come from California's coastal growing regions. Crop estimators say the January freeze contributed to a 21-percent drop in lemon production this season. Coastal farmers say they will have fruit until their season ends in early autumn. Typically, at that time, production starts in the California desert. But observers say farms in the desert have much less fruit due to the freeze. Imported lemons from the Southern Hemisphere may fill the gap.
Recent reductions in California raisin-grape acreage have contributed to what a farmers' group calls "extremely tight" inventories. The Raisin Bargaining Association says packers will need adequate supplies to maintain sales, which total more than 300,000 tons a year. The association announced yesterday it had agreed on prices with raisin packers. The agreement extends current raisin-pricing formulas through the 2010 season.
If you've seen food prices rise this year, the American Farm Bureau says it's probably because of weather and energy costs. Some reports blame increasing corn prices, which have risen because of demand for ethanol production. But a Farm Bureau economic report says other factors have had more impact on food prices. An analyst says the California freeze and other weather woes have reduced supplies of certain foods, and food manufacturers have passed along their higher energy costs.Top